the good, the bad, and the ugly about the writing life

Meanest Feedback for Writers–a Worst Ten List

Hey Fiction Fans:

Here is a funny blog entry about some of the meanest feedback other writers have gotten from the famous and the infamous alike.

When you are rich and famous writers, please remember the quality of mercy for your fellows.


PS: Michael’s tour-de-force “be more kempt, less sheveled” entry is worth a read!



 Writing criticism is a terribly, terribly hard thing to deal with. There are lots of rules. Never start a piece of writing with a cliché. Never end a sentence with a preposition. Avoid gratuitous adverbs. My first sentence just broke most of them. But while rules abound for the corralling, branding, and slaughtering of bad writing, shouldn’t there be more about what NOT to say to the fragile neophyte writer?

Here is a Top Ten List of some of the worst writing responses that I or someone I know has received (for the ones I may have doled out, mea culpa, and I say that knowing I may do time in Dante’s purgatorio for any poeticides in the second degree that I have inadvertently committed):

1. The Dis and Dismiss. A novelist friend of mine, whose 11 novels as last listed on Wikipedia have received over four…

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