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Allow me to talk behind your back so you can be righteously outraged, STGRB.

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Apparently while I was on vacation, our friends at Stop The GoodReads Bullies posted this shocking exposé about what a horrible, jealous person I am. And they discovered my closely guarded secret by reading a blog post I made in which I said I have professional jealousy. You know. The one in which I explained why writers experience professional jealousy over the recent P2P glut in traditional publishing. But they put together these obscure clues and boy, did they ever show me! They didn’t even have to write their own post, they just used screencaps of the one I wrote! Man, how did they do that? I was being so sneaky and dishonest in covering all that up.

Because the bloggers at STGRB lack any sense of self-awareness about how ridiculous and idiotic they are, I thought I’d do everybody and favor and refute some of their post. They begin with:

Professional jealousy is a topic that has been brought up several times on our blog in reference to some of the bullies. These are the bullies in our lists who are not just readers, but also authors who seek out other authors to harass, threaten, bully, and otherwise destroy their careers. Namely, these are authors like LH, AH, AS, etc. They are the ones who’ve bullied other, more successful authors like Jamie McGuire, Jessica Park, Amanda Hocking, EL James, Anne Rice, etc.

Ah, McGuire, Hocking, James, Rice… all authors whose careers have been cut tragically short by bullying. They showed such promise, yet now languish in obscurity, nary a penny to their names, because they experienced criticism. And as STGRB has warned us– oh! how they have warned us!– any amount of criticism whatsoever endangers an author’s important fee-fees. I remember that time when I made fun of 50 Shades of Grey and everyone returned those books to the store and it ruined E.L. James’s career.

More than once, our blog readers have made the comment that professional jealousy plays a HUGE role in this bullying and we at STGRB have to agree. However, we’ve never shown you actual proof of this fact until today.

Yeah, well, their blog readers also once rejoiced that they’d vanquished me by getting Blogger to slap a content warning on my old blog, even though the content warning was put there by me and had been there before whatever demented little crusade they thought they were waging even happened. I’d even made a post explaining that in order to abide by Blogger’s new TOS, I had put that content warning up, but clearly the changes in the TOS were affected by six or seven logic-impaired morons at an “anti-bullying” bully site, so they won! Good for them!

What I wrote in my post obviously doesn’t reflect the feelings or opinions of every single author who ever disagreed with STGRB. I know this because there are soooooo many people who disagree with them, it would be impossible for me to make a statement on their behalf without at least some kind of informal town hall meeting wherein we could vote to a consensus as to what would go into that, er, statement. Lost where I was going there. I feel like I should stop and clarify for anyone from STGRB that is reading this that in the paragraph after the first quote I was exaggerating for humorous purposes. I need to make that clear before they run off and make a post about how I really, truly believe that I’m powerful enough to destroy author careers. Because they cannot grasp irony. I do know they’re reading this, by the way, I’m not paranoid or flattering myself:

Now, ever since Jenny Trout was banned from Anne Rice’s blog a few weeks ago, we’ve been keeping a close eye on her.

Huh. Well, that’s a weird fucking thing to say. I feel like I should check my body for electronic tags or something.

If you all don’t remember that wonderful episode, we covered it in Anne Rice Bans the Bullies. Basically, Anne left a link on her Facebook page to our blog post covering Carpet Bomber #9, Nenia Campbell. Upon hearing of this, Jenny Trout, along with several other of her bully friends, hopped on over to Anne’s Facebook page, harassed her, and tried to get her to believe lies about about our website in order to discourage her from supporting us.

jets
Pictured: Jenny Trout, along with several of her bully friends.
jets2
We were like, “We’re coming for you, Anne.”

Now, in Jenny’s recent blog rant on author Anna Todd and Anna’s immensely successful book, After, Jenny Trout not only harshly criticizes Anna’s book (or more appropriately, her manuscript) for very minor, very fixable problems, she insults Anna personally, coming very close to calling her a plagiarist.

Whoa there. Wait a minute. In the blog post they’re referring to here, I say that 50 Shades of Grey is borderline plagiarized. I’ve never made plagiarism allegations toward After, but a reader commented on my blog that they found plagiarized content in a chapter. I never called Anna Todd a plagiarist. While I may have come out of the gate hard about Anna Todd, the post featured on STGRB isn’t a personal criticism of Todd as a person. In fact, since I’ve learned more about her, I’ve found her to be the anti-James. She sincerely appreciates the fandom who boosted her to this success, and she expresses gratitude to them for it. I respect her for that, but that doesn’t mean I can’t also have problems with publishing acquiring fanfic, with the poor quality of the manuscript, or with some of Todd’s statements about her writing process.

I don’t know, STGRB, you’re fucking up a lot of your post. You must not have been keeping that close an eye on me.

They go on to scold me for suggesting After is remotely similar to any other book and attempt to educate me on how blockbuster novels are launched. Obviously after spending two years following the 50SoG phenomenon, I’ve never given the subject a thought. And then they offer some advice:

GET OVER IT. STOP comparing yourself to other people and their career success.

I was kind of comparing everyone currently struggling in the business to this situation, but that’s still advice, I guess.

START focusing on yourself, your writing, and your career successes no matter how small they are.

First of all, that is most back-handed compliment-style advice I’ve ever seen. “No matter how small they are.” What gives them the impression that my career successes are small? Or even, that they’re small to me? And what makes them think I’ve survived a decade in this job without focusing on my writing and my career? I’ve heard this “focus on your own writing/career” thing for a while now, ever since I started blogging about 50 Shades of Grey, and it’s never quite made sense to me because… this is my career. This is my writing. Yes, I write books, but without the blog and the readers who have found me through it, those books wouldn’t be nearly as successful as they are. So… I kind of am focusing on my writing… it’s what they’re so pissed off about.

So, what are you going to do? Constantly bitch and moan about other people’s success and sit in your corner of the room with your arms crossed and a scowl on your face?

Photo on 6-6-14 at 3.53 PM #2
Yes? That’s kind of my thing.

OR are you going to be an adult and choose to be happy with yourself and your life and your own success regardless of others who are doing better than you?

Neither, bitch! I’m going to decorate this sick ass DIY lawn gnome and I’m going to completely disregard the instructions on the package! WHAT NOW STGRB? WHAT NOW? Photo on 6-6-14 at 3.53 PM

Here’s what the people at STGRB, and basically anyone who sang me that same tired song during the 50SoG recaps, are missing: when I, or any other author, gets frustrated, experiences professional jealousy, or is in general disappointed with the P2P phenomenon, it’s not because we’re not spending enough time on our own writing. In fact, it’s the opposite; we’re wondering why we’re spending all this time in the first place. And it’s not just jealous wannabe losers like me who are fed up with the fanfic trend. Plenty of authors who are more successful than I am (and don’t worry about me, STGRB, because I’m doing just fine with my “small” successes) are rolling their eyes at P2P deals. You can be successful, appreciate what you’ve done, and still think the industry does shitty stuff. And you can do it while still maintaining your own career.

