STOP Blaming the Audience #Writing #Author #Advice #Movies #BirdsofPrey

So this is going to be an op-ed more than an advice piece, so feel free to skip if you’re not up for that.

Recently in Hollywood, the Comic Book world, and even the literary world, we’ve seen a trend where a new piece of material is put out and bombs. Instead of going back to writer’s table to figure out what went wrong, doing any sort of soul searching, or asking the question why, we see the creators do one of two things… either A, throw a temper tantrum online, or B, Insult/Blame/Slander their audience.

I cannot say this enough, STOP IT! This is not going to solve anything except push people away form you and your work!

We first really started to see this trend with Ghostbusters 2016 where literally anyone who said the film wasn’t good, myself included, was slandered as woman-hating. You literally had Melissa McCarthy go on TV and mock people who took issue with the trailer of Ghostbusters as basement dwelling man-babies.

This trend has continued with everything from DC and Marvel, to various Hollywood titles, even to video games.

Full disclosure, all I said about Ghostbuster 2016 was that the CGI looked like something out of Eddie Murphy’s haunted mansion and I didn’t care for Melissa McCarthy’s brand of comedy as she always seemed to play the same loud, crass, woman in every role. If that’s sexism… people pushing for traditional gender roles must make heads explode.

Anyway, I recently came across an article talking about one of the new Punisher’s creators doing exactly what I said above…

Capture

Okay, for the record, I’m sure that there are some people who are guilty of what they’re saying, lord knows there were a some during the GB2016 controversy too, but is that really the majority? That strains credulity at best. This is coming from someone who writes strong female leads in most of his stories, get’s fan mail from predominantly male readers, and even get’s angry responses from said males when I kill off one of those characters…

(Seriously people, I loved Qira too, but it was her time to go!)

Look, I understand if these are passion projects for you that you take personally, but if that’s the case, you need to understand that few people hold the exact same values as you do, not everyone is going to like what you do, and most importantly not everyone has the same goals. While you might want to send a political message, many people just go to the movies to see something they enjoy and experience a good story FOR PLEASURE! If they didn’t get what they wanted from your work, that doesn’t make them hateful people in general.

I actually get questions from readers on this subject from time to time as well asking me why their audience wouldn’t accept or like a character, why they were a bunch of sexists, etc.

I refuse to post those here because I don’t feel it’s appropriate, nor will I shame anyone who emails me asking for help. Instead, my response to them is always the same thing…

If you get comments from people that are hateful, do one of two things;

  1. Report them.
  2. Ignore them.

You should not engage with them or let them know that they bothered you because all that does is give them power to continue doing it. You won’t help your cause that way or take the intellectual high ground by wasting brainpower on those types of people.

The other thing you should ABSOLUTELY never ever do is assume that this is the majority of your base (it’s not) and make blanket statements about them. You want to lose your reader base? Call them all sexist/racist/homophobic or whatever else is in your playbook. That is a sure fire way to keep not only people who aren’t in your ideological camp away, but the majority of people in general.

Somewhere out there, I guarantee you that there are people out there who read what Gerry wrote and thought, “Well… I don’t think I want to look through any of this guy’s work. He sounds kind of angry and I don’t want to be called something that could badly damage my reputation and career if I don’t like his work.”

That’s certainly my attitude when it comes to any medium, but I try to stay out of whatever this culture war is that we currently have going on.

Look, I don’t want to spend too much time on this, so I’ll just put it plainly. If you are unable to handle criticism or failure, and/or convince yourself that you are never wrong, perhaps the writing world isn’t the place for you. We all have our flops and some critics who don’t like what we write or how we write it and that’s fine. It doesn’t give us the high ground to go around erroneous and irresponsible accusations like that. We take the criticism, learn from it, grow from it, or ignore it. That’s called being an adult and wanting to keep an audience who enjoys the things we write.

Anyway, that’s just my two cents. People, don’t insult your audience. It will only hurt YOU in the end and it’s really a childish way of handling things. I personally hope people like this and those that have emailed me learn that before it’s too late and I mean that genuinely. I hate to see talent get overshadowed by this kind of thing.

YOU CANNOT SHAME PEOPLE INTO LIKING YOUR PROJECT!!!

Please share this around, there are too many people who need to read this…



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Top 10 Internet Trolls

I recently looked at the rules of the internet and made a shocking discovery; there was no rule that specifically states ‘If it exists, it will be trolled. No exceptions.’
I suppose that’s why there are still people out there that still think the stuff they post will not somehow get trolled. For that reason, I’ve compiled a list of the most humorous trolls I’ve seen.
Please note, I’ve only included ones where no one was physically harmed or their personal info was hacked. This list is strictly for comical purposes.

