Monday, September 15, 2014

Bad Romance (Reviews)

I have to admit that the bad reviews get me down.  Most of them are tinged with back-handed compliments (good sex, okay story).  Others are just all out bad (although I take mean spirited pleasure in noting that these are the ones that also tend to be poorly spelled).

I enjoy a good review.  The meaning of a good review has changed in recent months.

When I read a book and provide a review on Goodreads, I tend to simplify the experience.  If I liked the book, I give it a four star review.  If I loved it, five stars.  Two or less stars means I really didn't care for it.  One star pretty much means I didn't finish it, which is exceedingly rare.

Perhaps I am a generous reviewer.  I don't mind.  I realized long ago that I can love an infinite number (and variety) of books.  My all time favourite books I tend to read and re-read regularly.  They're like old friends.  And you can't have enough friends.

So, back to my reviews.  I know now that not everyone shares my view on books.  Some reviewers never seem to hand out five stars.  Others have their grading curves hovering around three instead of four or five like me.  People are different.  My idea of being a book lover is being fairly uncritical.  If the book made me feel strongly, I usually love it.  Even if it makes me sad.  Especially if it makes me sad.  That's the power of a book.  They don't all have to evoke the same emotions or tell the same type of story.  Imagine if all books did.  What horror.

People like your writing or they don't.  Not exactly stunning wisdom but the truth.  Everyone reads, and reviews, in different ways.

I can write good sex scenes.  I'll take it.  I write erotic romance so giving good sex scenes is a crucial part of my craft.  But I also want to tell a good story so I do read the negative reviews and try to see where I can improve.

Do I give the bad reviews too much power?  Perhaps?  They get me down.  At least now they get me down for a few minutes when, in the beginning, I would worry about them for days.

The good reviews outweigh the bad ones, both in number and in effect.  I want people to read my stories and feel something.  Hopefully, something sexy.

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