Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Taking Criticism 101 - Part 1

Congratulations.  You’ve completed your manuscript, your best friend, spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend has given you their obligatory ego-stroke, and you’re ready to experience what readers really think.  But, before you open that email, or login at Goodreads, you should prepare yourself . . . for your eventual fame, of course!

Here’s a step-by-step guide of how to get ready.

Step One - Drink

This is not advice.  This is mandatory.  Sit down with a shot glass and something at least 80 proof.  Divide your current age by five.  Drink at least that many shots.  You may always drink more, as it will help with the following steps.

Step Two – Armor Up

Don’t wait.  Go on the defensive immediately.  A genius of your literary merit and scholarship shouldn’t have to abide by the second-guessing of lesser intellects.  Helm, breastplate, greaves, shield, the whole steel cocoon!  Tank-up if you have a tank.  Nothing less than a Panzer though.  I’m tired of seeing all those second-hand Shermans disabled by heavy ordinance.

Step Three – Lash Out

Anger is not the way to the Dark Side.  It’s the first, best and only way to make a reviewer understand just what a true, bald-faced, tree-hugging, bunny-thumping, puppy-kicking, Tea Party-voting idiot he or she is.  I prefer to go ballistic, but don’t limit yourself.  Boil over.  See blood.  Have a conniption.  Flip-a-doodle.  Redline.  Whatever it takes.

Step Four – Become Vindictive

Sure, your characters may have all the depth of two-dimensional card board cutouts.  Your plot may have more holes than Swiss cheese used for target practice.  Your dialogue may be wooden, your grammar broken and your spelling that of a third-grader who never learned how to spell . . . but you are JUSTIFIED in mocking a reviewers writing style, choice of phrases, height, weight, sex, race, anything really.  Stab them in the back, twist the knife, then pull.  Repeat if necessary.

Step Five – Go Public

It’s not enough to send a sarcastic “Thanks for nothing” email in response to a mediocre or bad review.  Get on Amazon and Facebook and tell the world, in exacting detail why your reviewer is wrong about your writing, and exactly how low their morals character is.  If possible, engage the reviewer in a heated debate.  Go big or go home.  There is no room here for middle ground.


  1. This cracked me up, but I then I felt bad afterward. Convicted.

    1. I started working on a serious post, because I think we're all guilty of this.