We all get bad reviews. Most of the time it is best to say thank you for your time and move on. Some might say to always do this. BUT sometimes, one comes along and well, it is just hard to not give a little back.
Most of the reviews for the novel are helpful and supportive and positive. By that I mean 9 out of 10.
First off, there is no way everyone will like what you write. Steven King has his faults. And I doubt any writer is perfect. You cannot make everyone happy.
Negative things are something you have to get in order to grow. The trick is to learn when to not listen.
I think this guy who wrote isn’t bad guy. I do think he isn’t worth listening to as much as he thinks. Why is that? Does he have a novel published? No. Does he have a degree in writing? No. Is he published? Not that I can find. He has the right to read and hate. What he should not do is not find one nice thing to say, and watch his phrasing.
Here is his review:
Thank you for letting me read your piece. I do have a few comments. First off, it felt to me like you were trying toohard, trying too hard to be ‘cute’ or ‘humorous’.”
—-NOT a good start. He dose not like the humor. Since this largely hangs on humor….
”For instance: your opening line, “Call me Ishmael. Just kidding…” Immediately put me off. I would delete it, the whole line.”
_ Many like it. It sets the tone. It ties in the fish bad guy. It shows he is not to be taken seriously. It shows he has some education.
—- Cat Rambo and Caren Gussoff thought it was fine. I’ll go with the pros.
"I think I see where you are trying to go with this, a 'wise-guy' detective/wizard but the 'humor' is much too much in-your-faced, at least for me. There is an excellent detective series with a ‘wise-guy’ detective by the name of Parker. It works on several levels, particularly with the humor aspect of it.”
_-You already stated you did not like the humour, but please go on about it.
—I had not heard of the books looked and found nothing.
"Parker is a natural-born thug with the proverbial heart of gold. His humor is only occasional and mostly either self-deprecating or just part of who he is. Example: after a thug takes his gun out of his hand, he asks himself; “Why do I keep bringing this thing along? Whenever I need it, someone always takes it away.”“
___Why the hell would I want to write like someone else?
___Do not care. This should be about my story and not someone else’s. It is fine to use some other pros as something to look at for grammar, phrasing, but to tell someone they should write like someone else to please them, a person who is not a publisher, editor, pro writer. Thanks, but nope, do not care.
"He walks into a job he really doesn’t want to do, but decides to do it anyway as he’s got nothing better to do.”
— Wow that sounds like a great plot. Oh wait, no it doesn’t.
"When he can’t find any clues, his girlfriend (a psychiatrist) asks him what he’s going to do now. He replies, “I’ll just keep poking around until something happens.” (Knowing that it always does, happen that is.)
—-Is that an example of humour or good writing? I do think it a shinning example of either.
"The references to people like ‘Donald Trump’ early in the story immediately pulled me right out of the story."
—-You were already out of it.
"Magic usually occurs in alterative worlds/universes."
— OF COURSE it is a different universe. DAH! There is magic in second sentence. Alternate universes can have real people. The use of magic makes it an alternate universe. It is just that simple. Having cars or people from history does not make it not fantasy. It can make it an urban fantasy.
"The same thing happened when his client, the fish, came to meet him and again when you pop in ‘asides’. "Note: A reputable source(s) say(s) Trump has a Hatter." (Note: a source says (singular) or sources (plural) say.) And what the heck is a ‘Hatter’? (capital H?)"
—-Didn’t you already go over this? This is almost valid. But what is the point, since you want it cut. I think a lot of things should be explained when you introduce it. However, not everything. Sometime it is okay to not have every detail explained. Sometimes it is good to allow a reader to fill in the blanks.
__The capital H shows that it not a just a hatter, but something else.
”It looks to me like you are trying to do both. That is, build an alternative universe with wizards, gnomes, dragons and human-like fish but put it in *this* world. It just doesn’t work for me. When you talk about Donald Trump, Errol Flynn, Fu Manchu and Barnum in the first 3,000 words, it’s a bit much.”
—-I use Errol Flynn to describe a pair of boots. I use Fu Manchu to describe a mustache. Barrum, is the name of a dragon who owns a circus in my universe.
