Most writers are a bit sensitive . . . vulnerable . . . defensive . . . protective about their work. I can’t tell you how many people liken tough criticism of their writing to being told that their baby is ugly. I was that way for probably the first fifty or sixty books, but I pretty much got over it after that.
However . . . I got a complaint from a reader about one of my recent books. She didn’t like it, not one bit — not the hero, the heroine, the plot, the writing, nothing.
That part didn’t bother me, beyond making me stick out my tongue at the computer. Yes, I am so grown up.
The part that really did get to me was her comment that the “grammar and punctuation was real bad all thru the book.”
I pride myself on knowing proper grammar and punctuation. I should; when I was in school, they started teaching them in third grade and didn’t stop until eleventh. I may not remember all the proper names, but I know when it’s right (based on the rules that reigned back then) and I know when the rules can be broken for style or should be broken for clarity. I don’t easily accept correction in those areas of writing unless you’ve got a style manual to back you up. And to be criticized with bad grammar and misspelled words . . . I’m pretty sure my blood pressure redlined.
Then the eruption subsided and the reality of the situation set in: she told me my baby was ugly, and all that upset me was the addition that “oh, by the way, her clothes are ugly, too.”
Yep, I think I’m a tad sensitive.