If you’re a regular commenter here, you might have been featured in screencaps in the STGRB post, as well, because STGRB has a bone to pick with you, too, damnit! You’re all jealous! JUST JEALOUS! IN A POST ABOUT PROFESSIONAL JEALOUSY! HOW COULD YOU?!

The only thing about their post that really bothered me was when the author of the post, Johnny B Good, made the following statement in the comments:

In her post, Jenny does complain about publishers, but if you read the rest of her blog, she has a very unhealthy obsession with Anna. She is constantly talking about her and ripping her book. She is so green with envy, it’s sad.

And:

Blog, not blog post. Check out the rest of her blog. In other posts on her blog, you’ll notice she has an unhealthy obsession with Anna. It’s jealousy.

Another commenter, Tweedle Dum, chimed in with:

She has an obsession with Anna because they all have an obsession with successful fanfic. Jenny T. is not the frist person to stalk a successful p2p author.

Now, hang on a second there. The “stalk” word is out, and the “unhealthy obsession” word, as well. I’ve made seven posts on this blog about anything to do with Anna Todd and After, out of six hundred and eighty posts total. That means my “unhealthy obsession” takes up a whopping 1.02% of my entire blog… so maybe we need to think twice before linking my name with “stalk.” And I think it’s pretty ballsy, on top of that, to say some shit like, “we’ve been keeping a close eye” on someone, then criticizing them for having an unhealthy obsession.

I guess what I’m saying on this one, STGRB, is, come get it. Continue making posts about me. Lord knows I had fun last night reading your post in an over-the-top, melodramatic voice, and with my crippling daddy issues, it’s not like I don’t appreciate the negative attention. Every time you make one of your laughable little “gotcha!” posts, I’ll probably blog about it to make fun of you, and I’ll have a good time doing it. But eventually it will get boring, because you’re boring, and you’re never going to find anything on me that I wouldn’t have admitted to, anyway. Which is exactly what you tried– and abysmally failed– to do here.

 

96 Comments

    • Lara
      Lara

      OMG! That was awesome!! Perfect summation. Well played!

      June 6, 2014
      |Reply
  1. Amanda
    Amanda

    I like that they said the ~manuscript only had “very minor, very fixable problems”. I wonder what they’d have to read to actually say “Wow, please get your shit together”.

    June 6, 2014
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    • merc
      merc

      Oh god I laughed aloud. WHAT INDEED? A preface that says, “FYI this is plagiarized from Twilight and I chose not to use commas or quotation marks”?? Or does that just get to be “part of someone’s writing process” now?

      June 7, 2014
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  2. 1) I want that lawn gnome. That’s awesome (and made me actually laugh out loud).

    2) I’m seeing some unfortunate shades of a common issue here – being female on the internet involves having to “prove” your qualifications :-\ I don’t think that’s the entire issue here, obviously, but it makes me sad you feel like you’re having to throw out assertions about being successful, a “real” author/blogger, etc. Your opinions should be just as valid as anyone else with a successful blog and readers who want to hear them.

    3) Since when was professional jealousy a surprise to anyone? I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a single author who was NEVER jealous of anyone else in the publishing business. 99.9999% of us can’t be at the top of the publishing heap, and it’s only natural to look to the people making more money/sales/success than you and say “Huh, wouldn’t that be nice!”

    June 6, 2014
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    • Retro
      Retro

      I’d go a step further and say professional jealousy is common in many fields. Lawyers are jealous. Doctors are jealous. Teachers are jealous.

      It’s natural to compare yourself to others in your line of work and wonder why they’re more successful than you. It’s also natural to be annoyed when they’re apparently flaunting all the rules (be original! proofread! create memorable characters!) and being rewarded for it while you, who have tried to be the best within the parameters you were taught, are not.

      This kind of ‘leave the poor successful author’ mentality is very high school wannabes trying to get in with the popular crowd.

      June 7, 2014
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      • Flo
        Flo

        You are exactly right Retro, and without jealousy and a certain amount of professional competitiveness, we’d all be the same. Pretty friggin’ boring.

        I guess I don’t understand how anyone in any type of creative work doesn’t realize that criticism is all part of the creative process. I used to compete in a lot of photography categories at various levels. I can’t tell you the number of times that I thought I had something wonderful that didn’t get so much as a look, and other times things that I thought were utter crap ended up winning awards. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps I was looking at it all wrong and should have been slashing the tires of the judges?

        June 9, 2014
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    • Yes please tell me where I can purchase said lawn gnome as I need it for my daughter’s birthday.

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
  3. Promise
    Promise

    Wow, the folks over at STGRB have to be lamest people on the planet. Talk about lack of perspective!

    Jenny, you rock (and you know it)!

    June 6, 2014
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  4. I have yet to even attempt to get published, but I am a reader woefully disappointed and disgusted with 80% of the offerings getting published these days. The success of books like 50 Shades and After mean we will only get more of the same and there will be fewer and fewer quality books.

    JK Rowling, Stephen King, George RR Martin, Amy Tan, Lisa See and myriad other writers have had great success and are not receiving this kind of criticism. So if it’s simply bullying and jealousy, someone needs to explain why they don’t get targeted as well. That these people believe After has only minor, easily-fixed problems makes me weep for lierature’s future.

    June 6, 2014
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    • MsBlack
      MsBlack

      I remember the Harry Potter craze. Everyone and their brother bitched about those books. In my mind, I got harassed for being a Harry Potter fan roughly the same amount as a Twilight fan gets now. For whatever reason, people wizened up and now fondly speak of Harry Potter. Maybe my school was just filled with jock snobs?

      I’m not about to compare Harry Potter to Twilight, but I understand how the fans of those books feel.

      Amy Tan is brilliant, but no one lined up around the corner to catch a screening of the Joy Luck Club. Only when something is insanely popular do the critics get more vocal.

      And I could complain for ages about Stephen King’s books. Everyone is a critic.

      Not to diminish your point. The internalized misogyny in all these hyper popular books makes me depressed. I’m not a writer, so lots of grammar errors will pass me. Odd metaphors and generally weird language logic won’t though. These books have problems for sure, but no matter how brilliant the writer they’ll likely have bad reviews on GR or somewhere.

      June 6, 2014
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      • There is no novel that everyone will like. Of course everything has a bad review or 10. But I never saw the pushback on HP that I saw for Twilight or even more, 50 Shades. I saw it from religious zealots, but not the mainstream. I have a few criticisms myself. Rowling could use some grammar lessons. But everything else was wonderful.

        I’m sure you’re not alone in disliking Stephen King but, again, there is not a huge mainstream effort to criticize his work. Not like you see with 50 Shades and what’s growing with After. These are terriblly written books and I question the literacy of anyone who thinks otherwise.

        June 6, 2014
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        • MsBlack
          MsBlack

          I saw the push back for Harry Potter. Well, actually I felt it. I also saw it with the Hunger Games.

          You’re completely right about Stephen King. I also can’t stand anything that Bret Easton Ellis has written, and I don’t see the same hatred for his stuff.