"Anyway, Teller (As in Penn and Teller? If so, Teller needs a new name.) acts in a somewhat effeminate way. I’m not sure you intended this, but to me, he ‘reads’ as gay (not a bad thing) especially when he talks about his multicolored scarf. I don’t think most guys think like that. Girls do.”
—-So among the list of things you do not like is Teller’s name, apparently because of Penn and Teller. Not a reason. I do have another name picked out. That is Callahan, Callhoon, or Murdock.
—If I got more feedback like that, I would change the name. If a publisher, pro editor said change it, I would. But one guy. Nope.
— So it is not bad that you think Teller is gay, but it is bad enough where you noted in a review filled with all things bad. But hey, you say you’re fine with it. I think you are not as fine you think you are.
—I cannot control if you think he is gay or not. I personally, just wrote what I wanted and did not intend for him to gay. Perhaps bi. Funny how when Teller spoke about women in a positive sexual way, you skipped it.
—As to the multicoloured scarf, that is a Doctor Who reference. And the scarf is not just a scarf, but TooLong can move on his own, thinks and feels.
__Personally I think there are all kinds of men in the world. I do claim to know how they all think, or women for that matter. How strange you think you can. How arrogant.
"You might have a nice idea here, but in my opinion, you need to settle on your universe: it’s either an alternative universe or it’s not. If it’s an alternative universe, I would cut out the references to this one.”
—- I guess there is a book I should have read about writing, and writing fantasy where it said, “When writing fantasy never mention anyone from the real world.” Someone should have told Harry Turtledove and Pou hilip José Farmer.
"If it is *this* universe, I would cut back on the human fish, gnomes and dragons. Anyway, good luck with your rewrite.”
—I would not. I think fantasy requires the fantastical. I think urban fantasy has to take place in a city.
—If you read the groups guidelines, you would see that want to phrase things “I think” and “I feel”.
*I wrote him and thanked for his time, and told I was sorry he did not like, and if I cut everything he wanted me to, there would be nothing left.
He wrote back:
”Thank you for the feedback on the crit. I do appreciate it.
"Maybe I didn’t say it clearly enough: I am talking more about *focusing* than I am cutting."
—-OKAY DUMBASS. I give up. What the hell does cutting do other than help to focus the work?
”For example: “Call me Ishmael.” It’s obviously the opening to a famous novel, (Moby Dick). In the original novel, the line was a ‘grabber’. The narrator is introducing himself, but has such an odd, exotic name, the reader immediately thinks, “Who is this guy?” And keeps reading to find out. (Every author’s goal!)”
"Using the phrase as you do, immediately reminds the reader (me anyway), "This is just a story, no need to take it seriously." And that’s the problem! You *do* want the reader to take your story seriously… seriously enough to keep reading."
—- Personally the goal is to have a good time when reading and writing. Some books are meant to be literature. THis is not literature. This is adventure, humour, mystery and a love story. You think I should write seriously. Why?
”The same with mentioning other contemporary people in the way you do, Donald Trump for example brings to mind a ‘clown’ that most people don’t take seriously.”
— I think a lot of folks do take him seriously. And he is a clown.
”I’ve always tried to keep the reader ‘in’ the story by not breaking what some call, ‘the Reader’s Trance’. I really *hate* Republicans you know!”
__I am a little lost. But that okay. After all you are the better writer.
”See? By putting in something that doesn’t flow naturally with the story (in this case ‘hating Republicans’) it ‘breaks’ you out of the story, reminding you ‘it’s only a story’.”
__No. DUMBASS, you missed the point. By using Trump, I show not tell, when and where the story takes places. I also show that magic in this world is not hidden and that it is not always great for the person using it.
”That’s what I was trying to say. If you have a world of fish people, dragons and gnomes… what is Donald Trump doing there? What are you trying to say? What is the image you want the reader to accept? That Teller is a ‘clown’ who should not be taken seriously? Or is it the author’s picture of themselves? See?”
—-I think humour is serious I think funny is smart. I think funny is likeable.
*As much as I would truly love to write and him again and tell him off I did not. Instead I blogged.
Let the blood flow where it may…