Trolling Comments: Examples

Trolling Comments:  What They Look Like

The following are some of the trolling comments I have received on my posted stories on the XN website.  I share these with my readers and fellow writers so that you will get a better understanding of how the troll mind works and some of the spineless things they spew.

The following are comments taken from the novel The Red Fang:

“Dumb story. Shows poor writing skills as well as a troubled mind. Suggest you find medical help and a writing course….”

                **This being said about an author who has been writing for over 28 years and has been published through both mainstream publications as well as self-publication routes.  This is a classic example of a trolling comment that does not help a writer at all but instead shows a streak of jealousy.  “Poor writing skills” means absolutely nothing if you are not going to point out the poor writing skills in question.  Exactly WHAT makes it “poor writing” in this person’s opinion?  The rest of this is just utter nonsense.  Coming from a troll, telling an author he/she “has a troubled mind” is an oxymoron.  The story is about vampires and werewolves, something that has been written about for well over a hundred years now.  If I have a troubled mind, then so do all my favorite authors.  If we are all touched in the head for our creativity, then I don’t want to be normal!  I love the rebuttal by one of my readers:  “Someone reading a sex story on a porn site thinks a writer needs medical help….pot, meet kettle.”

“This crap puts me too much to mund of ***17 and the crap he writes. I really don’t like the style of writing, too weak and unsophificated. Perhaps you could get the great one, ***, to dispense some of her wisdom, she is the perfect writer, don’t you know. I did wank twice during the reading, however.”

                **Obviously I was the victim of a troll who is jealous of other writer’s abilities and has since had his work so poorly rated that he wants to get even with anyone and everyone whose stories are considered better than his by the majority of readers.  The two writers’ names that I blocked out are actually two of the better writers on that site.  One has since left us due to such trolling comments as this one.  It is easy to tell when you have been trolled by a jealous writer.  They often toss around other writers’ names who have given them pointers on what could make their story better.  Again, saying that the writing is “too weak” and “unsophisticated” means nothing.  Give examples of your complaints.  Otherwise, you are just tossing around fancy words hoping that others will think you are smarter than you actually are.

“Both stupid and silly. Not such a good story, if that’s what it’s supposed to be. Try to take some remedial english classes at the local junior high school, then see if you still want to pretend that you’re a writer, littlt Princess.”

                **Again, this is just someone who is out to blow smoke up your chimney.  There is nothing helpful about this comment at all, just someone out to infuriate the writer.  All this comment does is resort to name-calling and tossing around insults that have no merit to them what-so-ever.

The following comment I do not really consider to be a troll comment, however, I would like to use it as an example of a comment that you will want to take with a grain of salt:

“im sorry to be a buzz kill but if he can phase willingly hes no werewolf, hes a restricted shapeshifter. sorry but just pointin out a fact. love your storys though”

                **This would be one of those cases where the reader told you what they thought was wrong instead of just tossing around insults and telling you to go take a writing lesson.  This one, however, would be a perfect example of “file it in the ‘I don’t give a damn’ category” for some writers.  When it comes to fiction, there ARE not hard-set rules.  You can make up anything and call it anything without fear of messing up details.  It’s called “creativity.”   This goes back to putting your own twists on things and stretching your mind a bit.  After all, as I have said, if all stories were exactly the same, how boring would they be?

“That was b.s. It was stupid ad boring. Hopefully no one is stupid enough to buy your book.”

                **Do I even need to point out all the things that make this a trolling comment?

I have, of course, gotten hundreds of really nice comments from well-wishing readers and fans.  I have also gotten more than my fair share of well-meaning “critics” who thought they would help me out by pointing out my many uses of clichéd words and phrases, among other things.  Those would be comments that I file under the “I don’t give a damn” category as well.  As I have written in a previous article, clichés can work for you if you know how to use them correctly and wisely.  Or, to put it another way, “Show me a writer who has never used a cliché term or phrase in their writer and I will show you someone who has never written a single word.”

Congratulations to My Mentor, Bret Michaels

It’s been a really long time coming.  I must give my absolute whole-hearted CONGRATULATIONS to Bret and his fiance, Kristi.  I am so happy for the two of you!  All I can say is, “Bret, it’s about damn time man!”

All my love and my prayers for many more years of happiness for the two of you and your beautiful family,


Nicola Matthews

Writing Forums: Yes, It’s a Popularity Contest

Any writer who has spent more than a few hours on a writing forum will quickly realize that your talent has nothing to do with how well your stories are received, how many reads you get, how well your ratings will be, or the type of comments you will receive.  As much as it sucks, you could write something to rival Anne Rice, Stephen King, and J. K. Rowling and STILL have your work rate very low, have people tell you that you suck as a writer, and not receive 1/10 of the reads that the top-rated story has, even if that story sounds like it was written by a ten-year-old.

