When Brutal Honesty Has a Taste All Its Own…
I’ve thought and thought about this post for the last few days. What to say? What to say? And I keep coming back to how reviewers help authors more than they know (at least this author).
No, I’m not talking about getting the book attention, although, let’s face it, that helps. What I’m talking about is helping the AUTHOR who is a WRITER first and foremost.
What’s the difference?
Let me explain. A writer is someone who is worried about the story. They work their butts off to learn the craft, get closer to their characters, learn to take critiques, learn to take compliments, learn to write and the difference between character arcs and plot twists. A writer is ALL about the story.
Now an author worries about that stuff, too. But an author has to don multiple hats once they’re published (even a bit before). And yes the distinction IS published – this includes self, indie, trad, or printing that sucker up at Kinko’s – published is published and once it’s done, the writer becomes the author who has to format, edit, revise, market, promote (yes, two different things), get out on social media, and wait for the “reviews”. All this on top of what a writer has to do.
Let’s add to this, that not everyone has a completely honest critique partner, or first time readers, the people that help by saying “this needs work” or “this doesn’t work”, or “heaven’s to Betsy, no one says Heaven’s to Betsy anymore”.
Reviewers tell it like it is. They don’t sugar coat. They don’t worry about the authors’ feelings because they have a responsibility to their own readers who look to them for guidance on who and what to read. On my first book, Breathe Again (Carina Press, 2011) I had some middle of the road reviews – 3 stars – a lot of them, but the consensus on nearly all of the less favorable reviews wasn’t that the story sucked, it was that it was too deep for what they wanted in a romance – read suicide doesn’t belong in romances (past incident, not one that occurs in the actual story line). Every single one said they enjoyed my writing style, voice, etc. even how the story was executed, just that it wasn’t their topic of choice.
I got that. So much so, that I realized I write dark, not light which was what I was shooting for with my romance. Those reviewers pointed me in the direction of writing urban fantasy which just happened to turn out to be YA (Barely Alive, zombie romance with genetic makeup) and also adult Apocalyptic thriller (Into the End, end of the world with survivors who find out that natural disasters aren’t the worst thing that can happen).
I still love romances and will continue to write them, but I can do so now without fighting the dark twists and plots that always want to come out. Now I can just let my writing do what it wants.
What’s your favorite thing about reviewers? I’m grateful for their honesty. I could use more of it in my life.
Giveaway! Leave a comment and two lucky winners get to choose an ebook from Into the End or Barely Alive. I’ll leave the details to Jodie, hostess on Uniquely Moi Books, to decide how that works.
And thank you, Jodie, so much for having me! I love this site and use it myself for who to read and who not to read. We seem to have much the same reading tastes.
Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities to make even myths seem likely and gives every romance the genetic strength to survive. Barely Alive is the first in a YA zombie romance where fighting the virus might be easier than fighting attraction. (Falling Apart, #2 comes out late summer 2012). Into the End introduces the scary realism of what happens when nature and other countries seek to defeat America. (Through the Flames, #2 due out early summer 2012). Visit her at www.bonnierpaulson.com and see what she thinks about science flavored with romaction.
I just want to give a huge thanks to Bonnie for stopping by today!
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