Adventures in Writing a Novel

The dreaded bad review… #writing #amwriting #writerslife #writerproblems

Well it’s official, I received my first bad review. Sniff Sniff. Ugh. The reader gave a whopping 1 star out of 4. Yay! Go me! Oh well, though. At least I invoked an emotion from her. Granted, it wasn’t a good emotion, but I still invoked an emotion in someone, nonetheless.

In all honesty, when I saw she gave me only 1 star, I should have closed my computer screen and ignored it. Curiosity, got the better of me, though, and I soon found myself reading her harsh and confusing words. Of course, they weren’t all bad, at least she did throw me a bone in a few places.

While I’d like to say the whole review was BS, I can’t, except for one particular part which is bothering me to no end. The reviewer bashed my book claiming a historical inaccuracy when they themselves were wrong. Seriously?? I about fell out of my chair. Contacting the reviewer is definitely a no-no, but at the same time, if they are going to say you were wrong with a piece of history they should at least get their facts straight.

I’m not going to let it bother me, though. I know I’m not going to please every one with my novel. To each their own, and if you didn’t like it, well then you didn’t like it. Even the great authors of both the past and present have received harsh and rude reviews. It’s just a part of life when writing a novel. If you don’t want to get a bad review then do publish your work.

And, I have to admit, aside from the annoying claim I ignored historical fact when I most certainly didn’t, I can see some of the points she made, and will keep them in mind when editing In the Land of Gold with my editor. Am I going to make sure all my edits are geared for this particular person? No. But on a few points I can see her point of view and I do believe others could agree with her.

Bad reviews are hard to swallow and can certainly humble, but they can also be a good thing. At least that’s the stance I’m taking.



5 thoughts on “The dreaded bad review… #writing #amwriting #writerslife #writerproblems

  1. I feel your pain. Try not to let it get to you. I got a two-star review that makes me sad. It’s in German and it’s the only review of my book on the German Amazon site. I have lots of great reviews on the American site. Anyway, I got out my German-English dictionary and tried to read it the best I could. I got the gist of it. I think she was saying it wasn’t enough of a mystery and was more of a romance.

  2. This is awesome, Angela, that you are able to take some constructive criticism from that bad review. I feel for you on the historical comment though. Ugh, how hard it must be not to address it.

    My writer’s critique group can be harsh sometimes, while at the same time, I do have to consider their points. They are all good writers (and readers) who can see things from the outside looking in. Sometimes, I’m too close to the plot and characters to see the bigger picture. Although, sometimes I get confused as to how much I should change. After all, it is my story. In the end, I usually make at least some change to my submissions after my critique group comments.

    Good for you in how you’ve taken that first bad review.

    1. Oh believe me there was plenty of colorful language and throwing of a few things when I read the review–especially when she bashed me for being inaccurate with a historical fact when she herself was wrong. Oh boy, did that ever send me on a rant through my house. LOL. But, yes, I agree that it’s hard being so close to our own work to see things others see. Ba reviews hurt, but they are apart of life.

      1. Yeah, I do take it hard when I hear harsh criticisms from my critique group. It usually aches for a couple of days. Once I let it settle, I can see the value in their input.

        Well, you’re human. I think my first response would’ve been the same as yours. But, sounds like you’ve worked it through.

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