On writing and reviews.

"Write from your heart!" they say.
"Don't hold back!" they say.
"More show, less tell!"
"Have an original voice!"
"Make it your own!"

Then you write something from your guts, something you may have experienced about people you know using characters from your own life... and they say:

"Unrealistic characters."
"You should've written more like this:"
"Your voice doesn't sound like the voice of these other books."
and my favorite:
"I don't believe your character, XYZ, would act that way."

how does someone else know how my character would act? Whatever.

Here's the thing about critics and reviewers: It's just one person's opinion. Who cares? You shouldn't. Now if 75 critics are saying you should have your work edited, and your POV changes eleventy billion times and there isn't any punctuation... then you have a problem.

I don't like reviews that are self-centered. "I hated it." "It didn't suit me." "I thought it was poorly written schlock."

That means that person isn't reviewing, they're giving an opinion. Don't pay attention to them. You may not like the outfit they have on. Not really important, is it?

I think the idea of a review is to compare one work with similar works. It should be based on experience in the field. A book reviewer who loves historical romantic lit, shouldn't review a zombie apocalypse novel. If they do, they need to stick to mechanics and not complain about it being "Gooey."

A person who gives five star reviews to every book of erotica they read, probably shouldn't be one-starring a non-fiction title about autistic children.
Unfortunately, we writers have to deal with people who just don't get it. If you don't like country music, you probably don't listen to it on the radio just so you can complain about it, right?

Anyway, this seems like simple math to me. The following statement sounds personal, but it was the easiest way to phrase the issue:
It's tough enough trying to find my audience without those of you who don't like horror telling those who do how to think.
That sentence confusing? Read it again.

Anyway, that's my three cents. I say write from the heart, using your brain. Write what you know, but make it your own, and put a spin on it. Life is interesting--use it. If you have to put monsters and sex in it, so be it, but ground it in reality so it seems real-or you'd better create a believable fantasy world-- weird, unpronouncable names aren't enough. Then ignore the reviews. After all, until we can go to other people's places of work, and write reviews about their performance, they're just bitching.

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