“Your monster isn’t really scary…”
That’s… that’s not the point…
“Omg, they’re like Twelve and Fifteen! Their interaction is really inappropriate.”
They’re just… looking at each other…
“So basically its Slender Man…”
Oh yeah definitely except like not…
“They’re kids! They shouldn’t even be in situations like this”
….. umm yeah, we know. That’s… I…. okay….
“So you’re trying to Lovecraft?”
I’m trying to die actually… is it working yet?
“See, this is problematic. It supports the white savior trope.”
-slow blink- uuuh…
“Your monster is stupid!”
…. for real…?
“Its just criticism. You gotta learn to accept it.”
Welcome to the Cerebral Hedonist… and here comes a thought…
or whatever you’re going to freely interpret it as…
So, in my adventures of writing and other mishaps, I tend hear this a lot from people who read my work…
Now see, I’m what is considered a bit of a blunt person (see asshole) about certain things. But I am not here to purposely break down someone else’s art and hard work in a flurry of negativity that causes them to never pick up a pen, pencil, or whatever medium ever again. I offer as much of myself to them in my opinions of what they do in order to help them progress just as they have offered much of themselves to me in their endeavor to improve.
That being said with the utmost honesty…
Why is it when you ask for constructive criticism… people choose to give it on the oddest things. I’ve had people focus on the strangest parts of my writing that aren’t even the weird creatures and hard-planned deaths and I’m just like:
Writers often go on and on about how their biggest weakness is criticism because they’re very sensitive about their work. Understandable! That’s their baby. Their heart and soul was placed into this thing you’re about to tear to shreds with red pens and observations.
However, I’m not that person.
I actually thrive on criticism, good and bad. I just really hate to wait for criticism. Those long lulls while you wait for someone to read your words and tell you exactly why they suck… or exactly why they’re the most amazing thing you’ve ever read.
So… the question is am I okay with criticism and how do I handle it?
This implies criticism can be negative. It’s neither negative nor positive to me, it’s not really good or bad. Its criticism that at the end of the day I can take or leave, but most importantly its a educational opportunity to get in the minds of my readers and see how my target audience thinks… Criticism is beautiful…
All “good” and “bad” criticism is preferred and welcomed…
What I don’t handle well… is irrelevant commenting…
This is the person who sat down read through your book and dug out the one thing that offended them on a personal level that would not offend an average reader.
This is the person who saw your story was marked horror/supernatural thriller/monster fiction and read it in determination not to be afraid so that they could throw a “its not scary” in their face… or worse “you’re trying too hard to be scary.”
This is the person whose thought process somehow picked up on hints of child pornography and pedophilia themes in a simple scene between a teenager and a preteen… because why?!
This is the person who had an agenda when they read it and immediately sought it out while ignoring everything else a proper criticism required…
This is the person who read your synopsis and was like “So its just like ____”
These types of things are grating not because they’re good, not because they’re bad but because of their absolute irrelevancy to the story you’re attempting to tell. Like people who watched Monster Ball and all they could talk about was Halle Berry’s sex scene. Or people who called JoJo Moyes’s Me Before You a work of ableism.
They focus on a single theme, scene, etc, and build their entire opinion around it… leaving the creator to shake their head and ponder…
So how do I handle this? How do I handle irrelevant comments?
I don’t. I look at them for about half a minute and go back to work.
Writers, authors, readers, understand something for me and everyone around you:
If you are able to experience someone’s work and all you can do is concentrate solely on a single element that has little to nothing to do with the overall piece itself… then you are not the target audience. It’s not that I doubt you will read it and not that I doubt you might enjoy it, but if the only thing you can offer, the only thing you can discuss, the only thing you quite literally took away from it was this one “comment” then you are not who I’m writing for.
That’s it, that’s the point.
I write for the good critics, I write for the bad ones. I write for the people who just want to read a good story. I write for the people who thought this idea sounded cool but ended up feeling a bit “meh” by the end. I write for the people who will take my writing and stories and drag them through the mud and at the end I can say “but you read it tho!”
I write for all…
Except you irrelevant commentators because quite literally I just want to smack you in the face with a “How to Have an Opinion for Dummies” book!
–Harli V. Park–
And that’s Day 8 of Camp Nanowrimo! Nice and early and not a complete piece of trash I expected it to be. I was going through old comments about my work and comparing them to the critiques I get now and realizing how much I absolutely, un-ironically love criticism on my work. I’ve improved so much from it!
Anyway, as always if you like it please hit like, share it, and subscribe to the EMAILING LIST or follow if you’re a WordPresser like me. I’ll see you guys tomorrow! Happy Writing!!!!