A FLY IN THE KEYBOARD

He pondered the email on his screen.

His initial outrage had prompted him to write a thunderous reply, filled with ill-tempered language and dismissive ire. How dare they criticise his work? Who did they think they were?

‘Just ignore it,’ his agent always told him. ‘You don’t need to prove anything. Your a bestseller. Who cares what they think?’

He re-read the email and calmed down. As he read though, the doubts entered his mind. They actually made some  good points. That plot twist didn’t make any sense. Maybe they were right. The book was rubbish. His entire career was luck. He was a complete fraud.

He stopped himself. Enough of that sort of thinking. You’re a success. A literary star. They are entitled to their opinion. Don’t let it bother you.

How to respond? Should he take each point and offer a rebuttal? Or provide a general defence? But who has time for such contemptuous nit-picking. The cursor blinked at him.

He shrugged and typed:

‘Dear Sir,
‘Thank you for purchasing my latest novel and taking the time to write to me. I have exciting plans for the next book, and hope you are looking forward to reading it.
‘Kind Regards.’

He congratulated himself on rising above the criticism and returned to his writing.


198-04-april-30th-2017

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

This month I participated in the A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017 – a post each day based on the letters of the alphabet and theme. You can read my final story, a crime thriller HERE.

32 responses to “A FLY IN THE KEYBOARD”

  1. Nothing like a little pep talk with one’s inner self. Brilliant take on the prompt, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Annie, a little advice for all writers, successful or not, don’t let the critics get you down!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A very good post. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not easily done I can imagine, but after reading an author’s response once to a criticism on Goodreads and how that made things 10 x worse for him, I think your character made the right decision, however hard it was 🙂 This guy got absolutely torn to pieces, but it was a good lesson for others of not what to do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the best response is to rise above it and have faith in what your doing, especially if it’s not constructive criticism. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  4. Good advice! Even if the review is full of inaccuracies, it’s rarely a good idea to engage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can only lead to an argument and usually leave you not feeling better!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The temptation is to fire back in kind, but you make a good point. It rarely succeeds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, it’s tempting, but can only lead to trouble!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great story and such great advice! Not always easy to rise above but always the better choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy. It’s just not worth the argument to respond sometimes!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent advice — the first response is to “fly off the handle.” Better to think before hitting send!
    Well done take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s not always easy to find failure even in your successes, but if one looks hard enough, they can find failure anywhere. Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, much appreciated.

      Like

  10. Good tale, and with a moral, Iain!
    For some reason this made me think of Lee Child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t imagine why! Thanks CE.

      Like

  11. That would be a great response to a less than pleasing review, Iain. Good writing. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Think twice before you speak (or write) is apt here.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Rising above the critics is the best way to avoid anger management clinics. Good story Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Good reply! Never give up, be polite and overall, keep writing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good advice! Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. He did the right thing! Criticism can be a bit hard to accept but at the end, it’s constructive criticism and honest feedback that’ll help us fine tune our writing skills! 😁 Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, so long as it is constructive – and there’s no point getting into an argument with someone over it!

      Like

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