It totally sucks, but writing forums boil down to a giant popularity contest.  Unlike real life, though, it is not necessarily the “who” that is popular so much as it is the “what” that is the flavor of the day.  For example, XN caters to a very specific group of readers.  They are looking for instant gratification in their adult literature.  The more vulgar it is, the more taboo the subject, the better the response.  The readers apparently do not care anything about stories which are well written, well thought out, and have actual storylines and character development.  

Even though I know this, it is still very disheartening to have my hard work butchered and torn apart by readers who have absolutely no idea or appreciation for the amount of hard work and effort that goes into creating the type of erotic fantasy that I enjoy writing.  And despite this, I still post on this site.  I know that if I would take all of the sex scenes out then I would be able to post on other writing sites, but I refuse to jump through hoops and rewrite something that I like just to try to get a few more reads.  Being forced to change who I am as a writer and consequently the writing itself is the very reason why I have turned down mainstream publication offers and chose to go the self-publishing route. 

I know that I could have other options if I changed my genre of writing.  I know that posting on XN will result in my stories being trolled by mean-spirited readers and consistently rated down by jealous writers.  I know that members of the site are not looking for anything that has any type of thought and creativity behind it.  One has only to see all the “That was so hot!  You are a great writer!  I want more!” comments on seriously pathetic attempts at writing to know that most of the members and readers that frequent that site would not know a decent piece of written work if it bit them on their asses. 

This goes back to that whole “popularity” thing again.  If it’s a really badly written piece from a writer who has gotten a “following” because his brain-dead readers seem to think his vulgarity is a rare treasure, then they will continue to follow him around as if he were a literary god.  If it’s a wretched piece of text that jumps straight into an adult situation with no mention of the characters or how they came to be in this situation, then it will be praised and voted up.  Decent pieces of writing, those with thought and character development, coherent storylines and intriguing plot twists, will, inevitably, be voted to the bottom of the pile thanks to under-handed people who want to pretend they are writers by slapping a bunch of crap onto their computers and then post it on a site that has absolutely no literary standards what-so-ever.  Yeah, it’s the only place that would take their mindless drivel.  Most writing forums have standards.

Yet I choose to stay.  If I could find other sites* that allowed graphic violence and adult themes and situations then I would happily post on said site(s).  Until then, I will continue to put up with the trolls and oceans of mediocre writing that is XN.  In the meantime, I feel that each positive vote, each encouraging comment, each additional read is another small victory for the few decent writers that still cling to some ray of hope that XN will eventually stop catering to all the bad writers and mean trolls and start appreciating all the talented writers who give their writing genius to the site FOR FREE.  But it’s a choice that I stand by.  Sure, I’m not popular.  I will probably never be one of the “popular” writers.  But I’m betting that if any of my works ever hit the mainstream publication circuits I’d be a pretty damn big hit.  Of course, that maybe because in my own mind, I am already popular!

*If anyone knows of any good writing forums/sites that allows adult content with graphic violence, allows the writer to retain all copyrights, and does not require an act of congress to join, please feel free to let me know.  I have tried 4chan, fictionpress, Lit., Lush, SOL, wattpad, booksie, and a bunch of others that I can’t remember at this time.

I Love The Hillywood Show!

If you have never heard of The Hillywood Show then

1:  you are probably not a Twilight fan

2:  you are probably not a teenager who spends any amount of time on YouTube

3:  you are not a writer

4:  you are totally missing out!

I cannot even remember how I came across this talented group of young actors & actresses.  While they were doing parodies long before Twilight came along (they did an awesome parody of The Dark Night that totally rocks!), it was their awesome music video parodies of these movies that really got them noticed.

Let me backtrack a little.  I do not claim to know the whole story behind the sister team of Hilly and Hannah Hindi.  What I do know is that when I saw their music video parody of the movie Twilight, I was an instant fan.  As a writer and a fan of the show, I would love to see what they could do with my own storyline The Red Fang.  If I ever get it finished, I might ask them if they would be so kind as to do a parody of it.  If they said no, however, I think I would be crushed!

If you have never heard of this dynamite duo and their supporting cast, I strongly encourage you to check out their website @  What I find most amazing about this bunch is that they are just a group of high schoolers who came up with these ideas and have since made some really amazing videos and clips.  All I can say is, if they are this good at writing, editing, and choreographing at this young age, then I think we might be in for some really awesome movies later on down the line.  That is if Hollywood is smart enough to snatch up The Hillywood Show before they are off to college and on with their lives.  In the meantime, check them out.  Even if you are not a Twilight fan, you will enjoy these parodies.  Personally, I think their portrayal of the characters and take on the whole storyline is much better than the actual movies.

