I see it so often and I just don’t get it. Well, no, wait, I do, in a way, but I don’t like it, nor do I approve.
There is a fine line between voicing an opinion and coming across catty and tactless. Before anyone jumps down my throat, I’m not throwing anyone under the bus for this. I’m saying it now because I’ve seen it three times this week alone. This isn’t a personal attack, but if your reaction is guilt or defensiveness, maybe it’s time for you to examine why.
No, I don’t think anyone reading here behaves like this, but then again I have no idea who lurks in the shadows, hiding from my sight. Besides, this is for you, my dear Readers (many of which are writers, or aspiring to be so). Do you see this happening? Does it drive you bonkers? You’re not alone.
Let’s look at some examples.
#1: “I found Meyer’s writing choppy and inconsistent. I couldn’t suspend disbelief for any period of time. I read the first fifty pages and still wasn’t sucked into the story.”
#2: “Twilight blows chunks. I can’t believe this woman is making money at this. Where did she come up with that Edward guy? I mean really? If I had to read that book, I’d slit my wrists first.”
Now before you run off to Google those quotes, they aren’t real. They’re examples. Okay, the first one was me, but the second was the summary of so much I’ve seen from others on Twilight.
When I see an aspiring writer talking smack about a published author, I lose respect for that person. You can hate the story, the writing, the character, but when you start mocking them, or the writer, you look jealous. You don’t think that author deserved that contract? Then write something better. You’d be a shoe-in, wouldn’t you?
I’ll tell you something else, aspiring writer. Agents and publishers will check out your online presence. Do you really look like the kid who not only runs with scissors, but goes out of his way to stab people in the neck with them? Trust me, you don’t.
I see this most often with the romance industry. It’s a commonly known fact that romance writers don’t get as much respect as “other” writers in many circles. I don’t like romance novels. There, I said it. I don’t. I also won’t trash them because damn, those writers have a huge cult followings, and romance readers plow through novels faster than anyone I’ve met.
I started reading HEAT WAVE, the book that is being sold as a novel by Richard Castle (of the Castle TV show). I had to force myself to follow the 20-page rule. I give every book at least twenty pages, if not more, to hook me. HEAT WAVE didn’t. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad book; it means it’s just not for me. I found nothing wrong with the writing or the characters; it turns out I’m not into detective/crime novels.
Those authors are all selling books – Meyers, romance writers, Castle’s ghost writer – and if they are selling books (which they are) then they’re doing better than me.
I’m not too big to admit that.
Next time, to play the devil’s advocate: The one-star review. Real, or fiction?