Since I've been a member on here, I've offered to be a beta-reader for other people's work via the forums, emails and PMs. I have been given around eight pieces of work to read so far and have always given my honest opinion on each of them. I don't know anyone on here, so aren't going to lose any friends by being totally honest and unbiased, which I would also be to a friend too btw. And to be honest, I like to critique other people's work because it makes me see what's wrong/right with my own.
But what do people actually want from beta-readers? I'm honest with what I think and I do try to write my notes nicely to explain what doesn't work and that I personally don't like. I am often met with defensiveness, yes, which I can understand, I'm the same about my work. However, I do sit and think over what's been said about my work and I set about trying to put it right.
But some people don't even bother to get back in touch to defend themselves over what I've said. Beta reading takes a lot of time to do, time in which I could be writing and correcting my own work. Am I always supposed to say people's works are brilliant, even if they're not? If so, I don't think it's really worth doing, which is quite sad as I enjoy looking at other people's work. Does anyone else, who beta-reads, feel like this?
If this is in the wrong forum, I apologise; please move it to the appropriate one. Plus I have spent some time doing searches on here, but couldn't find what I was looking for, so if there is already a thread on this, please combine them etc.