Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG--Encouragment via Reviews in Writing



It's the first Wednesday of the month and that means...IWSG time! Today, I'm talking about my thoughts on reviews and how they can encourage you, if done tactfully!

I know there are authors out there who have said they never Google themselves or read reviews about their newest book. I'm not sure I'd have that kind of self control, especially nowadays where most authors have numerous social media sites. You have to maintain them, so you will eventually come across a reader who tells you their thoughts on your work. So, unless you have the money and can hire someone to manage your website/blog/Facebook/Twitter etc accounts for you, you are bound to come across negative and, hopefully, positive reviews/comments.

I wrote FanFiction (Harry Potter) for two years or so. I read FF for longer and I saw some of the "flamers" and what they can write about a person's hard work. I could tell most of those "flamers" were just trying to get a reaction; probably bored teens or even adults who have nothing better to do than start an argument with someone they can't see. On the flip side, there are the gushing positive reviews. You can tell how excited they are to be reading something they connect with. They use numerous exclamation points, caps, or just tell you "I LOVE IT!!!!" Sometimes, you get some detailed feedback about specific scenes, characters or ideas that they liked. I've also seen this with reviews for published works on sites like Amazon, Goodreads and personal Blogs.

Personally, I like the positive feedback (who doesn't?) that comes with "why" they liked it. If they said YA Romance is their favorite genre and they identify with character "A"...why is that? If you loved a specific dialogue scene, "why" did it stick out to you? Negative feedback has it's uses, too. If more than a handful of readers tell you they think that <insert scene here> is "unreal" or "fell flat" it may just have done that, but getting a "why" is helpful. I find it encouraging to hear this kind of feedback as it helps me refine and chisel away at my story, trying to make it better and more appealing.

Knowing what works and what doesn't is encouraging in the long run. You will find that handful of people who just don't like what you wrote, but I chalk that up to the fact this story just isn't their cup of tea. If you can back up your positive and negative reviews with "why", it means alot more to the author than just "This was great" or "I couldn't get into it."

What kind of encouragement helps you as a writer? What do you think of some reviews that you have stumbled across?

7 comments :

  1. Lovely! It's so true. One negative comment and I just deflate, no matter how many positives I've gotten. And it's really just nice for someone to say, "Hey, nice writing," every once in a while, you know? ;)

    - Sabrina

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  2. Reviews should be like pain killers, taken sparingly.
    They can be great but also painful.
    I think Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman said it best. The bad stuff is easier to believe.
    Heather

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    1. Love this analogy; I will have to remember this one! Thanks!

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  3. I totally understand! I think it helps with the feeling of dejection if someone can be nice enough with a "why"; no one likes hearing bad reviews about their 'baby' though!

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  4. "They" say don't read reviews. Can't help it. Why do we remember the 1 bad review and not the 20 good ones? Perverse human nature, I guess.

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    1. I bet the "they" are not writers! It's human nature to want to be liked and to be inquisitive!

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  5. I agree it helps to know why something didn't work for the reviewer. That way you can tell if there was a problem with the writing or if the type of story/character/whatever wasn't their thing. You can't learn much from generalities.

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