I’ve tried to post any reviews of my work I’m aware of on here, and that’s usually a Nice Thing to do. Sadly, every now and again, you get one that isn’t full of praise. But you’ve got to expect those. You can’t please everybody all the time.

So when I read:

“After three good stories things take a distinct downturn with The Woods by Nik Perring, the longest story in the issue and also the weakest. Two friends leave the pub and wander through the woods, getting spooked by local legends, though there is also the suggestion of animosity between them. ‘Only one of the friends made it out of the forest,’ reads the text, at which point we lose all sight of credibility. The police are called in and Dennis’ body is found at the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft. Suicide conclude the local plod, not even bothering to consider any other theory, or even to question survivor Christopher. Christopher then goes into mental meltdown, while police officer on the make Harold starts to prowl the woods at night looking for goblins. It ends badly, which in the circumstances was only to be expected. This story has poor plotting, incredulous characterisation and a prose style that at times borders on parody. There is the hint of something interesting peeping through, a man’s descent into madness, and flashes of talent in the prose, but no more than that. It reads like a first draft.”

that’s what I thought. I’m not saying I agree with what’s said (I wouldn’t, would I?) and you’d be right in thinking I was a little disappointed. But, well, everyone’s entitled to an opinion and not everyone’s going to like what you write. You know, I didn’t like Moulin Rouge but that doesn’t make it a bad film. Does it?

(Incidentally it was nice to see Sarah Jackson’s story getting deserved praise on the same site, so not all bad.)

You can read the review in full here.


And here at the Perring household we’re fast running out of chocolate and marshmellows and carrot cakes. Soon I think it’ll be getting to the point where I have to opt for trick unless the little skeletons and zombies and vampires who’ve been appearing at my door want me to read them a story.

0 Comments on “

  1.  by  Anne Brooke

    They don’t know what they’re talking about, Nik! I enjoyed that story!Mind you – you know what they say: you’re not a real writer till you’ve been blooded at the hunt.Hugs galoreAxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2.  by  Faye L.

    I don’t know if you saw the episode of Room 101 with Stephen Fry, but he said something about critics which I think is particularly relevant here. He postulated a scenario in which these people, after death, go through the classic Christian scenario of approaching the gates of Heaven and meeting St Paul, who asks them what they did with their lives. And what will they reply, Fry wonders? “Well, I looked at what other people did, and I said ‘It doesn’t really work’.”‘Nuff said.

  3.  by  Nik's Blog

    You’re right, Annie. But at the same time I think it’s important to remember that you’re never going to please everyone. (I doubt there was much I could have done to that piece that would have made the reviewer like it, and even if there was it’s published now; out there for all to see as it is.) As I said, you can’t please everyone and it’s certainly not the end of the world if someone doesn’t like something you’ve written. People have as much right to an opinion on work as writers have the right to write what, and how, they want.(I think it’s also important to remember that reviews aren’t written for the writer’s benefit.)Thanks for stopping by again. Best of luck with breaking into the top ten!Nik

  4.  by  writer girl

    Hi Nik, sounds like you have the right attitude to this. Just chalk it down, man. I think its part of the process. (I didn’t get Moulin Rouge either).

  5.  by  Nik's Blog

    Thanks S. (And welcome back to the UK.)Definitely part of the process. Like rejections and the occasional poorly attended gig! :)Doesn’t stop the love of writing though, does it?Nik.

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