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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-08-15 06:13
Subject: [personal] Updatery, and bit on reviews
Security: Public
Tags:california, child, omaha, personal, process, tourbillion, travel, writing

Busy day ahead at work today. Some socializing tonight. Quite early tomorrow morning, the_child, tillyjane and me are driving up Mt. Hood to go hiking on the Timberline Trail. (That’s about 6,000 feet.) Sunday is low key, then I’m off to Omaha Monday. Also, I’m off to Omaha again at the end Labor Day weekend, with a trade show in San Francisco the week after that. Home, much, me?

I’m planning to have the outline of Tourbillion done early this coming week. Have to bat cleanup on some open projects, get the next IROSF article going with specficrider, and maybe address a few short fiction bits.

Also, I was thinking as I walked this morning about the value of linking to negative reviews. I’ve been asked a few times if I’m worried about creating an Internet dogpile on a reviewer. I should hope not. I find negative reviews interesting, even funny, and very rarely have a challenging response to them inside my own head. I think this stems from my very deep conviction that the story belongs to the reader. Doesn’t matter if that reader is a fan, a critic, an editor or some random person who picked up the book. It’s theirs. When the reactions are good, I take pleasure in them. When the reactions are poor, I learn what I can from them.

How do you handle negative reviews and critique? Is it a door-slamming moment for you? Or do you chuckle and move on?

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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timakers
User: timakers
Date: 2008-08-15 13:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I used to react poorly. Honestly, I took it worse when a review covered a magazine I'd been in but didn't even mention my story. At some point I got my head around the fact that different people like different things, and some people just aren't going to like what I do. *shrug*
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The NewroticGirl
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2008-08-15 18:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good timing, I've just had somebody questioning my credentials and information in one of my long-running writing jobs. I do have a knee-jerk angry/hurt reaction to stuff like this, but eventually I calm down and the rational comes back. Well, about as rational as I get, anyway... ;)

Slightly different situation, though, comparing fiction and non.
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The NewroticGirl
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2008-08-15 18:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And I didn't mean to reply specifically to you, but to the post as a whole. Durrrrr. Don't drink and innernet, folks, just say no.
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User: jess_ka
Date: 2008-08-15 14:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Chuckle and move on.
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russ: watchmen
User: goulo
Date: 2008-08-15 14:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:watchmen
I think the nature of the negative reaction is very relevant. For example, if the negative reaction consists of pointing out problems (real or perceived) in the work, then that's useful, and a wise author would learn from that. If it's mean-spirited and unfair rude personal attacks etc., then that's annoying and perhaps harder to shrug off calmly.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-08-15 14:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Truth be told, they're kind of a sport with me. But then I almost never take them seriously.

It might help that I used to be a reviewer myself...
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-08-15 15:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You're unusual. But in a good way.

Mostly I only hear the first part of that... :D
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gvdub
User: gvdub
Date: 2008-08-15 14:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Since I'm still unpublished (at least concerning my fiction), I've only had to deal with critiques from other writers. I always try and look at them objectively to see what merit they have and what I can take away from them to make me a better writer. I anxiously await getting the chance to be eviscerated by the public.
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User: barbhendee
Date: 2008-08-15 14:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This probably isn't the correct way to view things, but I take the professional reviews more to heart than the fan reviews--even through I know I'm a paid entertainer.

I remember TRAITOR TO THE BLOOD getting a poor professional review, and it actually bothered me.

But things like Amazon reviews are always a matter of personal taste--and I emphathize with our readers. We get glowing "reader" reviews, and we also get slammed with great rage and venom. We have one guy who religiously slams our books to the point that I have wondered if J.C. might have pissed him off at a convention somewhere.

I know it wasn't me! I'm a nice girl. Hah!

Most of the time, when I read harsh reviews, I just shrug and think, "Well . . . that's fair."
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Ramblin_Phyl
User: ramblin_phyl
Date: 2008-08-15 15:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Be sure to take at least double the usual water supply on your hike. I think you are insane to hike tomorrow in 105' heat, unless you plan to finish before 9 AM.

Feel free to stop by if you need a breather. I'm only 1/2 mile off the hwy
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-08-15 15:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We should be on the trail by 7:30 and off by 11:00. And yes, plenty of water. Where are you? Welches, I know...or think I do.
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Ramblin_Phyl
User: ramblin_phyl
Date: 2008-08-15 17:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'll email off list and give you directions. T will be at work so I still can't prove he exists.
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floatingtide
User: floatingtide
Date: 2008-08-15 20:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Are your hiking plans accounting for the fact that Mt. Hood is on fire?

My Dad is out their with his engine, trying to put the mountain out. I'm not sure he'll be done by tomorrow.
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