Michelle Buckley

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Some Advice...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI saw this on the Romance Forum on Amazon.com and I thought it would be a great beginning of the year blog topic -- so I jacked it.

We authors often say we LOOOOVE feedback from readers. We want to know what you think and feel about our work -- but how often do we get honest feedback? While I love the 'everything about your book was perfect' fan mail that I receive (one can never get TOO MUCH encouragement :-) -- I also enjoy truly honest feedback. For a writer, emotional investment by readers in your story is really important, so I like it when readers get impassioned (read: critical) about what I've written. Whether they are critical in a good or bad way and whether I think they are totally offbase or not -- doesn't matter. As long as it's not unnecessarily personal, it's all enlightening to hear.

I'm one of those people that believes we learn and grow the most via our failures and mistakes -- and the more constructive the criticism the better writer one can become. For the criticism that is founded in something constructive and useful -- authors will often use it in future writing. For the foundless, baseless criticism, (despite what you might think, we do know the difference), we brush it off and keep moving.

That said...how about a little honesty? What are some of the things that you would like to tell authors to stop doing in the NEW YEAR? Here's your chance. Tell 'em what you REALLY think! Following are just a few things that come to mind. Check out the link above for more!


--Continue to create all-black, all-white, all-whatever race/culture worlds. In the U.S. we live in a melting pot reality and it would be nice to see this reflected more in fiction.

--Write another book with all picture perfect, healthy, well-to-do (rich) characters. Where are the poor/middle-class, gap-toothed, asthmetic, overweight, bi-polar, disabled characters among us when it comes to fiction? Don't they deserve happiness and love too? Just say NO to cookie-cutter heroes and heroines -- variety can be a beautiful thing.

--Forget your characters have work responsibilities, lives (often messy), families and other things they must tend to on a daily basis. There should be more to a character's world than finding/keeping love.

--Use names that are so unusual that people are unsure of how to pronounce them (I was accused of this in my last book, Trippin' -- and see, I've learned -- hee!)

How about you? What are your author don'ts? What DON'T you want to see this year in your fiction?
Blogger Gwyneth Bolton said...

I like to hear from readers who have really engaged with the work. And the feedback doesn't always have to be positive, although I love getting the "I love this book. This book was the bomb" kinda feedback too. But if I can tell they really read and thought about what I wrote and give me comments that make me think about the book in a new and different way, then that's wonderful. If they offer feedback that leads me to thoughts about how I can grow as a writer, that great. I think it's all in the tone. People can offer critique and be critical without being nasty. I find I can't deal with nasty comments. I don't think I have any author don't requests... I'll have to think of some. Great post!


4:22 PM, January 02, 2008  
Blogger Michelle said...

Sometimes readers can over-engage but it's all good. I met with a local book club and a few members argued me up and down (in a nice way) that stuff happened in the book that I clearly wrote DIDN'T HAPPEN! I was flattered that they were so passionate. LOL. My favorite critique was from the woman that told me I didn't have to appear half naked on the cover of Trippin' to sell my book. It took her several emails to understand that my cover photo was a stock art photo. Readers...God bless 'em! =]

5:30 PM, January 02, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol thats a good on @ Michelle, naked on your book cover.

7:07 AM, January 04, 2008  

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