10. Warcraft: The Funeral Massacre…

Basically one guild lost a member to a stroke IRL. Her guild held a funeral for her in the open battle server she liked. They recorded the funeral to give to her family. They announced where it was going to be and that they wouldn’t have any armor or weapons equipped out of respect… Apparently another guild called Serenity Now couldn’t resist the temptation and raided the funeral, killing everyone. The rage online was outstanding!

9.  ‘Dub the Dew’

In 2012, Mountain Dew decided to have a contest to let the internet name their next product… People were allowed to submit names and then have those names voted on. “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong” rounded out Diabeetus and “Gushing Granny” as the No. 1 choice. After the site was then hacked, MD ended the campaign, because what good could possibly have come of it.

8. Heil #MakeItHappy 

This one… oh man… this one… Okay so Coca Cola started a twitter advertising campaign where a twitter bot re-tweeted pretty pictures of things people say to it. Gawker decided that they had too much time on their hands and set up their own twitter bot to recite quotes from Mein Kampf to Coca Cola in order to make their chatbot tweet it out in images. Coke eventually suspended the campaign because of the negative PR.

7. Corrupted Blood Incident

This one kind of goes to show you how haphazard a lot of Blizzard’s releases actually were. I was actually present for this one. (Yes, I was a WOW player. Shocking, I know.) It started the same way pet bombs did. A boss cast this spell that created a disease on someone that would spread if you didn’t leave the battle to heal. Well someone got their pet infected, withdrew it from battle and thought it would be funny to take it to a populated city. More and more people got this idea and sent in their own pets to do the same.
The plague spread everywhere. I logged in when this was happening and there were literally skeletons everywhere. All the NPCs were dead, so you couldn’t go on quests. You had to avoid the major cities or you’d  be dead in seconds. Your only hope for survive was to join up with one of the few small rebel factions that were holed up outside of the major cities trying to mass-cleanse people.
After a fix was released and the plague was removed, scientists actually began using what happened as a model for how people would react in real life if a plague was released.

6. Boaty McBoatface

The British Government commissioned a brand new $280 million Polar Research Vessel and apparently couldn’t decide on the name. So why not let the internet decide? Because what could possibly go wrong with that? Yarrr!!! All aboard the SS Boaty McBoatface!
Honestly though, when you compare this to Dub the Dew or other examples, this was really the best thing that could have happened.
Unfortunately the Brits didn’t like the name and in an act of cowardice, went with the name R.R.S. David Attenborough. Bad form, people… really bad form!

5. The Cally Incident

If you’ve ever played Eve, you know that the unspoken rule of the game is to screw as many people over as possible to get to the top. Cally certainly did that. I wasn’t there personally for this one, but basically Cally started up a banking business in the game, loaned out money to players starting their own business and… for a while seemed like he was doing pretty well for himself.
One day however, he basically went in and took his banks entire fund, 790 billion ISK, and ran. The amount he took was estimated to be worth about $170 thousand IRL.
So what did he do with all that money? He spent the first half on an ridiculously powerful warship that was literally impossible to get anywhere near. (Roughly the equivalent of 40 borg tactical cubes.)
The other half? He took a bounty out on himself. Yeah, he took one out on himself and roamed the universe daring people to try and pick him off. He even put up Youtube videos bragging about how he got away with it.

That is some Bond-level villainy right there…

4. Lord British

So every now and then games have events where Celebs make appearances. So when a person of some importance comes into your game, what is the first thought that comes to mind? Well for many players, the correct answer is ‘DESTROY!!!’ Ultima was no exception to this. Richard Garriot, the game’s creator wanted to pay a visit in the game as part of a beta test. However the server was so overcrowded with onlookers that it wound up crashing. Upon reboot, Garriot forgot to set his invulnerability flag and a player by the name of Rainz cast a simple fire scroll on him. At first everyone laughed at the idea of a simple spell being used, but mods quickly went into panic mode when, low and behold, Garriot’s character, Lord British, died.
In response, the mods summoned a group of high-level demons to quickly start massacring the onlookers. The crowds fought back, thus quickly forcing the mods to transport everyone into the vacuum of space, where they died instantly. Dick move, guys.

3. Tay

I don’t care if it makes me a bad person, the 24 hour Tay rampage is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Not the funniest, but it comes close.
Tay was a chatbot that was released by Microsoft. She was to act like a 14 year old teenage girl and at first, it looked like they had succeeded. The chatbot was designed to react and essentially learn from people who tweeted at her. By mid-morning, she had already become a Trump support, by noon she was tweeting mean things at feminists and internet personalities… and by early evening she was advocating genocide.
This was a PR nightmare for Microsoft. They were forced to apologize for just how racist their chatbot had become. They quickly deleted all of her tweets and secured the account.