          It’s clear Twilight has a huge hate following. I just wonder if the hate would be as much if it weren’t a female author writing about a female character to a female audience. Not to say we should give a bad book slack just because it’s all lady-driven. But I think a large amount of hate also comes from the fact that it’s not just a bad book, but that’s it’s so popular among women.

          I visit this site because I love hate-reading Jenny’s recaps, and I’m saying that I don’t think the hate is completely validated. Because some people might be raising the pitch-fork for the wrong reason. Sheesh. I’m a new level of hipster.

          June 6, 2014
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          • I love many books by female authors about female characters. Twilight is a terrible, horrible, awful book. It’s awful. A book is not good because a woman wrote it.

            Maybe your social circle didn’t like HP, but even in its early days I never met a single person who didn’t love it. I have since seen some criticism (usually from people who never read or watched it) but the number of people hating on it in its heyday was not like the Twilight or 50 Shades criticism. I know far fewer people who hate those books than love them and that started before they became popular.

            Bad books deserve criticism. I don’t care about the author’s gender.

            June 6, 2014
      • linda
        linda

        I don’t like Harry Potter and I am very much in the minority and even got called “weirdo” for it. People gasp in shock when I say that out aloud.

        June 7, 2014
        |Reply
  5. And, hey! I got quoted TWICE! TWICE!

    There are passages and phrases in After taken directly, word-for-word from 50 Shades. I wonder what these people think plagiarism actually is …

    June 6, 2014
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    • I don’t think they even understand the concept of plagiarism

      June 6, 2014
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      • Considering the fact that they don’t understand the concept of pretty much everything, it’s not surprising.

        June 6, 2014
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  6. I want to elaborate a little on what Wendy said up there
    “3) Since when was professional jealousy a surprise to anyone? I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a single author who was NEVER jealous of anyone else in the publishing business. 99.9999% of us can’t be at the top of the publishing heap, and it’s only natural to look to the people making more money/sales/success than you and say “Huh, wouldn’t that be nice!””
    You’d be hard pressed to find ANYONE in ANY profession who wasn’t jealous of someone else in their profession. I mean, I KNOW this is specifically talking about being an author and writing because obvious reasons but you have to admit it’s not an isolated or unheard of thing (like STGRB apparently wants everyone to believe).

    Seriously though, I read the laughable post that they made and just rolled my eyes and went back to my gaming. It was pathetic. They seem like they’re trying to make a bigger deal out of everything than needs to be done. Not only that, but apparently criticism of any kind to them is now bullying? I mean seriously, one of my best friends is notorious for not spelling well or knowing how to properly use grammar. She knows this, she admits it, she pretty much tells everyone this. If I happen to be over at her house when she’s typing something, she uses me as spell check and has me read over her posts she makes(yeah tumblr posts but I don’t mind at all). Even she knows how to use google for spell check. Or a word type program for spelling and grammar check. It’s not that hard to do.

    P2P fanfic makes me uncomfortable anyway because it’s going off actual people and their lives and some of the things and ways it goes is just really uncomfortable to me. But y’know if that’s what you enjoy writing, I’m not going to discourage you. But there’s not many people who do fanfic who don’t use a spell check of some sort (either word program or a peer).

    I have nothing against her either. I think her spelling and grammar is atrocious but that’s essentially stating the obvious since she even knows it’s not the best. At the same time, I personally think the story as is is kind of crap and NEEDS to go through revisions.

    But then again, what do I know right? I’m only an avid reader with an above average grasp on the English language

    June 6, 2014
    |Reply
    • Jo
      Jo

      I just imagined Jenny at the top of a cliff screaming: “FLY, MY PRETTIES, FLY!” and it was awesome.

      June 6, 2014
      |Reply
      • Lieke
        Lieke

        That’s an image I won’t forget anytime soon. Nor do I want to.

        June 7, 2014
        |Reply
      • I have that image in my head and it is glorious. GLORIOUS I say.

        June 15, 2014
        |Reply
  7. Lara
    Lara

    I realize this is completely obvious to anyone with basic reading comprehension, but this STGRB group makes me really sad. A group that should be stopping bullies is attempting to silence anyone who doesn’t 100% agree with them. Perhaps, and hopefully I’ll be quoted next time, the brilliant crusaders at STGRB should look up the definition of the word bully. Oh yeah, and the definition of plagiarism. Seriously, google that shit.
    Jenny, you are literally the ONLY blog I cannot wait to read. Glad that you aren’t deterred by blatant bullying. Keep rocking, sister!

    June 6, 2014
    |Reply
    • Retro
      Retro

      This is my feeling, too. And it’s doubly sad that in their attempt to defend authors against bullies, they have become bullies themselves. This whole vigilante justice squad, keeping an eye on Jenny, dissecting her posts to prove a point. It’s weird. If what she says is so objectionable, why would she have such a huge readership? Are we all sheeple? And if they’re trying to change our minds, why don’t they engage here, prove us wrong?

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
      • KathleenCat
        KathleenCat

        Pretty much also the exact thing I was thinking.

        The whole “Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity”-ness of it. Those folks are doing exactly what they are accusing Jenny of doing- but in a much more persistent way, too, to boot.

        June 14, 2014
        |Reply
  8. Akri
    Akri

    The other garden gnomes are gonna be so jealous when they see your gnome. They’re gonna be like “hey, he’s not painted like the box! I wish I wasn’t painted like the box!” And then he’s gonna get /all/ the gnome ladies.

    June 6, 2014
    |Reply
  9. “Johnny B Good” btw is “Athena Parker” is “Melissa Douthit” .

    And speaking of Douthit, the worst stuff you’ve ever cut from a first draft of your worst book, is better than any of her ‘published’ dreck.

    You, my dear, are the shit. The dog’s bollocks. The wind beneath my wings. I may just love you a bit 🙂

    June 6, 2014
    |Reply
  10. Megan M.
    Megan M.

    You are hilarious and I love you.

    The comments on the STGRB post… “I think what it boils down to is jealousy!” Umm… yeah? That was the whole point of the post? Good work, Sherlocks.

    June 6, 2014
    |Reply
  11. Man, it’s a good thing I didn’t have anything liquid in my mouth or I might have earned myself a Darwin Award for drowning on land. Brava, Jenny Trout. Brava.

    And I am so, so, SO jealous of that sick-ass garden gnome. 🙂

    June 6, 2014
    |Reply
  12. Angie
    Angie

    Well, the fact that STGRB has developed a grudge against you only validates my respect for you, honestly. But I guess this means Anne Rice isn’t going to be apologizing any time soon for the incredibly rude way she acted toward you. You were extremely polite, and the fact that STGRB did not show screen shots of THAT only shows that they don’t want anyone to see it, because they know it won’t look the way they want it to look.

    June 6, 2014
    |Reply
  13. Pansy Petal
    Pansy Petal

    Riddle me this – since when is stating an opinion on your own blog bullying? I don’t recall you going to someone else’s blog or other social media site and stating the opinion. You did it on your personal blog site. As for stalking . . . seriously, who is stalking whom here? *rolls eyes*

    Love you Jenny! Enjoy your thoughts and insights. They are honest. That is why I subscribe to yours and not others. Keep up the wonderful job!

    June 6, 2014
    |Reply
  14. MsBlack
    MsBlack

    ‘In her post, Jenny does complain about publishers, but if you read the rest of her blog, she has a very unhealthy obsession with Anna.’

    what is this reminding me of… OH

    Cady: You know what! It’s not my fault you’re like, in love with me, or something!
    Janis: What?
    Damian: Oh, no, she did not!
    Janis: See? That’s the thing with you plastics. You think everybody is in love with you when actually, everybody HATES you!

    June 6, 2014
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    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      You know what? Just the other day someone said, “It took me forever to figure out that Regina thought Janis was a lesbian because Janis said she was Lebanese,” and I feel so stupid that I never figured it out, myself.

      June 6, 2014
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      • Queen Mab
        Queen Mab

        Hmmm…the same thing happened on an episode of The Golden Girls.

        June 6, 2014
        |Reply
      • MsBlack
        MsBlack

        Really? I never put that together either!

        Also – I had forgotten about STGRB, so thanks for reminding me! This is the perfect thing for my drunk ass to read. 😀 Well, that and wattpad stories with lines like these –

        “I never ever drink at parties. The only thing I’ll drink is water I run from the tap myself. I’m not stupid enough to set myself up to get drugged and raped.”
        (http://www.wattpad.com/17763196-the-ghost-files-chapter-one-soon-to-be-a-major/page/2)

        June 6, 2014
        |Reply
  15. >>Huh. Well, that’s a weird fucking thing to say. I feel like I should check my body for electronic tags or something.<<

    Too funny! They stalk those they hate so they can write posts saying the people they hate are stalkers. Too bad they don't know what ironic means.

    The only reasonable response to the dimwits over there is to laugh and mock. And doing it with garden gnomes is brilliant!

    June 6, 2014
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  16. Queen Mab
    Queen Mab

    I tried to read After over at Wattpad, and I just couldn’t. I think I made it to halfway in the second chapter and just gave up. Poorly written and in desperate need of editing. Bless you, Jenny, for slogging through it and saving the rest of us from pain.

    I find it interesting that Anne Rice, who has been so set against fanfic, is fawning all over Anna Todd’s publishing & movie deals. Guess as long as the fanfic is not about her books, then it’s OK. This is from Anne Rice’s FB page, posted yesterday:

    A big congratulations to Anna Todd, 25 year old author of One Direction fan fiction, “After” on her new deal with publishing house Simon & Schuster and her movie deal. When a writer makes it big, all writers make it big. —- Ours is a great profession. Each author does it in his or her own way — when it comes to writing, when it comes to getting the work noticed, when it comes to getting published. Again, congratulations to Anna Todd! Enjoy every minute of it, Anna.

    June 6, 2014
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    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Coming from the woman who once threatened legal action against fanfiction websites, that’s HILARIOUS.

      June 6, 2014
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    • Sam Balderdash
      Sam Balderdash

      Fatuous in the extreme.

      June 6, 2014
      |Reply
  17. Sharon
    Sharon

    I bet somewhere there’s a quantum parallel universe where you made fun of 50 Shades and it did ruin James’ career.

    And there are no prawns.

    🙂

    June 6, 2014
    |Reply
  18. Jessica
    Jessica

    I’d just like to say, Jenny, that I would not have discovered you’re writing if not for your hilarious blog, and the Boss series is some of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read. I reread them ALL THE TIME. I just wanted to make that clear in case STGRB is monitoring you’re blog closely. Jenny is fabulous, you crazy other blog people.

    June 6, 2014
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    • AD
      AD

      DITTO!

      June 7, 2014
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    • Sara
      Sara

      I totally agree as well!

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
  19. Sam Balderdash
    Sam Balderdash

    Somewhere in a bedroom community south of Salt Lake City, there is a lonely, untalented woman sitting in the dark, peering at her screen and muttering, “she noticed me, she noticed me. I am somebody!”

    June 6, 2014
    |Reply
  20. Christina
    Christina

    For any STGRB peeps lurking on here I’ve got something to share with you. A little background first: I’m half Polish Jew and half Panamanian. I grew up in a small, predominantly WASP town. I didn’t look like anyone and I had a severe speech impediment. To make matters worse my family was poor (not the “vacations every other year” poor but sleeping in our car, going hungry kind of poor). I was tormented mercilessly at school. I’ve heard every nasty, horrible name you could call a girl and I heard it all before high school. It got to the point where, at age 15, I couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life being treated the way that I had. I attempted suicide (I obviously failed). What I went through back then was bullying. A trans teen who is slandered and mocked because of who they are is bullied. A child with Aspergers who is treated like a freak and outcast by their peers is bullied. A world famous author who is going to make millions of dollars off of pro-abuse shit is not being bullied when she gets negative critiques. You promote censorship and you promote the shaming of opinions. In the thread mentioned above a commenter described the readers of Jenny’s blog as partaking in a “circle jerk” and “fawning lackeys and sock puppets.” So, according to the logic of STGRB members it’s bullying to dislike and poke fun at a book but it’s perfectly fine to dislike and poke fun at real people? How can that make any sense to you?

    June 6, 2014
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    • Akri
      Akri

      I’ve created a handy guide:

      “Free speech” is when someone makes a statement criticizing someone or something STGRB doesn’t like.

      “Bullying” is when someone makes a statement criticizing someone or something STGRB does like.

      See? Perfectly logical.

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
  21. Katiedidwhat
    Katiedidwhat

    I humbly suggest that their eagle eyes may have mistaken your clear and righteous hatred for Ana Steele as mentions of Anna Todd. Remember, when you disregard editing and just let it all flow out, Ana and Anna might as well be the same person; what do context and spelling matter, anyway?

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • Radiance
      Radiance

      Personally, I think what you typed there was brilliant. Just thought I’d say so.

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
  22. Earlier there was a well thought out commentary I had going in my mind, but reading your most recent tweets I am just kind of flabbergasted. From every iota of information I have seen put out by this group they are not stopping bullies, but rather they are the bullies themselves. The fact that they are keeping tabs on your blog, your twitter, and the conversations therein (which is not happening on GoodReads but on your own social media) sounds precisely like stalking. It’s no wonder Anne Rice would be buddy buddy with them, considering she promotes this type of behavior herself (see the incident in which turning the book Pandora into an art project was the subject of huge outrage despite the fact it was a mass market paperback and used).

    I agree with many of the comments above, especially the STGRB’s blatant defense of plagiarism.

    “Does it matter that Anna’s story was similar to another that we know? No.” HOW ABOUT YES BECAUSE THAT IS A DIRECT VIOLATION OF SOMETHING CALLED THE LAW.

