I got my first scathing bit of feedback. I don’t know that I’ve ever had feedback this harsh before, but it was bound to happen someday. Maybe you’ve seen places where authors fired back on their reviewers. It happens – authors do behave badly sometimes. Which made me intellectually curious about my own reaction.
Writing is a tricky thing. It’s personal – and public. Your writing is an extension of you, creatively of course – if you’re physically tethered to your writing, see a doctor. But your writing is still out there for public consumption, prodding or praise. Erotic stories are a genre all their own with rules that defy logic, flip the bird to caution and operate balls to the wall. I knew writing these was going to get some interesting feedback, so in a way I was ready for it – and I wasn’t.
My feedback came by way of an online critique forum. A person who doesn’t read erotic read a few pages and gave feedback. Some of it was constructive and some of it wasn’t. Many of the points were cleared up later in the manuscript, but there are other points still rolling around in my head, things no one else has mentioned before. I’ll have to muddle through them and see if there’s any merit for expending words on fixing the issues later, but I’m more interested in my reaction.
The initial knee jerk sensation of seeing my previously five-star rated story downgraded by a one star wasn’t happy, but it was a big red flag. I skimmed the comments, scoffed at the critique and flipped to the next page – one of my more glowing critiques. I went back three more times and each time got more serious about the comments, weighing them, feeling a little more sensitive but trying to be objective about it. And then I asked another erotic romance author I respect what her take on the situation was.