Do you remember writing essays in school? They were always long, and tedious, and oh so many words! But you would do it, making sure you followed the template your teacher gave you, putting in all the important information, and turn it knowing you would get an A. And then you got it back with a big red B on it! Of course there were also notes in the margins. “Constructive Criticism” my teacher would say. She would tell me that I would need this in college. And she was kind of right. I did need it, just not in college.
Ok, so that may be a stretch for me. I always turned them in hoping I would at least get a B. And most of the time I did. But there were always comments on them about how I could make them better. Well, I got kind of the same thing on Amazon. It seems a few months back, someone tried to read my book Broken Crown and wasn’t that impressed with the story. As a matter of fact, they claimed they didn’t finish it because it was too predictable.
Now, when I write, I try to let the story flow, but I also like surprises. I don’t want you to be able to tell what is going to happen next. Some things have foreshadowing, and you can guess what may happen down the line, but I also like to throw in something you never saw coming. However, this reader didn’t think I did very a good job.
This post isn’t about bashing said reviewer. It’s actually about thanking them. Because I am actually flattered. They said the story was predictable, but that the writing was actually good. Really?!? That’s awesome! Why? Because when people leave reviews, if they hate something they, they usually hate everything. The story, the book cover, my name. They don’t want to like anything because, when you are on the internet, it’s easy to hate everything. But this person didn’t. And I’m happy with that. I can even handle the 1 star they gave me.
So the next time someone tells you they don’t like something about your story, but compliment your writing, or the style of writing, or the fact that one of your characters names is the name they wanted to use for their first born child whenever they have said child, take it in stride. At least they didn’t tell you to go back to your day job!