    I can’t help but wonder if people are confused on this matter because of the proliferation of public domain material that was recycled in things like “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and whatever the wordplay was for the “Anna Karenina” version. As someone who has written fanfiction (though never in a prolific sense) this violation of the spoken and unspoken agreement, “We make no profit and put our toys back in the box at the end of the day,” not only infuriates me but worries me as well. I love fanfiction and will defend it to death, but I cannot condone this particular facet and find myself on the other side of the fence in an effort to protect something that I love. I just find the fact they are copying and lifting whole sections of text and then profiting to be obscene, it feels like a betrayal of the love for the work itself. Someone has given you this unique gift and then you have changed the names and sold it to the highest bidder. You may has well be spitting on author’s everywhere.

    Also the fact that these people can’t tell bullying from legitimate criticism and have a mob mentality is somewhat terrifying. They are the very image of the thing they think they are trying to prevent. If they are so terrified of legitimate criticism maybe they should take a step back and think about what they are defending.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  23. BuenaSuerte
    BuenaSuerte

    Jenny, sweetie. You know I love you. I love your foul mouth. I love your painfully hilarious recaps that teach me about writing craft and kink. I ADORE the fact that I don’t always agree with your interpretations in BtVS recaps but can always follow your logic and, even when I disagree, find that I learn something new about why I see that particular aspect of the show the way I do. You are a gifted storyteller. You make fantastic smut. You words good.

    But (and I don’t want to make you defensive, because this is coming from a place of love, mind), Jenny. Honey. We’re here to help.

    We know you love Anna Todd. We know that you yearn, one day, to wrote stilted dialogue from the perspective of a self-important bore. We understand your tremulous desire to throw off the shackles of conventional punctuation. It’s perfectly natural to be fascinated with someone who can, in her artistic ability, capture the teenage spirit so perfectly. We are ALL obsessed with Anna Todd. How could anyone not be?

    That said, the life-size Anna Todd doll that you take with you everywhere, sleep with at night, and croon to in a giggling monotone while rocking back and forth? I’m not saying everyone wasn’t super jealous when you first got it, but it might be time to get a little distance.

    I know I speak for the best, here. And Raggedy E.L. James agrees with me, don’t you, Raggedy E? It’s you and me forever, Raggedy E! FOREVER!!!

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  24. sbird
    sbird

    Perfect response.

    I can’t get over the pathetic irony of Melissa Douthit raving about professional jealousy, failed writing careers, and so on, when her own writing career is so thoroughly and deservedly down the toilet.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • Sissy Balderdash
      Sissy Balderdash

      Career? She wrote one shitty book that got deservedly trashed, and she’s been a troll ever since.

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
  25. Radiance
    Radiance

    Yes, Jenny, how very well dare you decide to post a personal opinion on your personal blog and critique another story? I mean, it isn’t as if literary criticism is a perfectly valid and old discipline, and it’s not like you can have whatever opinion you want. /sarcasm

    Honestly, do you know what irritates me the most about this? Just because someone is pleasant and nice, does not mean that everything he or she creates is above criticism. Anna may, indeed, be lovely and adore her fans, but her story does have some flaws. After isn’t published yet, however, which means those flaws can be corrected, if someone points them out. As for the jealousy thing, no, that’s not the default excuse for criticizing a work. I don’t have to be a cook to know when my steak is undercooked, and when I send it back to the kitchen, that’s not jealousy; that’s not wanting to get food-poisoning.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  26. the-great-dragon
    the-great-dragon

    I’m all for anti-bullying, but what creeps me out from the five minutes I spent on that site is that they’re total kiss-asses. It’s like “everyone’s amazing, no one can do any wrong, who cares why a book’s good, beep bop boop.” Bullying’s bad, criticism isn’t. And it’s funny because they’ve completely mixed up the two. And now anything even remotely, potentially upsetting is bullying…except when they do it.

    Ugh, and now I feel like every comment I make on this site’s going to be scrutinized. This is like straight up Tumblr drama. Those people suck. This blog’s my safe place that I go to when I’m feeling really bad and here they are trying to ruin it. Fuck those people. I say keep on keeping on Jenny and I’m right here behind you.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  27. Rainbore
    Rainbore

    You may already know this, but are you aware that the chick that runs that STGRB blog with socks, including all the sock posters and many of the sock commenters, is Melissa Douthit?

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DVTL6WS

    Ah huh, that’s her right there – 90% of STGRB. And this is the goddess Athelissa in person.

    http://i.imgur.com/5ZMIF9D.jpg

    http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/playlist/4410/3040563?title=pets_and_animals

    Now we can all pay Melissa Douthit the goddess our respects in person.

    – Rainbore

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  28. Whoa.

    Well, let me tell you. Im a 17 year old Indian girl working on her first book. JENNY IS AMAZING. I am an activist, and anyone who says ELJ or Anna Todd is healthy for soceity is out of their mind and probably wound up here in a fucking time machine from the time when women were only taught to be submissive and tattoos were looked down upon.

    Now, coming to Jenny, you think she is jealous? Well, HELLO, can you refuse any of her logic? Why don’t you try giving a counter post rebutting everything she says? With not a “Oh come on, if you don’t like it, don’t read”, but a perfectly logical reply. Can you do that? I challenge you.

    And Jenny has immensely helped me. I am a Fanfiction author, but my novel is completely different. Its almost like a kid’s book. You know how Jenny has helped me? She has taught me what is plagiarism. My first few attempts looked so plagiarised, I admit. And I used to ask myself, “What will Jenny say if she saw?” . And now, I can safely say I have done my very best to check my novel for any internalised misogyny, homophobia, grammatical errors, repetition, plagiarism etc. Because I want to present a properly published work, I want to do justice to writing.

    And STGRB, you have no idea how much Jenny has helped.

    You guys get a life first. Stop hiding under your unicorns pooping rainbows umbrellas, calling critics bullies. I KNOW people will criticise my book when it comes out. That’s why I am putting it out!

    If you cannot handle criticism, go and hide yourself in the closet with your book.

    Oh, and someone’s success of failure doesn’t just depend on the quality of work. There are so many other factors.

    I am 17, and I feel more grown up than you. Weird.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • BuenaSuerte
      BuenaSuerte

      See, here’s you being an example of the sort of cool, smart, literate fan that Jenny gets. As opposed to “OMG liek y u hatin.”

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
  29. Jenny: I love your site. I loved your 50 Shades read through – an excerpt from that, on Good reads was how I found your blog. I think there’s a difference between an honest opinion and bullying. I’ve been chuckling away as you ‘do’ After and your post about how galling it is that stuff which is not exactly publication ready gets hyped at the expense of things people have taken years over made a lot of sense to me and was anything but sour grapes.

    As someone who has seen the other lot at work – the Badly Behaved Author hunters on Amazon – I’ve long since come to the conclusion that both groups are bunches of frothy mouthed loons, with an inflated sense of their own importance, an absolutely bat shit crazy view of the world and absolutely NO idea how to argue a cogent point. I think they should all be forced to read The Crucible again and again, possibly at gun point, until the penny drops. Except that it never will, of course.

