WEDNESDAY WRITINGS: WORLDS WITHIN WORLDS
Worlds Within Worlds is the working title of a series of metaphysically inclined writings about a writer’s world. They seem to be shaping themselves into a story without my conscious direction and I’m sharing them on Wednesdays. The idea is to let creativity flow as it wishes.
The writings essentially follow three worlds; the physical world of Prunella (Ella) Smith, author, editor and reviewer (yes, she’s based on me); her online world where disgruntled author Dita stalks; Kelee’s world in the fantasy realm of Diamond Peak (a book Prunella is editing) and the world beneath the veil of Ella’s ordinary reality.
An introduction to the series (characters and so on) and a list of the posts in order (should you wish to begin at the beginning) is on the Writer’s World page. Click here for the previous offerings in reverse order.
Unprofessional authors are something many reviewers have to deal with and this is the topic of this weeks excerpt from Prunella’s world.
Reply to Dita, disgruntled author.
My heart pounds, and I take a deep breath to ease away the tension. Dita is not real, I tell myself. At least he can’t turn up on my doorstep and abuse me as he does online. Or can he? I run my various profiles through my mind – I’m appalled at the number of them and I’m only thinking of the ones I actually use – but I’m pretty sure I’ve never left my actual address anywhere; the nearest town, yes, but not the street. I assume he doesn’t live in Australia anyway; most of my contacts are in the USA.
The browser has loaded, but I check Facebook first, anything to delay a visit to my inbox.
How r u?
I find a message waiting. My cousin knows about Dita. I can’t escape the repercussions of him anywhere.
What I really mean is that I don’t want to talk about it. I tell her that I’ve heard nothing more from him and that I figure that will be the end of it – after all, I was pretty clear on my reply.
I’m sorry that you found my review hurtful. It was not my intention. My aim in writing reviews is to be of service to both readers and authors, and to achieve any real benefit to either, I must be totally honest. I assure you that I consider my words carefully and try to be as objective as possible.
Once again my apologies for any hurt that I have inadvertently caused you.
I spent far too long agonising over what I could say to mollify the author that had suddenly started writing vicious things about me. The unfriend button became my instant friend. Why did I ever consider him friend enough to say yes to his request anyway? I invited a viper into my nest.
What I wanted to say was something like:
How dare you complain about my review! You asked me to read your stupid book, practically begged me in fact, then I spend ages wading through the convoluted prose and extraneous words that bogged the story down and rendered it, in the end, unreadable. You should be grateful that I stuck at it as long as I did. I read for enjoyment, but received none from your book, yet you want me to tell the world how brilliant it is! Believe me, my review was kind. I should have told you to give readers a break and never write another word. I should have told readers not to touch the toxic thing with the proverbial barge pole, instead I struggled to find something positive to say about it.
You cite all your 5 star reviews as reason why I am wrong about your book, but when I look at who wrote them, most of the reviewers had never written another review, or very few, and had never rated anything at less than 5 stars. Their reviews totalled 20 words, mine 300. Who spent the longer time on the task? Who has the qualifications to know what they’re taking about? Who should you believe if you want to improve as a writer? Sure, it hurts to learn the truth, but you should have had a professional check it out BEFORE you published.
Just because you can publish your book doesn’t mean that you should.
You should be thanking me for my time and considered opinion, not taking more of my time by being a complete dickhead.
God save the reading public from hack writers.
If I said that though, he’d be calling me a hack writer in public by now. He might be right too – from someone’s perspective. I expect there is someone out there somewhere who will hate either me or my writing enough to call me a hack. But at least I don’t break the most basic of conventions. Some do that with an elegance that takes a book into the realms of art, not Dita though. His work is just plain terrible, and he foists it on the reading public with such fanfare that he believes his own hyperbole.
The saddest thing is that he has plenty of money to throw at it, so its cover graces the top spots on all the big book selling websites. The cover is actually very good – he should have stuck with graphic design – but it lures the unwary buyer, like the stunning flowers of a carnivorous plant. Does anyone enjoy it? The sock puppets make it look as if they do, but did they even read it? Perhaps those 5 star reviews are simply from people who sipped the nectar without realising it was poison. If hyperbole and attractive packaging lead a reader to expect a good product, they’re likely to think that’s what they’ve got. It looks good, it must be good, right? Wrong. And that’s why I’m telling you so.
Cruel; unkind; opinionated; ignorant; I could call him exactly what he called me, but I won’t, at least not in public.
That’s it for today folks. Any comments?
Make sure you don’t miss the next one; click on the ‘World Within Worlds’ link next to ‘Follow these topics’ below.