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Superhero? Or Villain? March 18, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Spirit & Ego, Writing & Writers.

Some time ago, Mandy Ward invited writers on WEbook  to create either a Superhero or a Villain for her project.

My immediate reaction . . . why create one or the other?

Why not create a character who is both superhero and villain ~ depending upon the reader’s perspective.

After all, we have as many reputations as we have acquaintances . . . and none is accurate.  With that thought in mind, I created Relentless Reviewer:

Have no fear, Relentless Reviewer is here!  Armed solely with a red pen, oops, fast forward . . .

Armed only with the keys on her keyboard, our Superhero/Villain roams the WEbook site, day and night, night and day, policing entries for punctuation, syntax, grammatic correctness, and general readability.

Many contributors are delighted with the editorial suggestions offered by our fearless feedbacker, realizing that her constructive criticism is aimed at helping them develop their writing muscles. 

These writers view Relentless Reviewer as superhero, not villain.

Other WEbookers view posted feedback, other than a “LOL” or a smiley face, as an unwarranted intrusion into their vast creative genius.  These “writers” view rules of sentence construction as mere suggestions, and are averse to making revisions, even when obvious mistakes are pointed out.  They aren’t trying to improve their writing skills, or hone the craft of story-telling.  Instead, like magpies, happy to hear themselves  cawing, they post first-draft submissions, and allow unwary readers to  stumble repeatedly over glaring errors, claiming to be too  busy and/or important to proofread their work.

These WEbookers view Relentless Reviewer as villain, not superhero.

Relentless Reviewer accepts that her reputation will vary from person to person, project to project, and even day to day.   She acknowledges that she has as many reputations as she has readers, and none is correct. 

Even with immense super powers, she cannot please ALL of the people ALL of the time.

Rather than getting caught up in  the opinions of others (which are based more on who they are,  than on who she is), Relentless Reviewer  focuses on the reputation that matters most . . .   the one she has with the relentless reviewer in her mirror.

Be authentic.  Discard your masks.

No rules.  Just write!


1. aardvarkian - March 18, 2010

The aardvark agrees 🙂

2. nrhatch - March 18, 2010

The aardvark is muy intelligent! : )

3. Joanne - March 18, 2010

Welcome to the world of the teacher — in Middle School…!

4. nrhatch - March 18, 2010

That is so . . . perfect, Joanne.

Tiny scholars who view their teacher as superhero or villain. : )

5. Mandy Ward - March 19, 2010

Joanne stole what I was going to say! Dagnabbit!

Thanks Nancy! As usual you hit the nail square on… while I hit my thumb with the hammer instead.

6. nrhatch - March 19, 2010

Mandy ~ You should have seen how bruised my thumbs were at your young and tender age. : )

7. Loreen Lee - April 18, 2010

Most helpful to me, as usual, nrhatch. Thanks.

8. nrhatch - April 18, 2010

Thanks, Loreen! : )

It’s hard to completely shrug off the impressions others may hold of us . . . but it’s worth it. After all, our freedom is at stake.

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