“From my close observation of writers… they fall into two groups: 1) those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and 2) those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review.”
Bad reviews, I’ve had my share.
They are a rite of passage for anyone who puts anything into a public domain. Be it writing, art, performance, film, or an opinion.
Bad reviews come in two forms. There is the, “This is what is wrong with this work and my suggestions on what the creator should do to make future works better.” Then there is the, “I hated it for no apparent reason. But trust me, it sucks!” review.
Constructive criticism is not a bad review. Not everyone produces awesome every time they create. If writers were perfect, we wouldn’t need editors and blogs like Reasoning With Vampires, that analyse the many faults of the Twilight series wouldn’t be necessary. Constructive criticism tells you were you messed up. It’s a free edit in many cases. At the very least it’s a non-emotional review of your work and it says, here’s some free advice – take it on board if you want.
The bad reviews are the ones that don’t say why they didn’t like it. The ones that sound like trolls, or bullies expressing some schoolyard pre-pubescent outrage and simply wanting to stomp on someone elses pie.
If you read a book that you didn’t like – maybe don’t review it? If it was really, really bad – try contacting the author and pointing out what you felt was wrong with the story.
Reviews of course are opinions, and opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one.
Just ask yourself, what am I getting out of being more of an asshole than my physiology would suggest is necessary?