Do you use reviews to improve your writing? I have an account on goodreads.com, but to be honest, until recently I have not spent a great deal of time on this website. Then, I few days ago, I dropped in on my account to see what was happening only to discover that I had a few more great reviews for my novel, Serpents Underfoot. These reviews are by Goodreads members who have actually read my book and who I do not know! It is one thing when a friend or family member reads your book and tells you how great it is. But, when a stranger enjoys your book and says so … how fun is that!
Therefore, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Garrett Lee and Kevin Keegan for your FIVE STAR reviews and A Standley for your FOUR STAR review. It means a lot to a writer to get some response to his work, good or bad.
Use reviews to improve your writing skills!
Good reviews are motivational and we all love to get them. However, bad reviews, if honest and to the point, can be very instructional. I am sure there are readers out there who will simply not like my work. Such is life. But constructive criticism can go along way toward improving your writing skills. So, instead of getting angry or upset over bad reviews, view them as tools to improve your writing skills. Take the comments and look to see if the review you are upset about is indeed on to something.
You can always just ignore the occasional cranky reviewer with nothing real to add to the conversation.
After reviewing my novel, Serpents Underfoot, John Purvis was gracious enough to interview me for a post on his blog, John’s Notes! I feel honored! My very first interview as an author! How absolutely cool is that? I will do my level best not to get the “big head.” I do still need to get through doors! I guess if I get too cocky … Sophie can knock me down a peg or two.
John had some really good questions!
John did ask some really great questions. I hope my answers inspire other aspiring authors. Or, at least give them a few practical tips they use to further their writing careers. I got some really great tips talking to other authors. Christopher Woods, the author of the SoulGuard series and other works took time at a book signing to offer me a few tips that were very helpful. This is actually one of the main reasons I do attend writer’s conferences … to talk top other writers. It can certainly make a difference.
A few segments from the interview
John: How did you pick the genres for your stories?
Me: There is an old saying, “write you know.” That may, in fact, be kind of limiting. I say, “write what you enjoy.” If you are not interested and enjoying what you write, how can you be good at it? I think I tell the story and then see what genre it fits in.
John: I think that is very good advice for the prospective author. Where do your story ideas come from?
Me: I start with a character or an idea. Then I let the story unfold on its own.
John I know that you say you prefer just to see where an idea takes you, but do you work to an outline at all?
Me: I do use a loose outline. That functionality (essentially drag and drop chapter and scenes) is built right into the tool I use for my first drafts. I think working from a plot is too confining or limiting.
If you are interested in reading the rest of the interview, here is the link!