Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Want an honest review?

Want an honest review?

You're probably not going to get one. 

Why?

FEAR.


Okay, that's an extreme case, but a valid one. 

It's unlikely that you are going to get "bottled" at your place of work by an asshat with an attitude because you said that their latest book sucked balls. (Unlikely is not impossible, though.) And by the way I'm writing this, I know that you're thinking, "Fuck that shit. I'm never writing a bad review again. Writers are psychos who spend waaaaaay too much time on their own thinking about murder". 

And you'd be right. 

But I enact out my murderous rampages on little fictional people in my head, and on my page. What do you do with yours? 

But like most times I write, I digress.

More than likely you're going to get a vicious attack from the said author of "My Monkey, My Balls, and the Things I do for Fun," in the written word. They'll respond to your heinous opinion with a scathing attack on how wrong you are, and how you don't know what you're talking about. Like the wonderful responses of Stephan J Harper on the negative review of his book "Bears in Boats Fighting Crime" on Tidbits.

(In case you go all TL;DR) The author starts by getting on his high horse and tries to tear the review apart literary-ly (like in writing, not literally), and eventually loses his temper, however a number of his responses have now been deleted by himself. It was, at the time, a fascinating read by a man who slowly unhinges. Better, I'm sure, than "Bears in Boats Fighting Crime", however, I am intrigued by the title. 

So anyway. 

Unhinged Author Attacks in Writerly Way!!

Now we, as an industry - the writerly types - have been telling each other forever that we, as an industry, should not respond to negative reviews. We shout at each other about how we should learn from them. We should like them, respect them. 

I do. 

Because I understand the fact that everyone has an opinion.

However, these days I don't see bad reviews. Yes, I know that something in the public eye (*coughs* Chuck Wendig *coughs* Star Wars: Aftermath) might get bad reviews (*cough*) that may have nothing to do with the book itself, but I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the little guy. You. Me. Them. *points*

So many book sites now state "we won't post a bad review, we just won't review", or "tick this box to not have a review posted if it's under 3 stars." 

We're artists, man. How are we to improve if you don't tell us what you don't like? We're (probably) not going to hunt you down and bash your head in, in a supermarket. 

So I implore you, the reader, the reviewer, the writer who reviews, leave us bad reviews. We need it. And if we respond at all to peer pressure, we won't murder you in the supermarket.

And we try really hard not to murder people off the page.

That's like, real human interaction.

Ain't nobody got time for that.

#toobusywriting

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