Humble Pie Is a Dish Best Served Cold

Or, The Law of Averages Said This Was Bound to Happen

I’ve mentioned that the response to What You Will has, so far, been positive.  I have not been omitting a legion of bad reviews or selectively editing the excerpts or anything like that; there simply haven’t been that many mentions of it.  You can imagine my delight when this morning it showed up at the top of one of one of the best romance blogs out there, Smart Bitches Trashy Books.  This was not a surprise, exactly, since I had approached Sarah about reviewing it, but I didn’t know if she would or if she would have much to say.

She did…and she did.

I do believe I am still blushing.  Apparently I like me some semi-colons like fat kids like cake:  to distracting and destructive excess.  I need to lose 40 pounds of them and view them as special treats.

And my hero was a tool (eh, I can live with that; a lot of people in this world are jerks, including me quite often), and I had some wonky descriptions (this I can’t live with; if I hadn’t already fired my editor for the singular typo which has been pointed out, I would for this egregious blindness in not spotting points of ambiguity or obtuseness or just plain what-does-that-even-mean-osity).

I have no issues with anything Sarah wrote; it was an enlightening perspective for me.  A needed, if embarrassing, reminder that just because I like my style, and just because my friends who haven’t studied writing do, that doesn’t mean it’s not improvable.  I can always, always get better, and I think sometimes I forget to really work to do so, because production is the harder part for me.  And so it is, but that’s no excuse for slacking off on the prose editing end just because it’s mostly okay, or good enough.

In the end the one thing I did have an issue with is the commenter who said the excerpts sounded like the book was written in a foreign language and translated via online translator.  ?!  I may be overly pedantic, but I am quite fluent in English, fuck you very much.  But otherwise, good useful stuff.

And at least one person said she still wanted to read it.  That is called victory.  Even if victory is spelled with a D+. 

You can read the review here (and if you respond with comments please be polite, because I am quite grateful for the advice that was offered!).

As Tobias Funke would put it:  Onward and upward!


Filed under What People Think

2 responses to “Humble Pie Is a Dish Best Served Cold

  1. Good on you for having the guts to see the review objectively and to decide to carry on writing. I really, really admire your attitude.

    • well, i’m not gonna lie; it stung. but there’s a few things going on. first is that i went through equally brutal dissections of my writing a couple times in college, with the added fun of blatant personal attacks on my point of view (it was non-fiction memoir type essays), so the fact that this is strictly about my writing is acceptable. second, this is her opinion of my stylistic choices, which obviously i make for a reason and other people might find delightful. and third, the fact is…if this is the worst it can get, that’s good news. it’s fixable problems, not “give up now” or “practice for another 3 years and then try again” type of issues. if too many semi-colons and a handful of clunky descriptions are the boggart that flies out of my writer’s closet of fear to manifest as reality, damn, i think i’m doing all right. 🙂

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