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Critters Bite

I’m getting quite a few critiques on Black Hole Son. The first chapter is in Critters right now, and I think it’s gotten even more buzz than either Blood 2 or Avatar. It’s Monday and I’ve gotten ten critiques.

Three of those, though, were not so nice. One’s first line was that I’ve gotten quite a reputation on Critters, and that it’s not good. He then goes through a 4,090 word critique (of my 7,000 word piece) where he nitpicks every paragraph, every sentence, every word, was met with some harsh, and spiteful-just-for-the-sake-of-being-spiteful comment. I don’t know why, I’ve never critiqued anything of this guy’s as far as I can tell.

The thing that boggles my mind is that he spent so much time on doing so much research on me and my story, just so he could let off some steam. There were three very harsh critiques, and I have no idea why people are being so harsh with this, and were pretty gentle with Blood 2 and Avatar. Maybe I hit upon a bunch of bad apples. Maybe I’m not as good as I thought I was (which doesn’t make sense to me, because I’m light years ahead of myself as far as writing skill since Blood 2). Maybe they thought it was a short story (I didn’t put an RFDR tag on it, because those don’t get many reviews). But these people were unprofessional. They were telling me to throw this away, to give up writing, that they were amazed I could write so much drivel. I’ve never done that in any of my critiques. I offer writing advice based on my own experience.

Sure, it’s hard for me to practice what I preach, but everything I’ve submitted to Critters has been first draft, no revisions. I use words that don’t exist like “quelch” and “scrabble”. All the grammar and spelling mistakes are still there. Maybe I’m opening the door too early. I’ve been thinking that I need to do an intermediary revision before I give it to others to look at. Probably for this reason.

But jeez, these people are expecting Newbery’s on some crappy website made and maintained by a crappy person. Why do they think I have an ego? I could be a nine year old kid for all they know. I don’t think I’m overly harsh in my critiques. I’m telling them what I think as I read, and what parts I like, and what I don’t. I certainly don’t make a big production out of it, not a 4,000 word production.

So I’ve got a 70% positive-ish reaction, and a 30% violently-puking reaction. I think that 30% though is making it personal, which is a cardinal no-no in writing. These 30% though, will probably stick in my craw, because I’m like that. Of course, I’m not going to let it stop me. I think those three people either couldn’t see past me for the work, or (and I shouldn’t say this as a writer) “didn’t get it”. And above all, I should not let this stop me from writing. I believe in Black Hole Son. I think it’s a good work. It’s loose right now, but that’s cause it’s the first draft. Avatar improved drastically. No reason this shouldn’t. Although for my next story, I’ll do something less preachy and moralistic.

Eric J. Juneau

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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