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Monday, July 16, 2007

"We didn't like all the dragons..."

Okay--this next e-mail is going to be petualant and whiny--feel free to press delete if you're not into petulant and whiny today.

But I am so DONE with people trashing my books and doing it BADLY!!! I like CONSTRUCTIVE criticism--I swear to Goddess I do. If someone were to say, "I didn't see that change from hostile gas station clerk to affectionate fighter for her loved ones as clearly as everyone else seemed to." And gave me two stars for THAT, I'd be good--swear I would. If someone were to say "No one is as nice as Green--he was so not realized." I would object, but I would understand that this is a perspective that I hadn't considered--I could live with it--I know I could! As a matter of fact, I have RESPONDED to criticism like this in a positive way--when I got back the manuscript of BOUND, my reader said, "Cory's mom would have been a lot angrier to find her in that bed with three different men...I thought that scene needed more umph!" And I rewrote it, and it came out SOOOOOOO much better--and I felt really good about that!!!! But to read a bunch of reviews that mention the typos and grammar--even the good ones, bless them! and then buy the book and review it and say, "I didn't like this book because of the grammar errors"--I mean, people, that's like traveling to the spot on the map that says "Here there be dragons!" and coming back all disappointed. "Well, yes, but we didn't really like it, did we? No, we didn't like it at all...there were too many dragons. No. We give that spot on the map two stars. We didn't like all the dragons."

Seriously...SERIOUSLY...here...I'm going to copy the text for you, so you can see the reviews for yourself--and you can tell me what you think...

"The poor grammar was very distracting for me. I was disappointed and slightly offended that the novel took place in my hometown. The description of Sacramento was inaccurate. I enjoyed the first few chapters, but after that, I found myself counting pages until the end."

"I had this book on my wishlist for several months before I took the plunge and spent nearly $20 on it. I wish I had not. This book feels like it was written by a high school girl after having read other paranormal romance novels. She offers no new ideas and as a matter of fact, uses Laurell K. Hamilton's 'ardeur' plot device by having one of the main characters 'heal' with sex. The characters are hollow and the author offers little to no character development.
In addition, the editing is absolutely terrible. As a previous reviewer stated, I was itching for a red pen to correct my copy of this story.
I would recommend either the first few Antita Blake novels by Laurell K. Hamilton or Mooncalled by Patricia Briggs. Those novels offer everything this one lacks, original plotlines and likeable characters with compelling stories."

Truly people--I try to be gracious when I comment on these, but they're starting to irritate me!!! (You can probably see that in the comment I made to the second one...) I didn't want to take the bad reviews personally--I really didn't--and if they commented on the story at all...but that second one? It was as though she didn't get the entire narrative device of the hostile kid who undergoes the character change--actually, it felt like she didn't even finish it.

*sigh* I guess it's just that my position as a writer is still so tenuous...I'm working my tailfeathers off here, trying to provide a good product, and I wouldn't mind taking a review hit if it helped me provide a better one. If someone had something to say that would help me improve my books (other than the grammar thing--I think we can all agree that it's getting better even if it's still a work in progress) I would be exceedingly grateful. But none of these negative reviews DO that! They mostly just put a little tiny fishing lure weight on my shoulders when I pull up my next book to work on. I'm just afraid those little weights will add up and I won't be able to finish what I start.

I want to raise a little internet army to go vote these reviews down--I know it's not sporting of me, and I know it's impossible. Unlike Cory, I'm not a leader. Not even a little. I'm Keira Knightly from Pirates of the Carribean--I've said it before. I shout "Everybody with me into the rowboat" and in the next frame, I'm rowing alone. But it's getting depressing--it really is. I can see why actors just hide from reviews--I can see why they bury themselves under the covers and scream "la la la la la la" to not hear anything that's going to be a lump on the stage that will trip them up when they have to go on the next night.

DAMN it. I thought I was more mature than this.

4 comments:

Donna Lee said...

Gryffindors do not give up or give in. I can't imagine how hard it is to hear folks say such things about your writing (after all, where is their book?). You have made me curious and now I will go to my local book store and find one of your books. It just gives me an excuse to browse the book store which I love as much as browsing the lys.

KnitTech said...

Honestly, I hated the first Harry Potter book. It was lacking something, I can't quite put my finger on it. By the third book, Ms. Rowling had me riveted. It takes time and practice and practice, and PRACTICE.

As a writer, you're living your dream. Why are you listening to those who are saying it's not good enough?

Louiz said...

I think I might just find my way over to the reviews on this... and add mine (which I've been meaning to do for a while)

Roxie said...

Have you seen Ratatouille yet? The food critic finally winds up writing about how much fun it is to find petty little things to pick at and then write scathing and amusing criticisms about them. It has nothing to do with the quality of your writing. It's all about Miss Snotty Reviewer venting her spleen on someone who can't hit back.

You ARE mature. You are also honest. These stinking little fleabites can be horribly aggrevating. Does it help to think of how many people rejected Gaon with the Wind?