Friday, June 28, 2013

When Good Reviews Go Bad

Soooooo, as some of you may know my book Game Of Hearts was a RomCon 2013 Reader's Crown Finalist. It was really exciting to see my name on their website. I love my book and it's always a huge thrill when you find out that other people do to. Being a finalist is a big achievement for me.

For some stupid reason, I went to Good Reads this morning and saw a bad review for my book. And it was by one of the RomCon readers no less. Luckily, for the Reader's Crown contest they toss the worst review a book gets before tallying your final score. This was, apparently, my bad review. And it's been posted on Good Reads! None of the good ones have been posted anywhere yet (to my knowledge). Probably because good reviewers are busy doing other things --- like saving puppies from house fires, curing cancer, and attending summits on world peace. I don't know, but I'm sure it's far more important things than putting a review on Good Reads, which is the literary equivalent of commenting on YouTube.

Bad reviews are to be expected. Hell, Game Of Hearts came into existence because I hated 50 Shades of Grey so damn much. My review for that book would have been a lot like the one I got except it would have started, "Only three pages in and I wanted everyone in the book to die. Even characters I hadn't met yet." In retrospect someone saying. "Although this book started out promisingly, it quickly degenerated into a hot mess" isn't so bad. Everyone loves a hot mess.

Famous Hot Messes In History: Catherine the Great, Rasputin, Alexander the Great, everyone in that movie who wanted to bang Helen of Troy, anyone with "the Great" at the end of their name, Marilyn Monroe, Lindsey Lohan

Not-So-Famous Hot Messes in History: No one. They're all famous. I think I made my point.

After the initial little one-tissue cry and the proclamation that I would never write again (a decision I have since overruled), I decided to do what I do best and what people love.

Be a funny, obnoxious bitch.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

HOW AUTHORS READ BAD REVIEWS

"hot mess" = A multi-layered plotline that the reader lacks the multi-tasking skills to follow. Is easily confused by Green Eggs and Ham. (Do you or do you not prefer them in a box??? I'm lost!!!)

"grammatical errors" = The reader doesn't appreciate the beauty of commas, which writers lovingly plant at random to grow and flourish into baby commas, semicolons and the occasional cluster comma,,,we like 'em; get over it.

"weird capitalization" = WTH??? Absolutely NO clue what your problem is there. Pah-Shah!

"poor grammar" = The reader was raised to believe fragmented sentences are wrong. Fragmented sentences are completely natural. Millions of humans are born with the inclination to use and embrace this form of communication. You see? DON'T JUDGE US!

"misspellings" = Is it really? Maybe where I live we spell fukk with two k's. It could be a matter of cultural differences. Maybe...just maybe...you're racist. Think about it. It's never too late to change.

"unlikable characters" = Ugh! You missed the point!

"unresolved plot" = Spoiler: SEQUEL!!

"should get a professional editor" = My editor went to the School of Mom-Logic and has a degree in "You know what I meant---ism. Meantism? Meantiology? Oh, just go clean your room!"

"I didn't like it." = Look! A punctuation garden! How pretty!
                             .-.
                       __   /   \   __
                      (  `'.\   /.'`  )
                       '-._.(;;;)._.-'
                       .-'  ,`"`,  '-.
                      (__.-'/   \'-.__)/)_
                            \   /\    / / )
                             '-'  |   \/.-')
                             ,    | .'/\'..)
                             |\   |/  | \_)
                             \ |  |   \_/
                              | \ /
                               \|/    _,
                          jgs   /  __/ /
                               | _/ _.'
                               |/__/
                                \
(I stole this from CHRIS. ASCII art is awesome!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It's not easy putting your hard-worked creativity out for the world to see. It's even harder when someone doesn't like it. Convincing yourself that they just don't "get you" is helpful in getting you through the depression as long as that's really the case. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it is as simple as the reader just isn't into your style. Those times you just have to let it go.

Or you can write an entire blog post so you can say, "Michele Harvey is a stinky boo-boo head." I mean, how can I take her review seriously anyway when she can't spell her own name correctly?? Use two L's.

Welcome to the internet. Everything is fair game.

~Steph

P.S. I know I really should get a professional editor but they cost upwards from $500. I don't really have that kind of cash just laying around. Have to write more to sell more to edit more. It's a vicious cycle.