Authors on the Playground/ Third party revenge

IMG_0228You probably remember from an earlier post that I’ve been submitting my writing to Scriblophile.com for critiques. I’ve gotten plenty of bad reviews on a lot of my writing. Not fun! But my most recent submission, a horror short story,  actually did pretty well. Everyone seemed to really like it, though they did point out some typos that I hadn’t noticed. So, an all around good experience.

 

That is, until the last critique rolled in.

Doom, doom, doom!

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He was brutal. According to him, everything was wrong about my writing. From word one, he hated it, even the title! But half of his complaints were completely invalid, and the other half didn’t even make sense. And, yes, they were complaints and not critique notes.

His critique was so intensely negative, my first thought was that I must have done something to piss him off. So I went onto Scriblophile and checked to see if maybe I had given him a review he didn’t like (though I try very hard to be as gentle as possible with my critiques) and I found nothing. I had never reviewed, critiqued, commented, or even looked at his writing before.

Then I thought that maybe he was a really good writer and he was seeing problems with my writing that I just couldn’t understand yet. So, I went and read his latest posted work.

. . . . . . . . . .

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Okay, his writing totally sucked. Though grammatically correct, it read like a math manual.

Still very confused, I decided to scroll down and read the reviews from other writers to see what they thought. They all agreed, his writing pretty much sucked. They were kind of harsh (though completely justified) in their reviews. As I was reading more and more of the critiques, things started to sound really familiar.

Hey, these critiquers are complaining about the same things in his writing that he was complaining about in my writing!

At first I thought he was just being a hypocrite, but then I started finding lines in these reviews that were word-for-word the exact same as what he wrote for my review.

That’s when I finally understood. He got pissed at those reviewers, so he went and took it out on me. My two-year-old niece does stuff like that. I would have sent him a message telling him to grow up, but according to his profile he’s in his seventies, so if he was going to act like an adult he probably would have started by now.IMG_0229

Well, as long as he doesn’t start throwing toys at me or hogging the swings, I guess I can just ignore him.   : (

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Toys- Not to be thrown!

Sorry, this post is temporarily unavailable do to the Olympics!

IMG_0228The sports-personship, the majesty, the Olympics! I’m not a huge sports fan. I turn up my nose to American football, I poo-poo baseball, and groan at basketball, but I loooooovvvve the Olympics. There are so many things to watch and there’s so many countries to cheer for. Yay, Olympics! My summertime bliss that only comes by every four years.

And it’s not easy being a die-hard Olympic fan. I’ve been suffering from a sore butt from sitting on the couch too long, and sore hands from clapping too hard, and a sore throat from cheering too loud.

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And the hours are grueling! The competitions start at about seven in the morning and last until well passed midnight. I haven’t gotten more than four hours of sleep per night in over a week! But I can’t stop now, I still have days left to go. And these athletes need me. Who else will cheer on that ping-pong player from Tobago that’s competing at three in the morning? Me and his mom. And I’m not about to abandon her to cheer all alone!

So bring it Taiwanese golfer! Compete as hard as you can Tobagin ping-pong player! Don’t give up gymnast from India! I will be cheering for you as loud as I can 24/7!

Oh, and writing, yeah that will have to wait.IMG_0230

My bad habit

IMG_0166I have a terrible habit. I’ve tried to kick it, I really have, but it never seemed to go away when I wanted it to. Some people can’t quit smoking. Some people can’t quit cursing. I can’t quit respect ranking people.

What is respect ranking? It’s the value of respect a person is allowed based on their perceived intelligence level relative to myself and their position. (This is the technical meaning as defined by the crazy workings of my brain.)

I’ve had this problem since college. Here’s how it works: I walk into a new classroom and I’m polite to everyone, and I give absolutely the most respect to the instructor. The instructors have the most experience in the room, they are probably the most educated, they know the most about the subject, so they deserve respect.

The smartest gets the most respect, that doesn’t seem too bad right?

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The problem happens if I ever get an indication that the instructor isn’t as smart as I thought. Specifically, if I find out that I know more about the subject than the professor. Then my brain is like, “Hey, you were supposed to be so smart, but you’re just a faker!” I instantly feel so cheated. My respect for the instructor goes from the absolute highest to the lowest in the blink of an eye. I start questioning everything the instructor says, even things that aren’t related to the subject of the class. I stop taking notes during class and sometimes I’ll even roll my eyes during lectures. I go from the best kind of student to the worst, and I can’t seem to help myself. Thankfully, once I finished at university, that bad habit seemed to go away on its own.

But, now that I’m taking writing classes I’m noticing that same bad habit popping its ugly head up again.

Here’s what happened: I was gleefully following along with my editing class, being a good little student, when Bam! the teacher uses an example to show a paragraph that needs to be fixed. At first I didn’t understand, the paragraph looked formal, but otherwise fine. I brushed my confusion aside with the thoughts “Well, I don’t understand because I’m still a student. The much smarter instructor will explain soon.”

Weeeeelllll, not so much.

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The instructor said that the problem with the paragraph was that it was “unbearably pompous” and that “no one could get any information out of this paragraph”. I read the paragraph and then read it again. To me it was completely clear what the paragraph was saying, it was a little formal, but otherwise perfectly easy to read.

Then she gave her “fixed” version. I read it and cringed. The paragraph wasn’t fixed, it was just dumbed down. The intended audience was university faculty, and the original paragraph was written at a post-grad reading level, the “fixed” version was written at about a grade-school reading level.

How the heck was that supposed to be better?

Then I realized the horrible truth, the instructor’s reading comprehension level was much, MUCH lower than mine.

Aw crap!

Can you hear that? It’s the bubbly sound of my respect for the instructor fizzling away.

Now I struggle to drag myself through my editing class. Trying to pay attention in class is so hard!IMG_0133