Ewww, this pisses me off, and I have nowhere else to rant except here.
My novel, The Bell Witch, currently has 142 reviews. They’re heavily (and I mean heavily) weighted toward 4- and 5-star reviews. But, of course, I am a thin-skinned writer full of doubts, so anything below a 4-star automatically earns my derision and ire. Imagine the loathing I reserve for the one-star reviews. Grrr….
Anyway, I pop into Amazon today to see my 142nd review. It’s a four-star review, so great, right?
Go there and take a look.
“Excellent story, beautiful writing – unfortunate grammatical errors,” says the review’s title…and four stars. It doesn’t start well, either:
“I have not yet finished reading this book yet I felt compelled to write a review. The story is enthralling and the writing is beautiful, however I cannot help but be bothered by the numerous grammatical errors. I only wish that the book had been better proofread, as I personally find these errors to be quite distracting as well as indicative of a lesser caliber writing than I believe this author is truly capable. Overall though, an excellent book thus far – I can only anticipate that the remainder shall continue to be as interesting and vivid.”
I’m going to let the whole “I’m not finished with the book yet I felt compelled to write a review” thing go, lest my head explodes.
But “numerous grammatical errors?” That makes my skin crawl, my blood boil and, well, there went my head…it exploded anyway. Grammatical errors?
OK, I admit that I am no one’s choice for grammar teacher. But I do take pains, and I mean PAINS, to ensure my writing is correct. And I can assure you that each of my books is professionally edited. That said, I might take some stylistic approaches sometimes that aren’t textbook grammatical, but grammatical errors? Numerous? Wow, that pisses me the fuck off.
The Bell Witch is also set nearly 200 years ago, when people spoke differently. Maybe that’s it. Or there might be a typo or two, I’m not above making a mistake as an author. But, wow, to call me out for “numerous grammatical errors” and base your unfinished review on this really, really strains credulity.
Wow, tell me you don’t like the book (after you actually read it, please). Tell me that you don’t like my style or my subject matter.
Just don’t tell me I’m doing it wrong.
(I guess those two previous words are incomplete sentences…whatever.)