Reviewing Responses to Reviews

Thought I’d throw open this one from my writing/editing/composing blog to the wider readership I have here …

Leslie Hyla Winton Noble


(I wrote this some while back, and then vacillated about posting it for fear of giving offence.  However, on re-reading, I don’t see why it should.)

A question for any writer, obscure or world-famous, relates to responses to reviews.  What would you assume the consensus on policy is?  Respond?  Argue? Remain aloof?

I had always believed that it was ‘bad form’ to reply in any way.

Recently expressed opinions, however, reflect that this is not so, but nevertheless the most frequently offered ‘definite no-no’ is responding in any way to awful reviews. There, the argument goes, one cannot convince anyone who is heavily bigoted, and will merely come out of the exchange looking petulant. One-star on Amazon?  Ignore. ‘The most putrid lump of garbage I have ever read’ ? Ignore. Of course, with such reviews, it is a good idea to pretend something like a handy pillow or punch-bag…

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About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
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9 Responses to Reviewing Responses to Reviews

  1. Arkenaten says:

    I hold with the old opinion.
    Stay Mum.
    I said as much on the original post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. calmgrove says:

    I’d imagine a seasoned author to have a filter system trapping all the trolls and ignorant reviewers who don’t know their ampersand from their epitome, but those crits written by intelligent writers who’ve somehow missed the point are much harder, I agree.

    (This from someone who’s never published any extended fiction.)

    Tempting, I’m sure, but if one has to give a rejoinder I personally would always keep it polite, never sarcastic, and just discontinue the conversation if they got arsey.


  3. disperser says:

    I replied to the original.


  4. gipsika says:

    Col, I have the right to remain silent but I won’t – I’ve known you for 8 years and why the heck do I only get a link to your actual writing blog now???

    (Note THREE question marks?? That’s even more intensely intense than just two!!)

    Liked by 1 person

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