I’d forgotten how much I enjoy giving feedback on other people’s scripts. I’m definitely not a guru, but I think my advice is pretty solid.
I just finished a script that has a great concept at its root, but still needs a lot of work. There are a lot of rookie mistakes, most of which are easily fixed, and I’ll make suggestions regarding the big stuff – story, structure, character development, etc. I’m curious to know if the writer will implement any of my comments. Of which there are a lot.
I don’t know if other writers experience this when reading somebody else’s work, but more than once I’d think, “how can they not know this is the wrong way to do this?”
Then I’d remind myself of two really important points – first, maybe they don’t know, so I’ll explain my comments as best I can, hopefully enough so the point gets across and it helps improves their writing, and second, feedback from a negative place doesn’t do anybody any good. The recipient is less likely to give your opinion any merit and you come across as bitter and angry. (Check out the forums on Trigger Street to get a better idea of this.)
It’s possible to give constructive criticism without tearing somebody down, but it’s also up to the writer to understand any feedback they get is about making their work better, and not an attack on them personally.