Let me tell you guys, writing words online requires a thick skin. In the 2 - 3 short years I've been spewing my garbage opinion down the internet's various toilets, I've endured a variety of both creative and downright nasty critiques of my prose. I'd list them here if I could, but doing so would cause you to be so shocked - and probably entertained - that you would spit your hot drink over whatever expensive screen you're reading this on.
Sadly, some people who choose to publish their work on the web have skin like cheap toilet tissue. Like Richard Brittain, a budding novelist and former contestant on Countdown who lives in Bedford. That's him in the top picture. Although he may look like the creative director of an advertising company, he's actually a maniac. Last year, Richard published a portion of his new book The World Rose on a site called Wattpad, which allows users to leave the author feedback. Richard wanted to hear the honest truth about the book he described thusly:
"An epic fairytale romance set in a semi-fictional ancient world, containing elements of action, adventure, poetry and comedy. The title has a triple meaning: the central character is a renowned beauty - ‘the rose of the world’ - while the rose flower features heavily in the plot, and it also implies that the world rose up. When Ronwind Drake discovers treasures in a distant paradise, a new golden age seems set to begin, but Ella Tundra will find that all which glitters is not gold as she faces many obstacles in her quest for true love."
Sounds like a real unputdownable page-turner IMHO.
Confusingly, one user didn't think his extended fairytale about a hot princess and her dog or some shit warranted a good review, so she got out her hatchet and hacked Richard's fantasy world into pieces. That user was Paige Holland, a teenager from Glenrothes, Scotland. Here's the most ruthless bon mot from her lengthy critique (read the full thing here):
"I'd like to take a moment to explain that fairytales, for those of you who don't know, are short. They are short because frankly, nobody can stand that kind of writing for very long. It's not considered good. Fairytales are there to entertain. Usually to entertain children. Full-length novels written for teens to adults?"
After condemning his taste for overwrought, purple prose, and his overtly sexualised descriptions of Princess Ella, Paige finished on this all too telling note:
"Mr. Brittain has gained a bit of infamy on Wattpad where he’s known for threatening users who don’t praise him (pray for me)."
She's not wrong there.
After reading the review, Richard grew incensed. One can only imagine the ways in which savage fury manifested itself across his pallid body, as he stewed with rage in his room in Bedford. Perhaps he cut his fist by punching a mirror, before using the blood to smear 'PAIGE' on a wall? Or not, just hypothesising.
Whatever the case, he found out that Paige worked at an Asda in Glenrothes, so he travelled the several hundred miles from Bedford to pay her a visit. Where he grabbed a wine bottle off the shelf and twatted it across her head - sending Paige straight up Jacob's Creek without a paddle. And by that I mean he really fucked her up. Observe the victim's head:
“At first, I thought that maybe I’d hit my head off the shelf and, as everything started to spin and go black, I wondered how I could be so stupid as to hit my head so hard.
My vision was black and my hearing was muffled.
“I did not pass out and turned and put my hands out to lower myself to the floor gently, which is something my mother has always taught me to do should I think I’m going to pass out.
I heard the tinkle of a bottle on the floor and I thought that something had fallen on me. Blood was covering my hands and dripping down my arms."
Brittian plead guilty on Monday. He was refused bail and is currently awaiting sentencing in custody.
Paige says she has suffered from anxiety since the attack. She also fears leaving the house and people who resemble Brittain. So it's fortunate she doesn't live in Shoreditch, where everyone looks exactly like him.
Anyway, here's Richard reading a poem:
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