I posted this to Backspace as well, but I'm interested to hear what the Crimespacers think.
So I've got a friend who is a talented writer and his books sell well. We're not Best Friends Forever by any stretch, but we've been on friendly terms for several years. There's been something about his published novels that has been bugging me, or rather, there's a tendency he has that weakens key scenes in his book. It's the sort of thing that one doesn't always recognize until it's pointed out.
I've belonged to several writing groups over the years and the urge to critique runs pretty deep. I also believe that anyone can benefit from a well-directed remark. Still, getting a critique post-publication is likely to elicit annoyance. Either my friend won't agree or worse, he'll agree and wish he could go back and fix what I'm pointing out. There's also the fact that he hasn't asked for a critique or ever said, "So, what do you think?" about a published book. I've casually mentioned that I could give him a beta read on his next book, but I think he gets pretty good reads from another mutual friend and from his agent (with the obvious exception of this one point).
So do I mention this to my friend? I'm convinced that a little self-reflection on this subject could help his future works, but no matter how I look at it, my comments are like to come across as rude. Personally, I would want to know, but I know that not everyone would feel the same way.