How NOT to deliver criticism.


NOTE: I apologize to my friends who are bored by this silly battle between a group of vampire fantasy authors and me. I’ll try to make this my final post on the subject.

Background: A fellow author posted a negative review (2 of 5 stars) on my book. I read her book (did not make it all the way through) and posted a 1-star review because I felt the book earned it, and to make my point that authors should not criticize each other in a public forum where it could hurt sales and livelihoods. Point was made. We both removed our reviews.

Then, some uppity authors (likely friends of hers) decided to pile on by trashing me on their blogs. They hurled personal insults and criticized my writing. If they did this to get attention, I’d understand the motive. I won’t mention the blogs or people specifically, as they don’t deserve the exposure.

The most pompous of the asses slams me for mixing a past tense sentence in a present tense paragraph. Here is his biography on Smashwords. How many tenses are in this?

“[asshole’s woman’s name removed] has a doctorate in English literature.
[shithead’s name removed] was in the Navy for more than fourteen years, both enlisted and as an officer, before he cashed out and started writing. Together, she and [fartbag’s name removed] have written more than thirty sf/f books. They live in Colebrook, New Hampshire.”

After seeing his picture, I realize there’s no insult I could hurl that would exceed the severity of the one his ancestors delivered. Ooh-fah!

Perhaps I should explain my stance about authors posting negative reviews (as in below average or highly critical) with an analogy:

If a chef of a popular restaurant visited a rival restaurant, dined there, and then published a negative review of the rival’s chef, how would that be perceived? Jealousy, right? Even if the food was sub-par, the chef is out of line. Would it be less egregious if that review were posted by the restaurant owner? I think not. If that chef were to speak in person to the rival’s chef and suggest another way of caramelizing onions, that could be respectable, if done tactfully.

This scenario applies to most professions. Heck, it even applies to parenting. Don’t you cringe when you see a parent scold a child in public? Must children be forced to learn through embarrassment? Jeez, I hope not.

So, people, please exercise restraint when criticizing others in a public forum. It’s not nice, and you’re not going to correct anyone by embarrassing them or damaging their livelihoods.

Since I get to have the last word in this (it is my blog), and I know the jealous author who attacked me will read this, here you go:

“Fuck you, Mr. M–the mule you rode in on, the tic on its ass, the flea on the tic’s ass, and the microbe on the flea’s ass.”

See, I learned nothing from you–still mixed tense.

How good was this post?

Click on a star to rate it or just sit there and stare.

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far. Oh, for fuck's sake, help a brother out. Click a star, puh-lees.

Since you found this post good ...

Follow me on social media.

About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.