Thursday, March 30, 2017

Writers Beware: Don't let this happen in your book!

The review below scared me to death...and put me on my [writing] toes, so to speak. God forbid this should ever be said about any book I write. I have changed the names and of course left out the book title and the author's name. I'm sure she is mortified to see one of her "babies" cast in such bad light, but, especially, if she is a new author, there is a treasure trove of tips for writing improvement in the devastation of this very BAD review: 

"How does one explain so much potential that ultimately goes...nowhere.

 For those who have read the book, think about it. In every single story-line throughout the book, with the exception of Joe (to a very small degree) and Deborah, there is no actual progression in plot-line.

For those who haven't read it, I'll give you a heads up, don't read on if you are afraid of spoilers:

  1.  Richard and Jane: Their relationship is exactly the same at the end as in the beginning. What started with HUGE promise petered out into nothing by books end, no growth whatsoever, status quo.
  2.  Mike and Terry: Although Terry changes, her relationship with Mike...still the same.
  3.  Shirley: We start with an interesting thread but it's just lost. Nothing happens to it.
  4.  Charles and Judy: We already knew he cares for her, so nothing at all new in that area either.
  5.  Lee: His story-line just disappears. He is there in the beginning then never heard of again."

 The good news for writers, is that this review is chock full of writing tips, along with sufficient motivation to put them to good use.

  •  Deliver! Make good on promises made to the reader at the beginning of the story. Don't let that story fizzle out
  • Keep the story moving forward. Make the reader want to find out what happens next
  • Readers want to see change and personal growth in the characters into whose lives they have temporarily become a part of. Don't let characters remain stagnant
  •  Readers want to see relationships grow and develop
  • What happened to Shirley?!? I wanted to see what happened to Shirley!!!! Reader is now furious
  • Can't change just one person in a relationship. Cause and effect, cause and effect, cause and effect, etc., and etc....
  • Charles and Judy: Boooring! Where's the conflict?
  • Lee who? Where'd he go? Bad editing? Thought he was a good idea but changed mind? Meant to delete him from the mss? Sloppy sloppy sloppy

This reviewer. though brutal, provided very constructive criticism of pitfalls that every writer can fall prey to, learn from..., and steer clear of!