Inflammatory Language and Misconceptions Pushed by the Anonymous Poster & Anonymous Commenters at THAT The Passive Voice Thread

Reblogged from TezMillerOz:

DISCLAIMER: All my notes here are based on what was said on that particular thread. NOT based on anything said anywhere else by anyone else.

Did you see THAT The Passive Voice blog post by an anonymous author? And the numerous anonymous commenters on that post who shared their thoughts? I don't have a problem with their opinions as such, but I do find some of their word-choices somewhat misleading. A wise author once said something along the lines of words are an author's job, so they're experts in using words to push their point. And not just for fiction, but in everything they post - including social media. And, in this case, anonymous comments on an anonymous blog post.

(No links because the specific, inflammatory words came up more than once each. Also, that would be seen as targeting specific people, rather than concentrate on the general impression.)

The original post and MOST (not all) of the comments give the impression of grudges being held, or axes to grind. That may not be TRUE, but that's how they words COME ACROSS. And because these are anonymous, I have no other context than their words to go on - I don't know if they're authors who've been reviewed perhaps unfavourably by Jane Litte or Dear Author. I don't know who the anonymous people are, so I don't know their histories, or how they came about feeling how they feel.


"Safe place": They refer to their authors-only loops as "safe places". But a more accurate term would be "secret/hidden place". Judging by the comments, these loops are where authors confess all their author-related thoughts. Someone reviewed your book, and they weren't "kind" about it? Complain to the loop, where your fellow authors may feel the same. Had a bad experience with a blogger? Complain to the loop about them. Want to talk about non-authors behind their back? Take it to the loop...

So why call it "safe", simply because no-reviewers-allowed? Are reviewers therefore "unsafe" or "dangerous"? Why?

"Competitor": They seem to call Jen Frederick/Jane Litte (I'm unsure which persona they were accusing) a "competitor". Because Jen Frederick is an author? Uh, you're in a loop with ONLY OTHER AUTHORS. If JF is your competitor, so is each and every member of the loop. Unless you're calling Jane Litte a "competitor" because she's a reviewer? How do bloggers/reviewers "compete" with authors? They're totally different things: authors write the text, while reviewers READ the text. If you're "competing", what's the "prize"? How is it determined who "wins"?

"Infiltrate": Jane Litte "infiltrated" the author loops! I'm sorry; I can't say that with a straight face, can't take it seriously. Since they say "infiltrate", does that mean they imagine JL was thinking...?

Damn, I gotta get me into those author loops. But I'm not an author, so they won't let me in. How can I get around that? I probably can't just PRETEND to be an author; they'll want some kind of credentials. Oh fuck, this means I'll actually have to write and publish my own books until I'm successful enough to be considered a legitimate author, and thus allowed into the loops. This'll be a lot of work, but it'll be worth it since my main objective is to INFILTRATE THE AUTHOR LOOPS...

Yeah, I can't take that seriously. Maybe I'd take you more seriously if you weren't anonymous. Your choice. Out of all the inflammatory language used, "infiltrate" comes across as the most ridiculous.

"Pro-reader": The anonymous folk use this as if it means "anti-author". These are two totally different things. "Pro-reader" does NOT automatically mean "anti-author". Just like being a feminist doesn't necessarily mean you're a misandrist. Authors, you are most welcome to be pro-reader. We'd love to hear you speak up for readers' rights, for reviewers to review as they see fit, to discuss the issues they want to discuss.

"Influential": They claim Dear Author is an "influential" blog. The more accurate term is "popular". DA gets a lot of page views, thus it is popular. Does it "influence" me? No. I usually only read the daily news, and sometimes the opinion pieces, depending on what's being discussed. Have I ever bought a book simply because someone on DA liked it? No. Have I ever "noped" a book simply because someone on DA didn't like it? No. DA is definitely popular, but I'm not sure about "influential". That word seems to suggest that DA readers don't have independent thought, that we just blindly agree with whatever the DA contributors say.

"Sock-puppet": This was spoken in the same way as "infiltrate" - as if Jen Frederick was created simply to get into the author loops. No. Jen Frederick was created simply to write and publish books; she could do that with or without the loops. Jen Frederick is not a "sock-puppet", used to uprate certain books and downrate others. She is a pseudonym. And considering many/most authors publish under names that aren't their legal names, this should not be an issue.


I repeat, these are just the impressions the anonymous people's words give; they may not be true. Without context, without knowing their identities, I can only judge their words on that thread.

And basically the impression seems to be anti-reviewer. Or at least anti-JL, or anti-DA. These anonymous people seem to suggest that websites like DA - created to share HONEST (rather than all-positivity all-the-time) views on specific books, genres, reading, and publishing - are therefore evil, wrong, or mean.

And the anonymous people? They come across as holding a grudge because maybe they received an unfavourable review on DA.

Again, THIS MAY NOT BE TRUE. If it's not, these anonymous people need to work on their writing skills, to get their points across more effectively. And if the impression IS true, then these authors need to get out of their high school mindset. You were caught talking about stuff that otherwise you wouldn't have talked about. Maybe this isn't about Jane Litte or Jen Frederick as much as it is about people who want to keep their elitist VIP club elitist, rather than welcoming.


They seem to think that reviews on Dear Author are "mean" or "snarky", or "anti-author". The more accurate term is "honest" - and being honest often means talking about the cons, not just the pros. What does "critical" mean? Some people say it as if it's a bad thing, but I think it's good. It's healthy AND helpful to talk about various aspects of a book - not just the things it did well. Pointing out places for improvement could lead to better writing in the future.

Dear Author has a whole section dedicated to the books they recommend: But why would that exist if DA hates authors, and is mean, or whatever? Reviews on DA are organised into categories, so at the click of a button you can see the books they rated the highest: But why would the A category exist there if DA hates authors?

"PRO-READER" DOES NOT MEAN "ANTI-AUTHOR". These are two totally different things, and if you think they're the same... Well, you have more research to do.