Facing Harsh Reviews

1.4K 170 288
                                    

Let's face it -- it happens to all of us. We ask for a review, and we get a review that takes our self-esteem, shoves it into a blender with some asparagus, and then throws all three -- the blender, asparagus, and self-esteem -- into a volcano.

However, there are ways to cope with these reviews. In this chapter, we will discuss the yays and nays of facing harsh reviews. But before we launch into that, my dear co-writer, Painite, would like to present you with a story from the Bible of Reviewers.

Once upon a time (I just went through the cliché route of storytelling, didn't I?) there was a dragon who loved reading books and blowtorching people. One day, a fair maiden decided to ask the beast for assistance.

"Hey, can I ask for a review?" she asked.

"Sure," replied the dragon.

I'm sure most of you reading know that most reviewers require payment for the work they do. The dragon just wanted the lady to read and comment on a story it had written. All was good and peaceful, they became Wattpad friends and stuff...

Until the day of reckoning (or, well, blowtorching) came.

I guess that lady didn't think it was necessary for her to wear armour to begin with. What she was dealing with was a Soul Reaper type reviewer (I don't know if she checked my previous reviews or not) that charred her book all the way down.

Um, to be fair, it was seriously cliche, with the woman being all, "I'm independent!" but crumbles down so easily when the (hot) guy comes. The pace was too fast -- it gave the poor dragon whiplash and a splitting headache. And boy, don't even get me started on the grammar. (Going on a rant here...)

Anywho, after that, the maiden messaged Queen Sunshine right away, asking her to take down the dragon's review. The reason? She was afraid the book would lose reads if her other readers (or potential readers) saw it.

"Um, we need the dragon's permission first," Queen Sunshine said, already messaging the reaper.

"No way," answered the dragon right away.

And yes, the woman was seriously persistent. She said it wouldn't be a problem since she flood-voted the story anyway, so we should just chuck the reviews we worked so hard on into the trashcan when someone doesn't like it. That woman even went as far as screaming in the screen. Does it sound fair? I don't know, but I still stood my -- oops, I mean, the dragon still stood its ground.

The two went on it for weeks before the other party suddenly went silent.

Legend has it that the cursed, blowtorched review still lies in the depths of the Sapphire Review Store...

... And yep, Sunshine here to confirm that it does. I only remove reviews after receiving permission from both parties, unless the review was unreasonably rude and unprofessional. In this case, the review was actually quite professional and, though blunt, was not even near rude.

Which leads us into the content of the chapter: what should you do if you're not happy with a review? Should you scream at the reviewer? No. Should you eat ice cream? Yes. You should always eat ice cream.

So, without any further ado, here are the ten commandments!

Let's talk about what you should not do first:

1. Thou shalt not degrade other people's stories to make thyself feel better.

It's human nature to compare our work to others. I've once had someone openly confess that they read my story looking for something bad about it, just so that they had something to cling on to if I gave them an unpleasant review. While I appreciated the honesty, I have to say that is the worst way possible to handle a review.

101 Writing Tips from an Exhausted ReviewerWhere stories live. Discover now