Monday, July 03, 2006

The Nasty Reviews

Rosina Lippi (also known as Sara Donati) has an interesting post up today about reading your own reviews--the overwhelming to urge to do it and the inevitable reaction, to focus on the negative ones and skip over the positives.

Apparently neither of these things go away as you progress up the writing career path. {sigh}

I know already that I am struck with this weakness. Say I get 5 critiques of a chapter: 4 say some variation of "OMG, I loved it!" and 1 says "I thought it was a little weak on the dialogue". I will so skip right over the 4 and obsess about the dialogue, if I let myself.

That's the secret, and Rosina knows it too. You can't let yourself do that, or you'll go crazy. It all goes back to the "Listen and Reflect" method. I'm not saying you should ignore bad reviews or critiques if they strike a chord with you after some distance.

Of course it may be different when/if (let's go back to a positive when) my book is published. The scale is so much grander. Instead of 10 people reading my book, it could be a thousand. It would be so easy, in a spare moment, to pop over to Amazon and see what those readers, those new minds encountering my words, were saying. I probably wouldn't be able to resist the call either. I just hope I would be able to keep my head, and my perspective, intact...

Medieval Word of the Day: archwife: ‘A wife of a superior order’ (Tyrwhitt); a strong or masterful wife, a virago (‘Mannweib’ M├Ątzner).


Vicki Pettersson said...

Poor Rosina. It'd be one thing if she was getting crit on the words that are there on the page ... but it's quite another to be trashed just because you're not someone else and never will be. I don't quite know how that happened to her. If people would just approach her story without expectation or bias I'm sure they'd enjoy it. I think she gets better with every book.

Oh, and I do that, too. Giving more weight to the negative, I mean. I guess I should get over that, quick-like.

Cindy said...

What Vicki said.


Susan Adrian said...


Yeah, I have to get over it too. And I completely agree about Rosina. She's good in her own right--why on earth try to compare her to anyone else? In fact, I'm off to read her book right now...