Good Monday Morning! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Today I'm going to discuss negative reviews and the term TSTL. For those of you not familiar with it. TSTL stands for Too Stupid To Live and some reviewers use this term to describe characters, mainly females, in their reviews.
Before I get into my thoughts, let me do my disclaimer: I understand when I publish a book that not everyone is going to love it. By putting myself out there, I'm opening the door for the public to judge me. Okay, disclaimer done. Moving on...
I'm fine with negative reviews, I try to look at them as a way to improve. If you want to leave a negative review, please do so in a constructive way for two reasons. 1. I'm a real person. I have feelings just like you do. And when a writer puts their heart and soul into their characters and the story they've developed, we kind of tend to take things personally. Honestly, some of the things in negative reviews hurt. 2. Saying you hated this book or anything else along those lines doesn't HELP me! How can I improve so that you will enjoy my writing more? If you don't like a book, tell me WHY. Was it the storyline? Was it the grammar? Was it the setting? Let me know so I can get better!
Now on to TSTL. I have a MAJOR issue with this phrase. If you use this phrase, then I feel like it speaks to YOUR character, not my fictional ones. As I stated above, writers pour their heart and souls into these stories. Maybe it's loosely based around real life or someone they know, maybe it's a story that needs to be told. To us, the writers, they are our babies. They are like real life people to us. Maybe the reader doesn't agree with everything they do or how they act, but then again, in real life, how many of your friends, family, co-workers, can you think of that don't act exactly how you think they should? Probably more than one, right? So, my question to you is, would you tell them that they are too stupid to live? If you do, wow, just wow. I know it seems like a harmless phrase since the characters are fictional, but the dagger goes deep when a writer reads those words.
So, I'm not saying don't leave negative reviews. I'm saying, leave honest, constructive ones. You're letting other readers know what to expect and you're helping the author in the long run. Who knows, maybe one day, you'll find your name in the acknowledgments???