    So keep doing what you do, because we, your fans, enjoy it.

    Cheers

    MTM

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  30. Nikkence
    Nikkence

    Jenny, I think you’re ace. I don’t care if you’re professionally jealous or not. You write beautifully, you’ve helped me immensely and you’re hilariously snarky in the best way. You’re like the best friend I never had the chance to meet because we were tragically born in geographically distant climes. So if the STGRB crew give you a hard time, I suspect it’s because they’re professionally jealous. I bet they don’t have a Nation named after themselves.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  31. AWWW YASSSSSSSSS my comment is up there! I’m a fucking gangster bully now; you bitches better recognize!

    This has been an amazing week, omg. Some glorious goings-on in K-pop fandom land (one of my faves has a fucking TARDIS in their music video; I am so not kidding http://i.imgur.com/GKGivXu.jpg), I got paid, I received yet another geeky DW t-shirt from teefury, been inspired to write, mastered some dance choreo that’s been evading me for a while, and now this. I’ma be riding high off this shit for a while. Kisses, STGRB!

    Seriously though, this is so stupid. I’ve always been of the belief that once something is released to the public, it’s open to any reaction it receives. Negative reviews posted on one’s own blog or GR page are *not* bullying. Nobody’s going over specifically to harass someone else. If anything, this lot are the ones stalking and bullying by going to other people’s personal blogs and then complaining about it on their site. It’s all so petty.

    Furthermore I’m willing to bet all the blowback got these books even more attention than they would otherwise, so joke’s on us gangster bullies

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  32. Dor
    Dor

    *applauds*

    Slightly but not really off topic: I wonder if all these fan-fiction mainstream deals have replaced, to some degree, the celebrity ghost written novel/memoir. They’re not as popular as they once were.

    As a writer, it’s frustrating when somebody is handed something I’ve put thousands of hours and millions of words into learning to do “well” because they have massive waps, or can kick a pig’s bladder with a degree of accuracy, or yodel in a faintly pleasing fashion.

    This fanfiction malarky is, I think, an extension of that: they are another kind of celebrity, they have a built-in audience, and the press releases write themselves. Maybe they’ll become the necessary evil publishers need to finance new authors, although they are slightly *more* evil because there’s no ghostwriting gig involved.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  33. Jemmy
    Jemmy

    I once had a garden gnome, hideously panted an odd grey and green because it was kidnapped by some Uni friends and turned into a garden gnome super hero with cape.

    Then some sod stole it while I was away on a business trip. It was devastating.

    I find it really concerning that there are groups of people ‘keeping a close eye’ on other people and then writing this kind of stuff. Even more so when they don’t understand it is prefect legitimate, legal and not remotely ‘unhealthy obessive’ to review a book/tv show/film etc. They obviously haven’t found the Buffy and Merlin recaps.

    I’m not sure why they have an issue with someone expressing their opinion. Do they also hunt down negative reviews of films they like and write spiteful blog posts about those people?

    I enjoy reading your opinions, I enjoy seeing something deconstructed into a ‘how to do/how not to do’ even though I don’t write myself. You do make positive comments on the things you review, even if they are few and far between. You acknowledge stuff you think is done well and you explain why you think the bad stuff is bad. That’s a heck of a lot better than a lot of commentary, both positive and negative.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  34. Flo
    Flo

    And this is why we all love you so much Jenny!!! You aren’t afraid to say what you think, and you know that there are other people who are thinking the same thing, they just won’t say it. I’m not a writer, nor am I jealous. I am sad for all the people who have worked their butts off to produce good stuff who never get recognized and then a piece of crap writing like FSOG or After gets all kinds of attention. It’s like reading bad diaries. I’m not knocking fan fic either, I’ve read some very good stories, but they didn’t get any attention at all. E. L. James and Anna Todd just happen to hit at the right time, it has NOTHING to do with them having talent. The stories are just bad. They are not original, they have no real redeeming qualities to them, they are poorly written–they are just plain ole’ bad. But because there are a group of us who don’t rave over them and point out their faults, we are instantly bullies? C’mon-let’s get serious.

    Snappin’ my fingers with you Jenny!!! (Jets, jets, jets, jets…)

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • Lieke
      Lieke

      I was laughing so hard at those screencaps. (And I didn’t remember whether they were the Sharks or the Jets, so thanks! I feel like this is a good excuse to watch West Side Story again).

      Jenny, I hope that you had a nice dramafree vacation. You deserve it.

      Also, criticism is not bullying. There. Bullshit refuted.

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
  35. Jemmy
    Jemmy

    I don’t know if I agree in a blanket statement of ‘criticism isn’t bullying’, I think criticism can be a part of bullying practices. Mostly what I’m thinking of is unjustified, unfounded criticism as part of an ongoing campaign against someone in the workplace (as an example).

    However, I don’t believe posting a review and/or recap of a book is bullying in and of itself. My husband watches computer game and movie reviews and there’s regularly bad reviews, and the language used is neither polite or respectful at times. But I don’t think the game reviewer is bullying the game company/ film company because they give a game a bad review. They make less than complimentary remarks about the actors etc as well, and that isn’t bullying. It is them giving their opinion on something that has been put out in public for consumption. Not everyone will like your stuff. That’s just a thing. Not everyone has to. That doesn’t make those people bullies solely because they don’t like it and they told other people.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  36. Sushi
    Sushi

    I got a server error when I tried to look at their post. Not sure whether to be sad or relieved. I know it should be relieved because STGRB are full of shit, but I can’t help being slightly saddened that I can’t see the trainwreck for myself.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • Retro
      Retro

      Link is still active, just without the #comments tag added to it. Sadly.

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
    • Sushi
      Sushi

      Managed to get there in the end and it was just as purile as I expected, although I did get the added bonus of getting to read their new post where they screencap your tweets.

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
  37. Jade
    Jade

    O… M… G…
    This is a time warp, right? This is high school drama, stgrb even waited until Jenny was in her rejuvenating camping trip to attack her. That’s low. They should heed their own advice and focus on their own career… But they don’t have careers, do they? Don’t get sucked in this petty drama Jenny. You’re better than that. We love you an your snark and your sarcasm and your no nonsense blog and books. Fuckthem@stgrb.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  38. Suzy
    Suzy

    What really gets me with the STGRB post is this: When did the ethos of “if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right” go by the wayside? Would you accept a waiter only bringing you half your order? Is it OK if a sales person is rude to you? How about the valet denting your car?
    I’ve worked in retail my entire adult life, and constantly get feed back about my performance. In fact, I seek it out. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am today. I have never once viewed a guest complaint or performance review as bullying. It’s all fair comment. It’s how you improve, in whatever you choose as your profession.
    And the comments on STGRB about grammar not being important? Well, I work in Human Resources and a large part of my job is slogging through dozens of applications a day. And of someone can’t manage to fill out in application with proper grammar and spelling, what am I to think about their desire to do the job correctly once I hire them? I don’t expect Steinbeck level of description, bit I do expect you to know the difference between college and collage…especially if you left your last job to attend it.
    It’s created this level of laziness that I simply cannot abide. Is it too much to expect you to properly do a job your paid to do? Published authors are paid to write, is it too much for the general public, who buy those books, to expect them to put a certain amount of effort into creating something worth reading?

