Well, it is pretty easy really.
Why are you getting so upset that someone doesn’t like your story or your writing?
It doesn’t matter what ‘they think about your book.’
Reviewers. . . Urgh.
Am I right?
I mean. . .
You only worked on it for ages.
It’s only one of the most important things you’ve ever done.
Just manage the criticism with class.
Well. . .
It’s not that easy.
Reviewers can be soul crushing.
You love your characters.
You think you have something to share.
You think they are worth reading about.
If you’re anything like me, you would probably be happy to give your book away for free if you thought people would read it, like it and comment on it.
But they won’t all like it.
They won’t all finish it.
They definitely won’t all comment on it.
But wait. . .
– let’s halt a little.
If you don’t know me.
Here’s the low-down.
Hmmm. . .
Where does the expression ‘low-down’ come from?
Just looked it up. . . to get to the bottom of something but I don’t know where it originated. Comment below if you know.
I have recently self-published my first full length novel, Facing Us.
I did this through Kindle Direct Publishing and have had both highs and lows. Read more about this process here if you like.
So let’s talk grammar and editing issues.
I’ve had some people exclaim, “very well written!”
And another. . .
“It needs a good editor.”
And this is where I drop a bomb on you.
Either way, it doesn’t really matter.
There will always be someone prettier than you.
What I mean is. . .
There will always be someone with better grammar than you, with a better use of the English language, or whatever language you write in.
But. . .
There will always be someone with grammar worse or equal to you.
Don’t change your style because it doesn’t fit into their format.
Because someone will like it.
Be original or you will fade away.
A character in my book, Facing Us, makes a great point when she says, “Shakespeare coined 10% of the English language.”
Think about that!
This writer described the world in his own words. . . literally.
You do you!
Now let’s talk about plot or character criticism.
To do this, I need to go back to a dark day when I received my very first review.
It was from a middle-aged man who found my characters conceded, unrealistic, and unlikable.
So here comes the very best advice anyone will ever give you about handling criticism and critiques.
Ask yourself a very simple question and be completely honest when you answer. “Who is the authority on the matter?”
As an example this reviewer said certain sections of my writing was ‘clunky.’
Now he is a literary agent and a professional editor and reviewer. So, he is the authority on the matter. I took his advice and improved those parts of my novel.
But, let me explain how this helped me.
This man, he shall remain nameless, because if you Googled him you would find him, is a middle-aged conservative man. He mentioned in a few different ways that certain characters just wouldn’t behave the way I described, and in one section referred to that behaviour as ‘psychotic.’
This was his opinion in reference to a young woman.
Now, in this case, I am the authority on the topic of how a young woman would behave in that situation as, I was, quite recently, a young woman myself.
And due to his view, I would be surprised if he has a daughter, because that is exactly how teenage/ young adult girls behave.
Okay. . . ranting now.
But I let it go!
Let it go.
Let it go.
Turn away and slam the door.
. . . Sorry.
I have shed more tears than I’d like to admit over reviews and critics, and guess what, I’ll continue to do so.
BUT. . .
I want you to know what I think, and what I am working on every day.
Say it with me now.
“I wrote a book.”
“I published a book.”
How amazing is that!
Share below if you have a similar story or any advice to share!
We need to hear it.