NOTE:  these videos are pretty long, so I always pause them and let the videos load before I hit ‘play.’  If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s really getting into a music video and have the thing stall out on me!

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

For anyone who has ever set foot inside an English composition class, you are probably pretty familiar with the K.I.S.S. acronym.  Today I’d like to discuss the two extremes of this very misleading, and often misunderstood, writing tool.

On the far end of the extreme are those writers who take this acronym literally and think that simple everything is better:  simple plotline, simple sentences, simple characters, simply dialogue.  This is all well and fine…if you are writing childrens books.  If you are aiming for anyone with more than a 5th grade education, you are going to have to get out of the “See Jane run” mentality.  A manuscript written for someone above the age of thirteen should not sound like it was written by an 11 year old unless:

1.  it actually was written by an 11 year old

2.  you are Stephanie Meyer

3.  you intended for it to sound this way because it is based around the view-point of an 11 year old

Most English instructors make the very grave mistake of telling their students to write everything on a 5th grade level.  Okay, unless you are writing for an audience who is 12 years or younger, then anyone else is going to have more than a 5th grade education.  I have always said that I have more than a 5th grade education, I think on a level higher than a 5th grader, therefore I write subject matter and in a style that is meant for those with more than a 5th grade education.  Most adults who read something as simply written as the Twilight saga are often bored to tears.  (I know I sure was.) They want something that will challenge their minds, intrigue their imagination, and totally engross them in the storyline.  “Here comes Edward” just isn’t going to cut it for the majority of the adult population.  Don’t be afraid to use a large vocabulary if you have one.  You are not the only adult in the world to know big words.  Just be careful to not use too many at one time, try to use more common words that a lot of people would know instead of just a few doctors or lawyers or those with a much higher education, and always look for new, if somewhat simpler words, to use in place of always saying the same thing.

For instance, writing “He exited the building” sounds much better than “He left the building.”  While ‘exited’ isn’t exactly a big word, it gives the illusion of a much more sophisticated sound.  Remember that having a large vocabulary doesn’t just mean knowing a lot of different words;  knowing a lot of different words that mean the same thing is not only included in that vocabulary count, but as a writer, it will help you tremendously.  Other ways to write that same sentence include:

**He departed from the building.

**He headed off into the unknown, leaving the building behind.

**He disappeared out the door, leaving the building behind.  

**He vanished out the door and down the steps.

As you can see, there are many ways to write “He left the building.”  All of the above examples are fairly simply stated, but the way they are written spices things up, uses different words to keep the reader interested, and is not so simple that it would make the reader want to bang their head on their desk in frustration.  That is not to say that using something as simple as “He left the building” should never be used.  But if you are having to write the same scenario over and over, learning new ways to state the same thing keeps the reader interested and keeps the writer from falling into a rut.

On the other end of the spectrum are those writers who write so far above the regular Joe’s head that no one without a Ph. D. would be able to understand what was going on.  This, of course, is fine if the work in question was being written specifically for doctors.  However, if the work is supposed to be for regular, everyday people, it is only going to infuriate the reader and make them feel like an idiot.  Most people, myself included, have the mentality that people use big words to make themselves sound smarter than they actually are.  This means that you, by default, are not as smart as they.  And trust me, no one likes to feel like an idiot.  Not to mention that no one is going to continue to read something that requires them to look up the definition of every other word in a sentence.   

When it comes to writing, a very important first step is deciding who your target audience is.  If you are aiming for children, then you are naturally going to have to write in very simple terms.  If you are writing for adults, however, you are going to have to find a happy medium.  Write things too simply and your audience will die from boredom before they hit the second chapter.  Write too far above their heads and they will quickly tire of trying to figure out what all the fancy words mean.  No one really needs to know that you secretly have a vocabulary that rivals Merriam-Webster.  What does matter is that you can choose the correct words from your vast vocabulary that will appeal to the most people.

Tearing Down the Walls – Privacy in Writing

A reader of mine, who is also a writer, brought up a very interesting point.  He said, “When I tell someone that I am a writer, there is an instantaneous loss of privacy.”  Those words really struck home for me.  As a writer of erotic fantasy, there is a reason why I do not tell people that I am an author.  (see article “Why People Don’t Know that I am an Author” )  For me, it is really hard trying to explain to people exactly what I write about (mostly taboo fantasy fiction) and how/why I got started in this particular genre.  Reading those words of a fellow writer made me start thinking about all the reasons why people don’t want to confess their profession/hobby/passion, and why, once they do, they no longer have any type of privacy when it comes to their writing lives.

I cannot speak for all writers, but I can give you the rundown on how I lose privacy when I admit that I write.  First off, for some reason, people have a tendency to look at me funny when I say, “Yeah, I write.”  It’s almost like they are sizing me up.  I can almost see the gears turning in their heads.  What does she write about?  Does she do freelance from home?  How come I have never heard of her?  Is she any good?  It’s like they are trying to decide if they want to ask me anything about it or not.  If they are genuinely interested, then they usually ask.  It is these people who end up knowing a lot more about how my mind works than they really wanted to know, or that I wanted them to know.

The first question out of a person’s mouth is, “What do you write about?”  Well, if you happen to write news articles or fashion articles or articles on money or just about anything in the nonfiction genre then you will not likely have the scenario I am about to describe.  But as soon as I tell them, “I write fantasy fiction” they look at me like I had not gotten the memo that I was an adult.  In other words, people seem to associate “fantasy” stories with children and teenagers so obviously anyone who writes about fantasy is nothing more than an overgrown child.  They may be thinking that I am not that smart since I write about things that are not based in reality.  Now if I had told them I wrote children’s books they would want to know where they could pick up my latest creation.  But as soon as they heard the word “fantasy” they started making the following associations:

1.  She’s not very smart since she writes about things that do not actually exist.

2.  If she’s writing about make-believe things then she’s obviously immature and acts/thinks like a child.

3.  She’s not that talented because if she were then she would have a respectable job at a magazine or newspaper.

Already I have people making judgments about me based solely on the genre I choose to explore.  Now imagine the looks on their faces when I tell them the rest of the story, “Um, yeah, I don’t just write fantasy fiction, I actually write erotic fantasy fiction.”

Two things will now happen.  First, I went from being an addle-brained nitwit without any talent and a Peter Pan complex to being a sexual deviant who needs to be locked away in a jail cell for the next fifty years.  Now they really think that I have no talent because no one in their right minds with any talent what-so-ever would ever voluntarily write anything erotic, right?  Next they are going to start telling everyone who will listen to keep their kids away from my kids and to stay away from me because obviously anyone who writes about that stuff thinks about it all the time.  So now I’m not just a no-talented nitwit, but I’m a perverted, sexually deviated no-talented nitwit. 

Second, if the person who finds this out is male, the first thing that pops into his mind is that I must be a slut and will want to have sex with anyone at anytime.  After all, anyone who writes about it must think about it all the time and obviously must want it all the time as well.  Not to mention that anyone with that kind of imagination must be into some really kinky stuff.  Cue the stares, the propositions, the “accidental” brushing against of parts of my body that I will not mention.  For some reason, when men hear the words ‘erotic writer’ they seem to think they are getting a green light to hit on me.

Well obviously people are idiots.  Okay, so not really.  But what they are is very judgmental.  It’s only natural for them to fear or avoid what they do not understand.  And unless you are a writer, you will not understand that writing erotica is like writing any other form of creative literature.  I’m always so wrapped up in trying to get the wording just right that I cannot just sit down and just enjoy the story for what it is.  Because, what it is, for me at least, is a piece of literary art. 

I think this bothers me the most.  If someone goes to a museum and looks at a nude painting, they recognize it as “art.”  The same cannot be said if that same person then reads an erotic fantasy story.  They do not recognize, or understand that, for the writer, what was created was art.  To put it into everyday terms, an OB-GYN stares at female genitalia every day, but they certainly don’t go around being sexually aroused 24-7.  Why?  Because they look at it not from a sexual point of view but from a scientific point of view.  The same can be said for a photographer or painter who is capturing the nude form.  They look at it from an artist’s perspective.  Writers are no different.  Our medium of creation is just a little bit different from a painter or a photographer.

Letting others know that you are a writer means you have to let them into your world.  You have to try to explain to them that writing is an art form.  Then you will be judged based not only on what genre you choose to explore, but also on the simple fact that you are a writer.  They will gain insight into how your mind works and how you view the literary world.  They will almost certainly see you in a new light.  For better or worse, once people know you are a writer, your writing world and the creativity behind it will no longer be a private thing shared between you and your fans. 

If the person in question should happen to actually read something that you wrote, then they will have even more information about how your mind and creativity work.  Which is scary for me, actually.  On second thought, them thinking that I am a no-talented nitwit is preferable than what they may think of me after reading the filth that I have created.

And then again, they may become my new best friend.