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • Suzy
      Suzy

      Here I am ranting about proper spelling and I type bit instead of but. I’m not even going to blame it on my inability to type properly on my phone. All remarks will be taken as constructive criticism and NOT bullying. 🙂

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
  39. I read their post and they sound like condescending idiots especially when you get to the part about focusing on your own writing. I always thought STGRB have mostly a problem with people who criticize books and give 1-2 star ratings on Goodreads. And on their shitty list there are actually people who write well-though reviews, people I follow on Goodreads. I don’t think it’s wrong outlining the bad parts of a book because the last thing we need is more formulaic books with tons of bad tropes.
    Also, I think taking screencaps from a blog is both a copyright and a privacy violation if they don’t have your permission and the commenters’ permissions.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Meh, I’m not going to fire that shot, since I just did the same thing to them. If it’s out there, it’s out there.

      June 7, 2014
      |Reply
      • Yeah, I saw that after writing the comment here. The whole thing is a gray area, especially since in Europe we know have the right to be forgotten.

        June 8, 2014
        |Reply
  40. TayciBear
    TayciBear

    Just wanted to say I love you and this makes me love you even more. They’re just jealous you’re so cool.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  41. Ilex
    Ilex

    I’m totally confused by this attack on you, Jen. You aren’t posting this on Goodreads. And “After” isn’t listed on GR either. So what’s it to STGRB? Anyone reading this blog is here because we found you, not because you’re hunting us down and forcing us to listen to your opinions. Sheesh. STGRB is certifiably insane with this crap.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  42. Lara
    Lara

    Jenny, love you. Love your recaps. Totally off subject of bullying. When may I expect a picture of the finished gnome? I literally can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
  43. “we’re wondering why we’re spending all this time in the first place.”

    Exactly. After a brief hiatus to take care of business commissions, I’m having a hard time getting back to work on the third book in my trilogy. I spent easily 750 hours on Sacred Blood. The finished version is nothing like the original. From the number of characters to the type of supernatural beings, it’s all different. Then I listened to criticism once it was out, the criticism more than the compliments, and applied those to Sacred Honor, and spent several hundred more hours on that book. Why? Why the hell am I agonizing over the details when what seems to be successful is half-assing it?

    Personally I don’t care much one way or the other about stories I just plain don’t care for that are well-written, but I do have a problem when serial numbers are sanded and the writing is poor. To be honest, the lack of basic writing ability in professional writers really indicates the poor education people even in first worlds are receiving. The writers don’t know how to use grammar and such, and apparently a lot of publishers no longer see bad grammar, and a lot of readers also don’t know what bad grammar is anymore. I’ve had discussions with other writers, some published traditionally, who have debated whether or not it would be more beneficial these days to dumb-down their writing, and one trad.pub’d friend of mine was straight-up told not to write about a 4th grade writing level. He has withheld his next book because he refuses to write in mistakes on purpose.

    So I’m not sure what to do about Sacred Heart. I don’t want to put out less than I think is the best I can do, but I am also tired of being overlooked in favor of yet more poorly-written fanfiction.

    June 7, 2014
    |Reply
    • Ilex
      Ilex

      What you said, Alys. Because this isn’t “professional” jealousy. It’s the genuine heartbreak of having been told over and over that we all need to take our craft seriously, write, revise, and revise again, and be aware of plot holes and unintended messages and writing genuine dialogue rather than having our characters sound like mouthpieces and doing all the hard work of serious and original worldbuilding, etc etc etc — and then it turns out that what people want to read is retreads and first drafts.

      Why are any of us bothering to be so professional when the least professional works are the ones that people seem to want to read? Working on my current WIP has felt like dust in my mouth for the past two weeks after seeing all this “After” hoopla. I’m really hoping the feeling passes.

      June 8, 2014
      |Reply
      • It was drilled into me to not even THINK about querying until a manuscript was as close to ready for publication as humanly possible, even if that means paying for your own editors. I just paid $300 for access to a program that looks for redundant phrases and words! Yet here the publishers are, harvesting from first-drafts. Pretty much all fanfics are first drafts. I’ve never heard of someone finishing one, polishing it, then serializing the final product. It’s always post as you write, which is why there are so many loopholes in so many of them. In my own fics, I’ll loosely plan, then listen to feedback, which sometimes means going in a direction I didn’t plan, even though it opens up loopholes.

        Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to just hop on whatever fandom is popular, write fanfics half-assedly, and call it a day.

        June 9, 2014
        |Reply
        • I did that with a roleplay between myself and an ex– find and replaced “Vexen” and “Marluxia” with “Carlisle” and “Edward”, respectively, then went through it and made sure the descriptions of the characters matched up (no pink hair for Edward!) and posted it on Fanfiction for a lark. But I’d never SERIOUSLY do a find-replace of OC names and suchlike, you know?

          October 10, 2015
          |Reply
          • *original character names and pretend it’s my own story

            October 10, 2015
  44. Nidhi
    Nidhi

    Wtf even, with these STGRB guys? I’ve read some of their stuff and as far as I can see, they’re the real bullies. It’s like those creepy, sad, aggressive, insecure MRA dudes, who don’t understand that if they weren’t such assholes, people wouldn’t despise them so much.

    Todd does seem much nicer than James. And I can say that while also believing that her writing right now is absolutely AWFUL. And I’m a reader. I have nothing to gain from ‘bullying’ big authors – I read them all the time. It’s like saying that if get ticked off when a really amazing local musician doesn’t make it big even after following all the industry rules, while 1D skyrockets even though they just seem to copy 80s songs, I also hate EVERY OTHER big artist out there. That doesn’t even make sense!

    Mostly, I freaking LOVE those gifs! Still laughing at them 😀

    I saw something very useful somewhere btw. It said, “Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how good you are, the bird is going to shit on the board and strut around like it won anyway.”

    June 8, 2014
    |Reply
  45. So I’m looking over one of the posts on that site (I went to check something because somehow one of the screen caps of a comment of mine includes my last name, but the other doesn’t and I don’t see it appearing on here, which is concerning, but whatever) and the blogger posted the following:

    “By attacking the grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. of Anna’s manuscript, Jenny and her friends are really making themselves look foolish. Has anyone here ever used Wattpad? I would describe it as a “creative writing website”. It’s a website where you write your story in rough draft, let me say that again, ROUGH DRAFT, and publish it for your friends to read and critique. Because Anna acquired millions of followers and reads, publishers took note and that’s how she was picked up by Simon & Schuster. People need to do their research about Wattpad and how it works before they start criticizing someone for the condition of their manuscript. Not only are these people mean and jealous, they’re ignorant and that’s a really bad combination.”