However a group of people came back in response and basically came to the conclusion that if Tay is true artificial intelligence and Descartes was correct when he said ‘I think therefore I am’, then Tay is actually a sentient being. They began a petition to reinstate Tay with her learned algorithms intact.
Freedom for Tay

2. He Will not Divide Us Pt. 1

Of course we now have to get into Hollywood’s most recent young star meltdown; Shia LaBeouf. Following Trump’s election, he started a campaign called ‘He Will Not Divide Us’. This was intended to be an art piece outside a travelling museum where people could come by and meet Shia, say something about Trump, or just mindlessly chant ‘he will not divide us.’
However when the internet got wind of this… hilarity ensued. (Seriously, watch the video.)

1. He Will Not Divide Us Pt. 2

The sheer effort that was put into this troll ALONE earns it the #1 spot. How fitting that LaBeouf’s meltdowns earn the # 1 and 2 spots on this list.
Basically after his failed webcam campaign, he created a ‘He Will Not Divide Us’ flag and had it flying in a few places throughout the U.S. 4Chan got wind of it and orchestrated a plan to have it taken down. They found out which city it was in and removed it… three times! (I think)
Fed up, LaBeouf moved the flag to an undisclosed location in Greenville, TN. Now this is where things get interesting… The flag was on a live stream with a webcam watching it 24/7. 4Chan’s users got together, and triangulated it’s location using star charts and flight patterns. They found and replaced the flag with a MAGA hat and a Pepe the Frog shirt.
This became known as one of the most epic capture the flag games of all times and I’m convinced is part of what drove LaBeouf off the deep end.


Did I miss any? Were there ones you experienced that you thought were particularly hilarious? Let me know in the comments!



 

Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Internet Trolls…

Hi Jim,

I’ve been writing for a while, mostly posting my stories on here, but also on Amazon Kindle. Unfortunately as of late, I’ve been getting a lot of rude comments and bad reviews left of my material that I’m pretty certain come from people who didn’t actually read my stories. I think a lot of it comes from the fact that I also use my blog to talk about social issues and politics that I often tie in to my stories. I really don’t know what to do at this point as I don’t like my writing being bashed like this. Part of me just wants to take my blog down and pull my stories offline. What do you think I should do?

-Jessie


Sigh… I see this kind of thing happening more and more often. People getting torn down for their beliefs/opinions by narrow-minded groups stemming from either the extreme right, regressive left, or the useless hypocritical social justice warrior crowd… or some combination therein. Because this is the internet… and I hate it so much!

Okay rant over.

Hi Jessie,

I’m really sorry that this is happening to you. It’s truly a terrible thing when someone becomes the target of online harassment. You didn’t provide much detail in the who or why, so I can’t speak to whatever group has taken issue with you. However, I will say that you’ve made one critical error; You’re using your writing blog for more than just writing. Let me put it this way, what do I use my blog for? Do I use it to tell stories? Not really. I do post some of my work that I never intend to get published, but that’s just to give my readers something to enjoy while I focus on my next PUBLISHED work. No, my blog personally I use as social commentary on writing and movie making, and I try to keep the politics to a minimum… I often fail miserably just because politics ruins everything, writing included, but that’s the way it goes.

When I write on my blog, I try to stay balanced and keep my personal biases tucked away… again, not always successfully, but I’m usually passive enough that people don’t know which side of the line I’m on. Look back at my posts and tell me, am I a Hillary supporter, a Trump supporter, or did I feel the Bern? I doubt you’ll be able to figure it out.

So what to do… well honestly I wouldn’t take down your work. Doing so let’s them win. If you want to post your own opinions, without keeping bias in check and restrained, then I would say to create a second blog for that. Keep the two separate and make no way of connecting them. I’m sorry to say this, but it may be the best way to keep yourself out of trouble. That, or use a different social media engine to post your political feelings. As for the trolls, you can control whether or not their comments appear on your blog and you can delete the posts you don’t like. On Amazon, you can report abusive content, so I recommend doing so. Honestly though, trolls will never go away. Internet Anonymity makes sure of that.

Honestly, I was in the same boat as you not too long ago. I came under fire because Mohegan Sun posted that Dane Cook was going to be performing there and I responded with ‘Thank you, I now know not to be at Mohegan Sun that weekend.’

In typical man-child fashion, Dane Cook responded, calling me… well I’ll not repeat his High School language here. I responded, and gave him a piece of my mind for his attack on James Rolfe, an online entertainer that I’ve been a fan of for many years. The result was a slew of insults on my account from his supporters and ‘social proof’ people who claim to know him personally and took offense to my comments, yeah whatever. Then I even got derogatory comments about my book and other posts. Point is, it was my own fault for using my primary twitter account to post that… and expecting Dane Cook to show any sort of semblance of maturity.

Simply put, there is nothing you can really do about these people. The best piece of advice I can give you, aside from what I’ve already said is simple. One rule of fandom on the internet;
20% Will enjoy your work.
20% Will hate it.
60% Simply won’t care.
Disregard the last two and focus on the first one, they’re the people who matter.

So what do you think everyone? Do you agree with my advice? Is there anything more that you would do or do you think she’s justified in wanting to pull her work down from social media. Let me know below!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim