This has been bothering me, and I know there will absolutely not be a right/wrong answer, so I'm gunning for a general consensus with this topic. Tell me how you handle this:
I've broken 'readers' and 'writers' into two categories when it comes to talking to them about what I've written that they've read or what I've read that they've written. A reader gives friendly praises, gushes, flames, rants, asks questions, gets excited, says they're quitting the series forever... but they're very fan-based and fluffy. They're the feel-good or knee-jerk comments you get from people who just want to share that they liked what you're doing or that they hate it and they're done reading. A writer filling the same role goes in with a red pen, giving short critiques of what could be changed, how well you're doing, how well things flows - essentially, a writer acts as a semi-beta reader.
What I'm basing this on is the comments I see from WFG authors on other WFG listings. Those who have their own work are there giving constructive criticism. Those who don't are typically just saying what they like or hope will happen and moving on. Every time I go through one of the WFG stories myself, I'm jumping into the 'reader' role, and it makes me think I'm being useless because of other comments fully detailing where things can be improved. I like to be specific when I say what I do or don't like, but that's as far as I go.
My question is, do you - as a WFG writer - expect other WFG writers to come in with advice and do a critique-on-the-fly, or do you expect less detailed (but possibly just as long) comments of people just wanting to talk about how much they like or don't like things but not actually giving advice? Do you expect something but prefer another? Do you want someone like me actively giving advice or hanging back until it's asked for? How do I support you people?!