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
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.