#WriterWednesday: How to Handle Bad Reviews

I know some of you believe that you are such excellent writers that a bad review knows better than to come around you, but the reality of it is at least once in your writing career there is going to be reader who will post a review that doesn’t sound like it’s about the book you wrote. When that does happen here are some tips on how to handle it. 

Step off of Your Pedestal

Yes, you’re brilliant. Yes, you worked hard on your book. Yes, your story line is very captivating, but you are not the end all be it all of your genre. Even Jesus the son of God, the prince of peace, the incarnate word’s ministry was criticized and very harshly. Everyone was not in love with His gospel or His work, so step off your pedestal and accept the fact that like the son of God, though you created your work for everyone some will reject you. 

Say Thank You

If you requested this review regardless of what the reviewer said make sure you say thank you. Don’t burn your bridges whether you’re a new author or an seasoned one you don’t want to build a bad reputation along side this negative review. 

Chew on the Review and Spit it Out or Use it to Nourish Your CraftPoor Customer Service Evaluation Form

This review may come with some tips that can help you in the future or it can be pure rubbish. Read it and use the tone of the reviewer and the contents of the review to determine whether or not this review is helpful. In one slightly negative review I received the first line of the review started with “The plot was good. There weren’t any grammatical errors, which is a plus.” That tells me right away that this person was reading with the intent to find something wrong and when you go fishing you’re bound to catch something. Did I take this review to heart? No. I chewed on it and spit it out. In another critical review the reviewer flip-flopped between praising my work and bashing. If you can’t pick a side I can’t take that review to heart. 

Just as a reviewer will dissect your work dissect the review–chew on it and spit it out or use it to nourish your craft. 

March Forward

You got one bad review–and President Obama has received several, he hasn’t moved out of the White House yet. Jesus received so much criticism because of His message–Israel’s leaders wanted to kill Him. That didn’t stop Him from doing the job He was sent to do and one (or two) negative reviews shouldn’t stop you in your tracks.

Write all the stories that are in you. Someone is waiting to read your book.

March forward.


#WriterWednesday: Warning RWW is Prohibited

About two weeks ago one of my colleagues opened her email to show me the first few pages of a novel she’d begun a long time ago and had since abandoned. She wasn’t sure if there was any way her manuscript could be turned into a novel. The more we discussed it I realized why her few pages of writing couldn’t become more than the few pages saved to her email–she had been RWW (Revising While Writing)

Revising While Writing is Prohibited. 

If you keep mulling over your work trying to create the perfect opening you’ll never craft the perfect closing. 
The longer you spend revising paragraphs you’ll never complete a chapter. 

Warning yellow tape with tunnel as backgroundMost writers who step away from their work for an extended period of time are usually prone to revising while writing. I know exactly how it happens you leave the story unattended while dealing with your real life and then when you return and read what you’ve written you slap yourself in the face and reprimand yourself for writing such crap. Then you start rewriting. 


Revising While Writing is Prohibited.

Now, here’s how you curb that. When you step away from your work in progress don’t reread the entire chapter before you start writing. Reread the last two sentences you wrote or the last paragraph if you need more context before you continue. Then write. Don’t make adjustments, play with the words, or give your rebellious heroine a nose ring. Focus on advancing the story instead of rearranging the story.

You can tackle your major issues later.

What are some of the major issues you have with your writing? Leave them in the comments section so, we can tackle them before you’re done.