Learning From Reviews

So far, two amazing people have written reviews for my book. I am very grateful for these reviews and while both readers had amazing things to say about my book, they also had a few things to say that, honestly, kind of bummed me out.

I think it’s natural that as writers we want every rating to be 5/5 stars and every review to say that our book is the best book that the reader has ever read. However, let’s be honest, especially if we’re just starting out, chances are that our writing isn’t going to be like the writing of Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. There is going to be room for improvement and things that we need to work on – it’s only natural.

Two of the reviews that I’ve read for my book have said the same thing – I struggle with ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’. I’m very aware of this. In fact, I’m slightly jealous of the amazing authors that are so good at imagery – it takes my breath away.

Instead of getting bummed out about not so perfect ratings, we need to grasp on to the positive things that our readers have to say about our work and learn from their critiques. The best types of reviews are the honest ones. Reviews are a wonderful tool because they allow us to understand what the readers want and need from our workΒ  Reviews help show us what we as writers need to work on.

I am so grateful that two amazing bloggers and readers have reviewed my book for me. Not only does it help advertise my novel, but it helps me learn from certain writing issues. Also, by reading the reviews written about my work, I’ve felt hopeful. While my writing may not be perfect, it does seem like I’m on the right track.

So don’t worry if the reviews aren’t perfect. Embrace the positive comments and use the critiques to make your next piece of work even better than the one before it!

My book has received both a 4/5 and 3.5/5. If you’d like to read the reviews, click here

If anyone has suggestions for how to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’, I’m open for suggestions. I seriously don’t mean this sarcastically as I know it’s something I struggle with.

 

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13 thoughts on “Learning From Reviews

  1. Well said B.W. I’m glad you didn’t get too upset about not getting perfect reviews. This is your first book and despite the couple of issues I had regarding the characters voices and the telling vs showing, this was a creative and imaginative story and I’m quite impressed. As far as the negatives go, these are things that can be easily fixed as you gain more experience and confidence in your writing. In the meantime, I think you should be very proud!πŸ€—

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with everything By Hook Or By Book said!

    Also, so, this might seem juvenile, but I found this link that discusses “Showing, not telling.” It’s obviously a teacher’s lesson plan, so I thought it might be helpful. It gives some exercises to work on, too. (I’m saving it for myself too, in case I ever try to write something. LOL) http://languageartsreading.dadeschools.net/pdf/Writing/WritingSampleLessons/Composing%20Lessons/6-ShowNotTellLesson.pdf

    What I think is part of the issue is, it’s easier to notice “telling” when reading someone else’s work. Noticing it in your own, or phrasing your work differently, is harder. I think it also feels a little bit silly sometimes – like, we’re afraid readers will read a sentence & say “what the heck?!”

    For that reason, I think noticing when your favorite authors get descriptive might help. Notice the ways that the link I shared explains how authors “show” their readers. Then, try to incorporate it in your writing (not copying or impersonating that author, of course, but use similar tactics). You could also try describing a character, a scene, or another element of your favorite story, but in your own voice.

    Lemme know if I can help! I think a lot of writers struggle with “show, don’t tell” because it’s just so darned vague!

    Like

      1. Any time! If you want to run stuff by me, as always, I’m here for you! This is probably one of the hardest lessons for a writer to grasp, learn, & really perfect (if one can really perfect it, that is!).

        You’ll get a hold of it! I have faith in you. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m around 25% done, and you’re not nearly as bad at telling over showing as some authors I’ve read, though I’ve noticed it a bit. It’s not enough to make me not want to continue reading the story, which has happened to me with other authors (Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy to name one). One thing you can do is instead of saying that a character is mad, upset, happy, etc. is describe the emotion on their face. It is a bit vague, because you’re always “telling” a story, but I think the way it was described to me was you want to use your words to show your readers what’s going on, instead of telling them everything that happens on the way. I’ll definitely write a review of Rest in Piece when I’m done. One positive thing is I’m definitely enjoying it and breezing through quickly πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I really am! It’s very compelling, and I have trouble stopping when I need to get back to work lol. I usually read on my lunch break at work since I bought it on my Kindle, and you structure the chapters well so that you want to keep going.

        Liked by 1 person

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