Web Trawl: Poor review etiquette and Beware of the Writer

There are a plethora of blogs and related feeds by, for and about writers. This isn’t surprising, writers like to write and read, and particularly like to read about writers writing about writing. This very blog is a case in point. Some of this is looking for affirmation or hints or advice, but occasionally there are a few gems. Two of these passed my eyeballs this very week.

The first of these begins with a very innocuous review of Jaqueline Howett’s ‘The Greek Seaman’. It’s not the kind of fiction I’d ever choose to read, but the review seems fairly balanced. There’s nothing out of the ordinary until the comments where the author decides that the review is unfair and begins an attack on the review writer. I’ll leave out any speculation on my part as to where ‘indy writer’ becomes ‘self-published vanity press’ and just focus on the shit storm that erupts in the blog comments. Jaqueline’s cries and protestations are a clear sign of how not to handle a bad review of your work in public. The link and the comments have all been heavily reposted and the situation could easily have been forestalled by a) not responding in the first place or, failing that b) stop going on about it publicly when things are already going bad!

All writers fear the bad review, especially when it’s in the public domain. But by responding so vociferously she has given it the oxygen of publicity and exasperated her situation. I must confess though, I do feel sorry for her. Social media awareness is afairly new skill, but important these days.


The other, more amusing, link is Chuck Wendig’s Beware of the Writer II: Revenge of the Teenage Penmonkey From Mars. I was horrified/amused/concerned by how many of these behaviours I exhibit. In fact, how many of them I exhibited before I started writing fiction.

Part one, Beware of the Writer, doesn’t seem to be on Chuck’s blog anymore, but I’ve linked the copy from Google’s cache. Welcome to the internet, where nothing is deleted. Ever.