By: Linda M. Crate
I am a writer. It is my passion, my love, and my favorite skill set so to speak. I have been writing since I was thirteen years old. I started with poetry. To date I have many poems and short stories published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. I also have a few reviews and articles scattered about in various places.
I have been writing novels since I was sixteen.
So you can’t imagine how pleased I was when Ravenswood Publishing published my novel Blood & Magic in March 2015. It was pretty exciting for me since I have always been the shy little wallflower with a dream ever since I was a kid. It put a stop to the naysayers that told me that I was never going to achieve my dreams.
Recently my novel Dragons & Magic was published (October 1st, 2015). It’s the second novel in my Magic Series in which there will be seven books total.
However, Monday I received an email that left me in a sea of paralyzing self-loathing and self-doubt. It was a review that my editor forwarded me from a review site where the reviewer claimed that my writing style wasn’t to their taste and was too flowery and that crippled the narrative rather than helped it and that I needed to rewrite the book, that the story may get better but they just couldn’t get that far; but I had an interesting story. Um, thanks?
Telling someone who has spent months, hours, and years working on her novels that she needs to rewrite the novel once it gets published is so narcissistic and entitled that I don’t know how I’m supposed to react. I’m a mixture of both crushed and very angry.
It is very fine and well not to like someone’s book, don’t get me wrong. I know my novels won’t be to everyone’s taste for taste is subjective. However, it is the first input my publisher and I are getting of my novel. You pretty much just spit in my face and told me that I suck and I should give up my dream.
Now I’m terrified of losing my contract and that the other five books I have planned for this series won’t see the light of day.
It’s not okay to tell someone to give up their dream or that they need to rewrite their novel. What it tells me is that this person has never had a dream of writing. I sincerely hope they don’t. Because for someone to stomp so heavily on my dreams is an indicator that they are not a very kind person.
My only regret is the review site didn’t give me the name of this person. I would love to know whose music, writing, or art I shouldn’t support in the future.
It is perfectly okay to tell someone that you don’t like their book or offer constructive criticism as long as it’s constructive. However, to tell someone to rewrite their book is extremely crass and rude in my humble opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but words do matter and how you use them does matter.
As I keep writing these books, I have the hopes that my contract will remain. However, it’s hard for me to hold onto this hope and be happy when these negative thoughts keep swirling around in my head.
There are plenty of books I haven’t liked, but I never left reviews. You know why? Because I believe in people and I believe that people should follow their hearts and their dreams. I am just disheartened that someone would be so cruel as to spit in the face of mine.