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WILL REVIEWS AFFECT YOUR WRITING?

July 30, 2014

This is almost a rhetorical question, but it struck me that when and if I get published, will I read my reviews and what will I take from them?

Of course, I will read them! I may not like all of them, but after being at this passion for almost twenty years now, and after being critiqued at everything from the writer’s group from hell to two really great groups, I’ve almost heard it all. I have a pretty tough skin.

I see the issue as filtering through the flack.

WHAT TO TAKE

I’ve talked about reviews before and there are the fake reviews, which I hope I never get. Case closed. Then there are the bogus reviews like “My device doesn’t work right so I’m slamming this book with one star because the font size won’t change.” Those reviews are crap.

Tossing the flack aside, I’ll look at the good and the bad because I’m sure there’ll be some who don’t like my work for one reason or another. Why? Is it something I can or should change, or do they just not get it? Will it be something that will alienate the good review readers? Or, do the good reviewers also hint at the same thing but don’t care as much? If that’s the case, maybe I need to take a look at some improvements. I’m not proud. I’m not that bullheaded that I need to put my nose in the air and say screw the public. They have to take me or leave me.

If I can make my stories better, I’m not too arrogant or proud to adjust.

SOME AUTHORS JUST DON’T GET IT

I’ve brought up this author before but I won’t mention his name. If you’ve been following me for a while, his name is probably burned into your forehead by now. He has done pretty well getting his thriller series published. Yet he gets slammed over and over again for the same things, from the bad to good reviews. Does that make one iota of difference? Not in the least. He keeps plodding on without even the slightest change to either his style or the quality of the writing. Case in point is the latest hardback… yes, hardback which just came out.

I just finished the fifty page prologue and am now into the heart of the story. While there are fewer glaring typos and other grammatical errors than the last one, things are picking up as the main story is finally getting going. Incomplete sentences, head-hopping, story threads going nowhere, the usual. Not only is this author not writing any better, but it’s as if his editors are deliberately trying to make him look bad.

Though he gets mostly good to moderate reviews, even many of them are full of complaints about the bad writing. The guy can tell a good tale, but the writing sucks! Historically, his reviews are consistent from book to book and not a thing changes.

Maybe he never reads his reviews. Or maybe he refuses to change. I don’t know.

Even beating him over the head with a stick doesn’t seem to be helping.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

I hope if you attend a writer’s critique group, that you actually listen to advice and take it into consideration, hone your skills and improve them. Geez!

Now, say you get published and the reviews start rolling in on Amazon. Will you refuse to read them? Or, will you read them and laugh them off? I hope not. Fans are the reason you will have a writing career. One-off comments can be taken with a grain of salt. If even your good reviewers are saying the same thing as the bad reviewers, maybe you need to look at making some tweaks. Just a thought.

Happy writing!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2014 2:17 am

    Sounds like a pretty interesting guy, one who doesn’t listen or take advise from anyone. My way or no way. If I had written a book like him with a 101 errors and it sold, it would have been obvious the readers liked it. With my lazy and lackadaisical attitude, why should I have made the effort to crack the grammar and punctuation books with big bucks coming in? I would have done exactly what he had done. It’s obvious I would never have read “The Worlds of Fred Rayworth.”

    • August 2, 2014 3:16 am

      Felix,

      I just couldn’t do that! I’d want to be the best I could be. Oh well… Always great to hear from my favorite trombone player.

      Fred

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