Well, new novelists. A few months into seriously writing a new novel, you're going to discover that you've mutated.
Yeah. Like the X-Men.
You're just not a normal human being any more.
Personally, I think this is great, because normal is... well... boring.
You'll see yourself differently and you'll look at the world differently. And sometimes, the normal people will speak. And you'll think they might as well be speaking Swahili.
But today, I'm going to introduce you to another mutation in the human race. Here's some info I want you to remember.
Description: The critic is a versatile and dangerous natural enemy to the writer. Usually, their calls take one of these forms:
- So what's your real job?
- Do you really think you have something to write?
- All the stories have been written already.
- But you're not published, are you?
- What could there possibly be to writing a novel? (Implication: that you're a prize idiot for taking long to finish writing.)
There are many more, but you get the idea. Their attacks are civilized, but if they hit home, they're absolutely deadly to your muse. Do not. I repeat. Do NOT let their attacks stick.
Defense: I prefer hitting them in the face with the shovel. But since that's sort of illegal, the better idea is to use sarcasm. Or, if you're the type of person who never gets the snappy come-backs, there's another full proof way to get a critic to
froth at the mouth shut up:
Practice the bestest best of your smug wise-ass smiles. Got it? No teeth. It makes you look like a werewolf. Good.
Now. Repeat after me:
"Why don't you write a book and then ask that question again? Because right now, you haven't a clue."
And then you walk away and pat yourself on the back being civilized while putting the critic in his or her place.
Probably while contemplating a short trip to the garden shed.
So vets. How do you deal with critics?