I've recently entered into a collaborative relationship with a young artist from SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). We haven't begun working on anything together yet, but we've bounced some of our various pitches and scripting samples off of one another. Yesterday, I sent him some feedback on a scripting sample he'd sent me. I was constructive, highlighting things I thought were structurally very sound about his scripting process while pointing out some issues I had with the overall originality of the subject matter. He responded very well to the criticism and went so far as to flesh out some of his ideas so that I had a deeper understanding of the story he was trying to tell. All in all, a very constructive and positive e-mail exchange.
I'd like to hear how all of you cope with the business of bouncing ideas off of possible collaborators and dealing out criticism or suggestion when necessary. When does constructive criticism or just polite suggestion become too harsh? For those of you who have collaborative experience already, how have you approached the problem of communicating clearly the pros and cons you see in your partner's work?