The second reaction to reviews

Later, I came to my senses again. As I had invested a great deal of time and money in writing (translations cost me 33,000$), I decided that there was no way I was going to give up that easily. I began reading books on creative writing. I read at least six and out of all of them I would recommend two that I think every author should read.
  1. Stein On Writing
  2. Writing Fiction For Dummies

One has to be honest with oneself. I had spent months sulking, but when I read all these books on creative writing, I was forced to admit the reviewers were right.
Today I am very grateful to them. In the newer versions of my books, published after December 2012, most of the reviews are taken into account.
However, it is true that many reviewers could have written their criticism in a nicer way. Some were rather too sarcastic and hostile, which is wrong, whatever the reason. A good review must include both positive and negative observations.
But above all I have learnt that what is most important is that a writer creates a strong emotional experience. The book must be full of suspense from the very start, the characters must be strong and likeable, the place where the story takes place must be attractive and there must be a sufficient number of conflicts and events in the book to pull the reader along. It is no use knowing how to use unusual words or how to describe events poetically. The point of novels is not to tell others how clever you are but to create an emotional experience. If you cannot do that, the book will not sell. And the more obscurely you write, the greater the possibility that the readers will not feel what they should feel.

1 comment:

  1. Keep this up and all the writers of writers' how-to books will hate you for giving away all the secrets to success for free. ;)

    Yes, that's really it in a nutshell.

    And don't shell out $33K on translations until the first language edition has proven itself a solid seller. (Many years ago, I joked that my books were translated into more languages than Michael Crichton's - and cost $2000 a copy. Best part of the deal: Everyone who bought one got a free computer with it. Yes - by day, I was a technical writer, and the computers sold well enough to justify translating my books into 30+ languages.) My other books are in English.