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Things Critics Do That Piss Me Off

Max Barry
2002

Note: This piece is pretty funny if you're a novelist, but otherwise it's just kind of alarming and foul-mouthed. So be warned.

Also, I've been lucky enough to get pretty good reviews (so far). I don't want you nice critics to think I'm ungrateful. You're ace. It's the other critics who suck.

These are the top 5 sins committed by literary critics against innocent authors everywhere. I don't have to name any names. You know who you are.

#1: Reads My Mind

Example: Barry clearly grows bored with the novel at around the 60,000 word mark, as evidenced by the increasingly shorter chapters.

Max Responds: It's called pacing, you imbecile! Look it up! I was going great at the 60,000 word mark! I had a bad patch at 28,000, but you didn't notice that, did you? Why don't you use your special mental telepathy powers to write horoscopes, you fruit loop!

#2: Spots Plot Holes That Aren't There

Example: Much of the novel is ridiculous; however, when we are expected to believe that Randy survives a flood and still hangs onto his cellphone, our thin remaining thread of belief finally snaps.

Max Responds: He got the cellphone later, you dumb fuck! For crying out loud, it's right there on page 208! He dries off, goes home, and collects his cellphone! Holy mother of God!

#3: Spots Plot Holes That Are There

Max Responds: Shut the fuck up! Go write your own novel, you hack!

#4: Rewrites History

Example: Barry's previous novel was quite amusing and entertaining; this, however, is a poor effort.

Max Responds: You lying weasel, you gave a terrible review to my last novel! Ohhh, sure, now you think it's great, after you poisoned my sales and almost ruined my career. Now it's the greatest novel ever written! Why don't you pretend it's two years from now and you've finished my next novel, so you can write a good review about this one?

#5: Doesn't Like My Book

All of the above can be forgiven, so long as this is not violated. Because if I've spent two years of my life making this book; if I've struggled and raged and cried over it; if I've given as much of myself as I can; and yet you dislike it... well, there must be something wrong with one of us.

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