crazy / writing

Aaaaaaand Yet Another Writer Behaving Badly.


Then there is the case of Countdown quiz show winner and narcissistic delusionoid, Mr. Richard Brittain, and his self-published opus, The World Rose, a work that had been originally published on the fan-fiction hub Wattpad. As soon as I read he’d posted it there first, I knew his audience would be in for a treat, a piece filled with stock characters, blatant anachronisms, general continuity errors, silly dialogue and descriptors, and Oh So Much Wordiness. Apparently, he’d not even employed an editor either, probably making it all the more difficult to plod through.

Anyway anyway anyway…

Of course, what can one expect from a readership who loathed the book from the get-go? And how did our hero react? Well, one online review in particular caught his eye, so he did what any rational newbie writer would do when faced with constructive criticism: he traveled 500 miles from London to Scotland to the reviewer’s supermarket workplace so he could smash the poor kid over the head with a wine bottle.

I’ve been over this story’s details again and again since an author acquaintance of mine posted it on Facebook, and it got me thinking…

I read some of the most godawful student writing every week, and honestly, even some of my worst student writers are better at handling my criticism of their work, and I thank my lucky stars (and knock on heavy wood all the time) that, so far, none of them have resorted to violence in reaction to my notes and corrections. As. Of. Yet.

My state, after all, is on the cusp of legalizing concealed carry on campus, and there’s a teensy part of me that worries… It’s irrational, so I keep telling myself. But what would be the point of my job? A’s for everyone? Are we leaning towards that now?


8 thoughts on “Aaaaaaand Yet Another Writer Behaving Badly.

  1. A’s for everyone happened in the 80s. I don’t know what the F we’re doing now. In the 90s, an irate grad student (at the university where I taught!) blasted the brains out of three of his professors. Legal or not, he carried a concealed weapon.

    In all the years I taught writing, I never got angry at my students for writing badly — that was why I was there, BUT the couple of times since I retired that I attempted to become part of a writing workshop and then a writers group, I found myself furious at THEIR bad writing. It pissed me off so badly I couldn’t sleep. Partly it was because I didn’t have the power to “enforce” good writing on any of them — I might spend hours working on their stuff and it would not make any difference. And for FREE!!!! At least teaching I got $75 for each classroom hour…

    Liked by 1 person

      • ME TOO! It finally broke my heart, that and their desperation to rectify it and the fact that neither they — nor I — had the power to fix it. When I think about it, I always feel like crying. Tonight I got a little note from Youtube saying someone had left me a message. Some student somewhere watched my simple short slide show on “How to Identify a Thesis Statement.” He’d written. “Thank you. This really helped me.” More than 10,000 students have looked at that little thing. When that happens, I feel like a million dollars and subversive as hell.

        Liked by 1 person

      • No, nothing like that. Just other versions of awful, like the retired attorney who said, “I left my law practice a few months ago and decided that I may as well write fiction.” It was SO BAD IT HURT TO READ. I truly HATE that attitude. I hate overwriting and wordiness and the imprecise use of alleged synonyms gleaned from an online thesaurus. Most of all, I had no idea I felt so strongly about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think if somebody is gonna be a violent douche over something they wrote then they are inclined to be a violent douche anyway.I don’t think it’s irrational to worry when a percentage of your student body is gonna be armed and you’ve no clue who they will be. That’s pretty crazy. I think I’ve probably hooked a free A or two in my time and that did me no favors. There are a few things that I can still struggle with, basic things, especially when it comes to writing. Props to you for actually doing your job. Many of your students will be better off for earning their As in the long run. Hopefully the new laws won’t result in any kind of heavy crap going down. Be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly, I half wrote that bit knowing practically that the majority of students understand the concept of “earning” grades. I HAVE been, however, physically “intimidated” over not accepting late work or giving a student a zero for plagiarizing a paper. Both young men used their body mass to closely, tightly hover over me (I am 5’3). I didn’t cave, but I was still frightened enough. I put in a report at the school on both, but I wasn’t given any follow-back. Neither showed up in my classes again though, so I just assumed it had been handled. We had “active shooter” training on campus only days ago, but it was the most worthless “training” I’ve experienced (“run, hide, fight” was the motto, like we wouldn’t do one of the three anyway). And the answers we got were non-answers because of legal bullshit we could possibly face as end consequences. So much for the value of the lives of us, never mind our students.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In that situation it takes a combat posture to eliminate the obvious threat to life…something that regular people should never be called on to do in the first place. I’ve seen similar training things outlined and all of them are equally worthless…just so they can say that people have had it for all the legalmumbojumbopaperwork bullshit. But let’s never do the easy thing and not pass anymore bullshit concealed-carry political lobby assery crap or just make it harder for lunatics to get better tools in order to be better lunatics. Geez, you’re a tiny thing ;).

    Liked by 1 person

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