Recently, a close friend of mine has started writing very short novels. From a conversation we had, I could clearly tell that she is very proud of the fruit of her labor and seriously considers writing professionally.
I accepted to provide feedback, which she has been eager to receive. I now regret this decision, for I find myself unable to formulate a single compliment about the first two samples she sent me. To be blunt: she hasn't proof-read herself and it shows.
Time pressure is piling up too, as she has sent me a third short and specifically asked for my opinion about the two previous writings, clearly expecting praise.
I can foresee that she would be deeply hurt by strongly negative critics, especially given how highly she regards her own work. Nonetheless, I want to remain as honest as possible.
How can I give my friend the feedback she demands while not hurting her feelings nor being dishonest?