Bad Reviews

Warren Bull
Bio: Warren Bull is an award-winning author with three novels and more than 100 stories published.
Arts And Entertainment

Oct 08,2018

Bad Reviews:

Image from Pixabay

There is no escape from bad reviews. In some ways, I feel relieved when I first receive a review that is less than stellar on something I’ve written. It’s not that I like it, but I know it’s going to happen. It’s like getting the first dent in a new car.  The way I write, and drive, it is bound to happen.  

After some time I relax my jaw and loosen my strangle hold on whatever object had the bad karma to be close at hand when I read the review. I calm down and try to see what I can learn from the feedback. Sometimes the reviewer nails my writing on a weak spot. Maybe I was unclear. Perhaps I left out something that was absolutely evident to me since I know the character’s life history, foibles and why he or she mistrusts men who wear bowties but relies on women wearing bowler hats. On one occasion I learned that high schools no longer operate the way they did when I was in high school. Apparently, it is now passé for a wrangler to tie his horse to the hitching post outside the school, stomp the dust from the cattle drive off his boots and come in looking for he schoolmarm carrying a bunch of poesies.  

Sometimes I learn that reviewers’ comments are based on their opinions and peculiar likes and dislikes. A good friend of mine got a very bad review from one person who disliked the heroine’s nickname. Really that was the only criticism mentioned.

I once got a bad review based on the title of my book, Murder Manhattan Style. The reviewer described my title as deceitful. This person admitted the mystery stories took place in Manhattan but they were not set in the high society Manhattan setting of the reader’s imagination.   

The truth is that nobody is as critical of my work as I am. I know where the stitching is coming loose on the seams, where coincidence is the only reason for the reader to go from point A to point B and when I’ve forced an indignant character to do something he or she would never willingly do.

My biggest critic is me.

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