“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.”
What is it about negativity that draws other negative souls to gang up on either an author or their work? Where do the hearts of said critics lie? Tough question, even tougher to answer. So many factors go into being able to subjectively judge others work. Let’s focus for a moment on critics ~ or ~ reviewers of the written word:
– How are they qualified?
– What is their comprehension level?
– How much distraction are they up against?
– Are they willing to adapt a suspension of disbelief when it comes to a fictional book?
– Are they in a grumpy mood?
Myself and my author brothers and sisters have seen and been victim to far too many awful, unfounded one-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews that, when one listens to the ‘author’s’ voice, you can actually hear how angry and sad, how distracted and ready to dish-the-dirt these people are. In addition, there is no way they could have considered the author’s feelings when they and their buddies purposefully disrespect what some of us have worked months if not years on. That boils down to an embarrassing selfishness that everyone can now see about them. Some of them miss entire sections of dialog and/or action that would explain, very clearly, what they’ve decided to rant about – and they have no idea how ignorant they look once they publish their misinformation. And yet, with all of us looking on, they have no shame.
Finally, someone has started a campaign to stop the harassment by those who think they’re impervious to Karma.
The website is entitled, Stop the goodreads bullies. Huff Post wrote an article about it here.
Thankfully, there are very many wonderful readers out there who know the difference between fiction and nonfiction – and who love to be entertained. They are the author’s heroes, the smart ones, the ones we think of when we sit down to write stories that will amuse and enthrall them.
Happy reading, smart ones!