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Waiter, there’s a Troll in my Blog! September 25, 2009

Posted by techtigger in Uncategorized.
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Writers, by nature, tend to be sensitive souls. They pour their heart into every word, lovingly polish each phrase and hold the final piece up to the muse to bless.  And the muse says, ‘It’s beautiful honey! I love it!”  But sadly, the rest of the world is neither so kind, nor so careful of your feelings.  And while honest critiques can be good for a writer, there will always be those who feel the need to tell you what they think whether you asked them to or not.  These gutter slime take advantage of the anonymity of the web to verbally assault you  – they leave nasty, personal comments on your blog, they try to bait you into pointless arguments on chats, they trash your book on Amazon –  these, dear writer, are Trolls. 

vacuumSo what do you do if you have a troll infestation?  First off, don’t reply to them.  Nature abhors a vacuum and so do trolls.  If you ignore them they will often wander off to find an easier target.  Remember, they want to wind you up, they get off on making people miserable, so don’t give them any fuel to work with.  On your blog, you can always apply the Mighty Sword of Comment Deletion.  It works, and it’s fun to do.  Hah, take that Troll!  (Imagine Errol Flynn as Robin Hood while you delete, I know that makes the Muse feel better, she’s a fan of his…work…heh.)

But sometimes, even if you get them to go away their hurtful comments stick with you.  We all have that little scared voice inside that says, what if they’re right, what if my story really is that bad?  Fear not dear writer, there are fun and easy things you can do to patch up your battered ego, and even come out the better for having encountered your personal boogeyman.  Here is my patented 3 step method to recover from Troll attacks:

The Zen Approach

Try to think of trolls with compassion – the enlightened soul realizes that pouring out vitriol is what this poor, benighted troll needs right now.   There must be some pain in their life, some deep seated hurt inflicted on them that goads them to behave so badly.  And you understand, you’ve lashed out when life has poured salt into your wounds.  You, the zen Buddha saint in training, know that this person is not angry with you, nor do they hate you, it is instead themselves that they are at odds with. 

Whoa, deep, eh?

Sadly, I am not usually quite so enlightened.  When someone is being an ass I immediately want borrow a hat pin from the Muse and play pin the tail on the donkey.  Which brings me to step two:

The Comedian

PrintTake a moment to contemplate the lighter side of trolls.  Just who whizzed in their wheaties today? Did they wake up to find their pooch dry-humping their leg?  Did the cat hork a hairball onto their lap?  Go ahead, let your muse have some fun at their expense.   Don’t let that lady-like exterior fool you, she packs a wicked sucker punch. And when you see those nasty-grams in your inbox, just remember:   Opinions are like assholes – everybody has one.  Some are just louder than others.

Right, let me just hand the hat pin back and get the Muse to stop giggling madly so we can move on to step three:

Use Your Trolls Wisely

The muse is really into recycling.  Everything in life is grist for her mill, and trolls are especially good when reduced, reused, and re-characterized.  If you ever wondered how to make your antagonists more antagonistic, keep a file with notes about trolls. Real life is filled with petty jerks, and the world your characters inhabit should have them too.  Just remember, no naming names.  Lawyers have these fun little toys called libel and defamation of character, avoid them at all costs.  Your muse is creative though, I’m sure she can find ways to use their character traits without going into recognizable details.   Odds are if something makes you cringe or grit your teeth, you can use it to gain sympathy for your main character and build tension in your story.  Keep your eyes open for trolls, they may be the inspiration for your next really juicy villain. 

Okay, that’s enough from me, what do you do to deal with trolls?  Share your ideas in the comments section, let’s try to make Troll an endangered species!

PS:  Yes, comments are being moderated, because you know the Village Idiot Troll will think it’s funny to try and post nasty-grams here.  So you won’t see your comments right away.

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Comments»

1. RJSWriter - September 25, 2009

Very good advice, all of it.

2. Twitter Trackbacks for Waiter, there’s a Troll in my Blog! « Techtiggers' Soapbox [techtigger.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com - September 26, 2009

[…] Waiter, there’s a Troll in my Blog! « Techtiggers' Soapbox techtigger.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/waiter-theres-a-troll-in-my-blog – view page – cached Writers, by nature, tend to be sensitive souls. They pour their heart into every word, lovingly polish each phrase and hold the final piece up to the muse to bless. And the muse says, ‘It’s… (Read more)Writers, by nature, tend to be sensitive souls. They pour their heart into every word, lovingly polish each phrase and hold the final piece up to the muse to bless. And the muse says, ‘It’s beautiful honey! I love it!” But sadly, the rest of the world is neither so kind, nor so careful of your feelings. And while honest critiques can be good for a writer, there will always be those who feel the need to tell you what they think whether you asked them to or not. These gutter slime take advantage of the anonymity of the web to verbally assault you – they leave nasty, personal comments on your blog, they try to bait you into pointless arguments on chats, they trash your book on Amazon – these, dear writer, are Trolls. (Read less) — From the page […]

3. CafeNirvana - September 26, 2009

I love this article, techtigger. I think it applies to all annoying/offensive people, not just online trolls. Though we don’t have “the Mighty Sword of Comment Deletion” to remove real life taunts from real life trolls.

4. Pastiche - September 26, 2009

Ah, yes, the trolls show lurk in life and online can try to be ugly, but they can actually only make a negative impact if we allow them to affect us. Nicely stated, techtrigger!

5. Marisa Birns - October 2, 2009

Death. Taxes. Trolls. It’s all life. Sense of humor helps, and ignoring the little buggers. But also try to see if there might be a kernel of truth in what they criticize so meanly. If there is, then I’ve learned something. The hard way, yes, but I’ve learned. All it’s all good.

Enjoyed this post very much! Thanks.

“Men in Tights” for me. I liked the laughs.

techtigger - October 2, 2009

Loved Men in Tights 🙂 Mel Brooks, FTW!

(and now I will have that song in my head all day *lol* )


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