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Author Chat > How does receiving a negative review make you feel?

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message 1: by Rhian (new)

Rhian (rhianima) | 33 comments Question: how does it *feel* to you when you get a bad review?

I keep seeing posts pop up asking writers how they deal with bad reviews. I thought I'd write some advice our here.

I don't want to just dump the blog link, though. If you have any further advice, or if you disagree completely, or just want to chat, please do. :)

https://rhianwriting.wordpress.com/20...


message 2: by Shabana (new)

Shabana Mukhtar (shabanamukhtarofficial) "It is the end of the world. I will never write a word again. Hide under a blanket. Read something that makes me say, hey, I can write and I should write."
And that continues :-)


message 3: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) Shabana wrote: ""It is the end of the world. I will never write a word again. Hide under a blanket. Read something that makes me say, hey, I can write and I should write."
And that continues :-)"


The first time hurt - poor me, being so misunderstood!

Then I got over it (with some work and other authors' comments on the process), and now they get under my skin for a second, but that's all they're allowed.

The important part: somebody read. I need to get more somebodies to do that.


message 4: by Rhian (last edited Apr 08, 2019 12:47PM) (new)

Rhian (rhianima) | 33 comments Shabana wrote: ""It is the end of the world. I will never write a word again. Hide under a blanket. Read something that makes me say, hey, I can write and I should write."
And that continues :-)"


I know that feeling, Shabana!

Then I got over it (with some work and other authors' comments on the process), and now they get under my skin for a second, but that's all they're allowed.

Alicia, do you think the stink ever diminishes? Or is it just as irritating every time?


message 5: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) The stink can't diminish: I believe everyone in the world is trying hard to be the best person they can be, and thereby they will love my book.

Okay, seriously now. For me, not yet - but I'm philosophical about it.

I left a longer comment on your blog. It's not really suitable for GR.


message 6: by Grea (new)

Grea Alexander (greaalexander) For the most part, it doesn't really bother me. Everyone has their own taste and no matter how brilliant you think your baby is, not everyone else in the world will.

When you consider that even the most famous writers in the world/in history also at times had terrible reviews, and if you look on Amazon, Goodreads etc. and see even big names unable to escape from 1 & 2 star reviews, I consider myself to be in great company. (wink)

That being said, the only thing that used to raise my hackles is if there is a personal attack in the review/comments or it's completely inaccurate (like misquoting something or saying something happened in the story that didn't).

These days, I only check my reviews like once every few months. What people are going to post, they're going to post. Me fretting over it and watching it like a hawk isn't going to change that fact.

And no, I don't feel the need to stalk or confront negative reviewers. I may vent and or laugh about it on a non-public level, but that's about as far as it goes with me.

At the end of the day, so long as I like my work, I'm good.


message 7: by Rhian (new)

Rhian (rhianima) | 33 comments "These days, I only check my reviews like once every few months. What people are going to post, they're going to post. Me fretting over it and watching it like a hawk isn't going to change that fact."

Very sensible. Perhaps a "review-checking" detox would be as good as a social media detox is to some people.

Alicia- got it, thank you!


message 8: by Dan (new)

Dan Salerno (goodreadscomdan_salerno) | 7 comments Hi Rhian,

To begin with, I suppose it depends on how you define the word "bad."

If it means a rant, a personal dislike, having nothing to do with story structure or the quality of the writing, it doesn't bother me.

On the other hand, if the review offers constructive criticism, I'm all for it. In fact, I'd rather have a "bad" review that points to how I can be a more effective writer, than a "good" review that doesn't go beyond simply liking the story.

While I appreciate someone liking what I've written, that doesn't help me grow and there's not much interaction between the reviewer/reader and me/the writer.

Case in point: One of the best reviews I've ever gotten was from someone who rated my book 3 out of 5 stars. But the reviewer took the time to thoughtfully explain storyline weaknesses and how to overcome them.

I wound up sending a reply to the reviewer, thanking him for his time, honesty and encouragement.


message 9: by Rhian (last edited Apr 10, 2019 12:46PM) (new)

Rhian (rhianima) | 33 comments Hi Dan, I did define what I meant by bad in the blog post. :p

Bad reviews are the spiteful ones. Negative reviews are unfavourable but fair. Negative and positive reviews may contain useful critique, but they don't have to.


message 10: by Jonie (new)

Jonie Lax | 1 comments A review that is negative but accurate hurts. I normally wallow for a minute to a day over it, then I block it out and try to improve. I just write, because that's the only way to fix the problem.
A review that's just spiteful can bother me if I let it, (or confuse it with an accurate review) but for the most part I can just ignore those.


message 11: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) Dan wrote: "...that doesn't help me grow..."

Readers have the right to a finished product; I don't think it's their job to convey help to the writers, but only to like or dislike what is put before them, for the benefit of other readers.

Writers who need to work on their craft should not depend on the random kindness of strangers. There are far better ways (courses, blogs, books, editors, critique groups...). And strangers who offer solutions are most often wrong, anyway.


message 12: by Sin (new)

Sin Ribbon (sinribbon) If the review is thorough and well thought out, then I take note of it on things I might be able to improve. If it's hateful, then I know it's insincere, and there's no reason to let it bother me. I also take comfort in knowing that even the most famous and beloved books still get 3.5-4 average ratings. As long as people are engaged with the book, I'm happy. Hope that offers some comfort!


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