Monday, January 16, 2012

and here come the BAD reviews!

with 16,000 free downloads, i knew i was bound to get some bad reviews on amazon (you know, like 16,000 of em- lol).

and here they come.

and i'd be lying if i said that they didn't hurt. of course they "hurt" to some extent. even when my head is nodding itself in agreement with their thoughts, my feelings are weeping.

but here's the thing. those reviews talk about something in my writing i didn't even know i did. y'all, i've never taken a writing class. i don't know anything "technically" about writing a book. i also didn't want too. i didn't want to follow the exact same formula that every potential writer is taught to follow. hell, i've already broken the first 2 "rules" that every agent posts on their website:

1. don't start a book off with a dream. CHECK! In Dreams starts with a dream!
2. don't start a book off with a phone call. CHECK! Chance Encounters starts with a call!

i think those rules are stupid. but see, i don't have an agent, so i don't have to follow them. haha

i'm straying.


back to my point.

one of the reviewers took parts of my book and posted them. when i read those parts, i literally cringed. i was embarrassed. they sounded TERRIBLE! awful! no wonder she hated the book. i even hate the book now. lol just kidding. she's not a fan of a particular writing style- the style i write in. and that's okay. every negative review has the possibility of helping me see things from a different perspective. and it's not that i have the intention of catering to everyone's opinions, but sometimes a reader will make a valid point that the author (me) was otherwise completely unaware of.

for example- there have been a few comments about how things are confusing because i tend to change character perspectives without any warning. i didn't even realize i did that, but clearly i do. the last thing i want is to have my readers be so annoyed or confused that they can't get through the book. here's the thing:

i see the story unfolding in my head. sort of like a movie or a tv show. then i write it the way i see it. and i tend to forget that you aren't in my head with me. i skip things, i jump around- all the while stupidly assuming that you're right there with me, seeing everything i'm seeing. i sometimes forget that i have to create the world for you... i forget that you don't know the characters the way i know them...

this is a learning process for me.

in dreams was the first book i'd ever sat down and attempted to write. while i'm completely in love with my characters and their story, i know that my writing could be better. i've never claimed to the best or most talented writer out there (dur). all i wanted was to write a story that made people feel, or think about things they may have never thought of before (reincarnation, past lives, the idea of soulmates). but mostly, i just wanted to write a story that people could enjoy.

my hope is that my writing will continue to grow and get better. i truly think that with each book i write, it will. and with each negative review, i'll do my best to learn something from it. don't get me wrong, there are definitely parts to negative reviews that i don't agree with. but i realize that each person has their own style, taste, personality and interpretation. we're not all going to see things in the same exact way. even when it's written down for us- we'll interpret characters differently.
and that's okay with me. it's never been my intention to please everyone.

i may be dumb, but i'm not that dumb. ha

so i guess a thank you is in order to the negative reviewers. thank you for taking the time to write them. thank you for helping me learn where i'm flawed, where i suck and what you hate about my writing. at the end of the day, it truly is helpful and i will be a better writer for it. being a self published author means i don't have an agent. i don't have a publisher. i don't have a team behind me of professional writers, editors, and copy editors (clearly). you can't expect me to be perfect. well you can, but you'll be disappointed. :)

ps- i also need to THANK all of you who have loved/liked/enjoyed my book. you inspire me, encourage me, remind me that i do have some sort of ability to tell a decent story with good characters. you make me not want to give up or stop writing. i can't tell you how much your wonderful reviews do for me. and when you take the time to email me, when you're passionate about my characters, going crazy over something cooper did or said- it makes me smile. don't ever hesitate to email me. i might take 100 years to get back to you because sometimes i truly suck at the internet, but i will get back to you.


Cat said...

take some things written and learn from it, like u said. Do not dwell on this. Dont repeatidly go over the comments. I am proud that you did something u loved and had the courage to get it out there. Is it pro quality? no. could your talent be one day? Hell to the Yes.

TonyM said...

I read the comment on Amazon and didn't think it was a bad comment in that she said "this book is shitty, don't waste your time".

It was pretty insightful, even if you don't agree (I wouldn't know one way or the other). I mean, there's no stopping negative reviews, but as the go, this one was obviously done in a way that it made you take action-which will be a good thing for you in the long run.

(P.S. if you're looking for people to read your work for grammatical errors, I'd be willing to chip in. I'm not a professional, but I could at least offer another set of eyes.)

Nyt said...

The best advice anyone ever gave me about writing?? Have someone else read it aloud to you. If it sounds wonky to you, it will sound wonky to someone else. I have a problem similar to yours. I write exactly the way I speak in real life, which means run-ons, grammatical errors, and what my husband calls "derailments". Those happen when I change topic or direction without so much as a breath. Trust me, have someone read it aloud. It'll help.

ster said...

tony- i don't think the reviews were that bad either. they were helpful. here's what i've learned the most- i have a STYLE to the way i write and tell stories. not everyone will like that style (the exposition for example is part of how i narrate my stories) and they won't be fans. that's okay. and yes, i will totally take you up on the grammar offer down the road. thank you!!!!!

nyet- i really need to learn to take my time. i get SO excited that it's "done" that i rush to put it out. you know? and i get sick of reading it. LOL i like your advice though. thank you!

Jordan said...

I'm glad you're turning them around. There is a lot to be found in nasty reviews, though some are just hate and nonsense, which usually stems from jealousy! So, there ya go!

<3 jordan

Veronica Mordem said...

Overall, you had a good number of great reviews. I've noticed many good authors get bad reviews. Once I upload my books, I know there will be some who like my books and others who can't stand them. You've done the most important part and that is to publish your first book. Never stop writing, because I believe you have a lot to offer :)

"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it." - William Arthur Ward

ster said...

thank you so much veronica- i needed to read that today. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you have a teacher friend somewhere. Ask one of them to edit your book. Reading something with spelling and grammatical errors can be painful.
As difficult as it can be, take the constructive criticism and do something positive with it.