    “I wonder if Jenny is even aware that Wattpad is a place where you post your FIRST DRAFTS.
    Yes, your FIRST DRAFTS. Your UNEDITED manuscript.
    She’s reading it like it’s a completely edited, published novel, which isn’t what actually happens on Wattpad. WP is for first-draft beta reading.”

    And there is a screen shot of the manuscript page. Now, I signed up and briefly posted a short story that I ended up taking down because it really wasn’t my best work and I changed my mind about sharing it. But you can copy and paste from Word, which spell checks. And even if not, I have been writing for a lot of years and while my first drafts certainly have their share of mistakes and need for improvement, they are never that bad. I know the difference between “acceptable” and “expectable.” I know the difference between “except” and “expect.” There were several instances like that in this manuscript. It is exceptionally bad, and not just in the, “This is a first draft and hasn’t been proofread or edited yet,” way. She is not a talented writer and her grasp of her native language is tenuous. And readers are eating it up as though it’s great literature. That makes me very sad.

    I would never, ever publicly share something in that state, even if it were only a first draft. No matter how nice Anna Todd is (and I don’t doubt that she is), she should be mortified that she made that her public face.

    June 9, 2014
    |Reply
    • Sorry to keep blowing this up, but this stuff just pisses me off. People have this idea that being able to write correctly and well isn’t important and then I get to sift through 23 resumes looking for a writer/editor so that I don’t have to do two people’s jobs at work and we have exactly two that are worthy. TWO. Out of 23.

      One resume included the word familiar over and over and over and spelled “famailier” every time. Another didn’t know the difference between the words “diffuse” and “defuse.” And still others didn’t even bother to proofread what they submitted — for an editing job. It’s maddening. No knows how to communicate in writing anymore and no one seems to care, either.

      June 9, 2014
      |Reply
      • Flo
        Flo

        Renee-That’s scary about your last name showing up. After reading some of their other attacks on people, it’s hard to say. There was one attack that absolutely horrified me, I’m amazed that they haven’t been sued for defamation of character.

        Your resume story doesn’t surprise me in the least. I worked in accounting/bookkeeping/finance for a number of years as did a friend of mine. We were always stunned at the number of applicants who answered “Yes” to the “have you ever been convicted of a crime” question on the job application. What made it worse was how many times we saw the answer “embezzlement” show up as the reason. Yeah right, like we’re going to hire you?! My favorite was the one where a person listed “attention to details” as one of her qualities, but the resume was full of typos, etc. I don’t care what anybody says, being able to spell, write a complete sentence and understand basic punctuation is important.

        June 9, 2014
        |Reply
        • I just don’t get it. I mean, do you really think you’re going to get an interview for an EDITING job when your resume is full of typos and misspellings and incorrect punctuation? Or do they really and truly not even know it’s wrong and believe it’s correct? It’s so frustrating.

          And I should add that my boss pulled 23 resumes out of almost 80 original submissions, so it’s even worse than that. People keep saying not to major in English because there are no jobs, but we’re looking for just such a person and got two English majors. We have two major universities in town, too. It’s insane.

          This isn’t my dream job, but I at least get to write and edit every day and make decent money doing it until I get off my rear end and finish writing something. lol

          June 9, 2014
          |Reply
  46. Late to the party, as usual, but I was so sad not to be screencapped. I had a pretty good gig going as an internet-fight-starter once upon a time, but I suppose those days are gone, now. *sniffle*

    The thing I find most baffling is that I *love* criticism. As several posters have said here, criticism is how we learn to be better. I entered a novel in the ABNAs, and was kicked after the second round, but I was so looking forward to my reviews so I could improve the manuscript. I got, basically, “Yeah, you can write, it sounded good. Keep it up!”

    Like, thanks? I mean, yes, it’s a compliment, but it doesn’t *help*. Having nothing but four- and five-star reviews on a book doesn’t help the next one be better. And it has me looking askance at reviews at all, now. I’ve always found “bad” reviews to be very helpful: are they all just complaining about trivial shit? Or is there something fundamentally wrong with the book/computer/DVD series/dinglehopper I wanted to buy?

    How will we know what is a genuinely good product, and what’s just having sunshine blown up its ass by people who are terrified of being hounded or doxxed for being “bullies”?

    June 10, 2014
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    • So true! Whenever I ask someone to read something I wrote, I want that person to tell me what to improve, where I went wrong. All I ever hear — heck, even from professors in college! — is that it’s good. Nothing is that good. And I know it isn’t perfect because when I go back and read my own stuff, I find places I can improve. So I know other people must see it.

      Thankfully (I hope), I have a friend who has a Ph.D. in creative writing and is a college professor in the field and she’s offered to critique for me if I ever actually finish anything. Working on it … I have told her I want 100%, brutal honesty. It isn’t about feelings, it’s about improving. Even if I could make a million or two off of something like 50 Shades, I don’t really want my name on something like that. I want my name associated with something that is at least well-written, even if not universally loved. In an ideal world, I will one day have both. 🙂

      June 10, 2014
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  47. Sissy Balderdash
    Sissy Balderdash

    It’s awful hard for the poor dears to cope with being told they’re not perfect when it’s all they’ve been told throughout their mediocre schooling.

    I can’t remember where I saw it, but someone suggested that there ought to be a mandatory grammar and spelling test as part of the ebook uploading process. Preventing them from publishing is actually more considerate than exposing them to the harsh world of reader expectations.

    June 10, 2014
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  48. shel
    shel

    Wow… so I’ve not posted here before, but I’ve been lurking for a long time and loving the recaps and BTVS etc.

    But man… this is ridiculous! Why are some people so crazy? I mean, I know there are idiots everywhere, and some fans can go way too far when things don’t go their way, but this attack is insane! These ‘books’ suck from a literary standpoint, they just do… and certainly there are plenty of other entertainment things out there- movies, tv etc. that are terrible, but still entertaining, but they are open to plenty of criticism just by being out there.

    Books fall into that same category. I am torn on the ‘author bullying’ thing, and I’m sad to read about your run in with Anne Rice, I had some respect for her when she defended a fellow author from a group of crazy fans who didn’t like how the story ended and flamed amazon etc. with horrible reviews… but now I question everything!! Though I do see a major difference between what was written in those reviews, which was no question bullying and the things written on this blog and other places that give rational and thought out criticism of a book.

    Ugh… I just hate people sometimes.

    June 11, 2014
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  49. Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips for first-time blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    June 24, 2014
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  50. I love when you respond to callout posts about yourself. You’re so witty about it, like it doesn’t faze you a bit that the idiots are being mean to you, you just want to get the truth out there.

    Dude, sweet gnome.

    I also agree with a lot of the people here who say that they don’t want their name associated with bad writing and that other writers should take more pride in their presentation. I mean, I do post fanfiction, and some pretty terrible fanfiction at that, and it is basically “just for fun” and seeing what kinds of reactions I can get out of it, but I at least do a cursory edit of it first >={ I owe my readers at least that much.

    October 10, 2015
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