Tag Archives: reviews

Authors Answer 151 – Tough Criticism

Authors will never please everyone. They have their fans, but also their critics. Check out some of the reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, and you’ll see some pretty negative reviews, including for books that are widely loved. Authors need to develop a thick skin when dealing with criticism, whether it’s from readers or publishers.

Question 151 – What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

C E Aylett

Do you know what? I can’t think of anything I’d consider really tough. I mean, sure, I receive ‘harsh’ critiques on workshop pieces but in a constructively harsh way, so i don’t really see that as tough. More like helpful. When I was a Noob I got a bitchy critique from someone but I soon found out that they had some rather ugly and deep psychological issues. It was such a long time ago I don’t even remember what was said now.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

To be honest, I don’t take too many criticisms to heart. I learned a long time ago that most criticisms are based on personal tastes (which I can’t control, so why worry about it?) or peoples’ desire to be jerks for no particular reason (which I also can’t control, and those people aren’t worth my time anyway).

That said, there was one criticism that really bothered me, mainly because it was very public. I’d sent out a few free books to a service that passes those books on to reviewers with the stipulation that they rate and review the book on the platform of the author’s choice (in my case, Amazon), and I received entirely positive reviews except for one. That last reviewer completely demolished me, on Amazon, for the world to see, with a 2-star review and a major bashing of my writing style, wording choices, and claims of grammatical/formatting errors that not one other reader has brought up yet, so I’m not even sure what she was talking about. All in all, I felt it was an unnecessarily cruel slamming, and because of the wording of the review I felt like she was purposely being harsh simply because it’s a zombie story and she felt that zombies are “over”. I would have just brushed it off as someone who doesn’t like zombies and probably shouldn’t have even been reading the book in the first place, but it bothered me for a while because it kept showing up on the book’s Amazon page as the top review, and it frustrated me that that would be the first thing people saw if they scrolled down to see what people were saying about my book.

Jean Davis

To date, I would say the hardest thing to hear was confirmation on issues I suspected with one of my published books. You know, those nagging issues that you ponder in the night, but your publisher and critique partners assure you it’s all good. Then you begin reading reviews and realize you should have trusted your gut. Trust the gut, it’s there for a reason.

H. Anthe Davis

In the past, I’ve been told that I’ve tortured the English language. That’s part of the reason I’ve been going back over my early books to see where I can un-torture certain phrases and paragraphs — because honestly I can’t deny that sometimes my sentence structure and concepts get a bit over-complicated and knotty. I’ve had a lot of success recently in fixing those problems, and thus the flow of the stories.

D. T. Nova

Even the most negative criticism I’ve received has been given respectfully and constructively, at least.

The toughest was probably the (largely correct) observation that characters were spending too much time discussing important issues unrelated (or seemingly unrelated) to the plot.

Paul B. Spence

Hmm. Criticism vs vitriol… I suppose the toughest legitimate criticism is that I am a little sparse and dry in my writing style. Vitriol is another matter. I’ve been told that my characters are unbelievable because life is fair and someone can’t be tall, good-looking, and competent.

Gregory S. Close

The toughest criticism I’ve received as an author was probably the review of In Siege of Daylight on Creativity Hacker.

The reviewer didn’t find it engaging, was totally confused about what was happening (based on his description of what he’d gleaned of the plot) and he objected to the “proper noun salad” of people, places and things and thought the prologue was pointless .

It was tough to read, particularly because I made an effort not to fall into the bad prologue trap or the info-dump trap. Disappointing. But I actually like critical reviews. You can learn a lot from them.

Jay Dee Archer

For my serious writing, I haven’t received anything particularly tough, but the one that popped up often was my tendency to use infodumps. I told too much, and didn’t show enough. That’s fair criticism, because I completely agreed. But as for some less serious writing, I once published a parody online when I was in university that made fun of the writing style of younger people who don’t seem to know grammar or spelling very well. It was well-received by a lot of readers, but it was completely bashed by one who thought I actually wrote that way. He didn’t realise it was a parody until after I told him.

How about you?

If you’re an author, what was the toughest criticism you’ve ever received? Let us know in the comments section below.

Advertisements

Week in Review – January 15, 2017

The past week was the complete opposite of the previous two weeks. I wasn’t that busy. A week off work and I spent a lot of time doing things with my daughter and not so much with videos or my blog. Basically, I took a holiday. But I did some things.

Reading

No work meant no commute to work, which meant I didn’t read. Actually, I did read, but they were books for my daughter. However, I didn’t start Animal Farm. I will be reading it tomorrow, though!

Writing

Like I said, I took a holiday. But after watching two movies and an anime series, I feel very motivated.

Videos

A whopping two videos on my main channel! And they were both reviews, one of a movie, the other of an anime series. Returning to normal this week, including a couple of channel trailers. That’s right, getting to work on my science channel. I still don’t have a name, though!

Patreon

Nothing. Major revamp coming very soon!

Languages

Again, nothing.

The Blog

It was a slow week again, but that’s because I took the week off. I didn’t miss a day, though. I got a movie review done, as well as the usual Authors Answer. I haven’t missed that in the 115 weeks we’ve done it.

Studying

Nothing.

The Next Week’s Goals

First of all, two channel trailers, one for my main channel, the other for my science channel. I’ll also have another movie review, since we saw Passengers today. I have some things to catch up on for the blog, including a Star Trek episode review and books from Argentina. And book reviews!

How was your week?

About December

So, December is almost upon us.

I have plans for December. I talked about how I plan to get back to the basics before. December is the month I start to do it. I have a pretty solid plan for it. Now, keep in mind that my work schedule is pretty heavy during the holidays, so I will be working longer hours and more days than usual then. Regardless, I’ll maintain a post a day. But what I post about will be back to the roots of this blog. This is what to expect:

  • Five book reviews. That’s right, five.
  • An author interview.
  • Resuming Quick Facts Astronomy.
  • And at least one worldbuilding post.

I really want to get back to doing these things. It’s part of what gave this blog its character. I also plan on doing something else new. You know I’ve been doing Star Trek episode reviews. Well, I plan on doing reviews of full seasons of different TV shows and movies. Coming soon will be season 1 of The Walking Dead, as it’s pretty short, and I just have two more episodes to watch.

Are you looking forward to December? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Back to My Roots

This blog started out as a way for me to talk about the books I’m reading and what I’m writing. I really haven’t been doing much of that lately. I also had some series that I was enthusiastically doing. Some of them I haven’t been doing. So, it’s time to get back to what made this blog better.

Here’s what I want to make sure I’m writing:

  • Book reviews. I have three from earlier this year that I never did get written up other than notes. I’ll be doing those. Also, I recently finished a book, and that needs to be reviewed.
  • Worldbuilding series. I need to get back to writing posts about worldbuilding. I already have five posts, but there are many more to go.
  • Astronomy Quick Facts. I’ll continue touring the solar system’s moons in this series.
  • Instagram photos. I haven’t done this in a while. I’d like to continue round 1 of the voting for my best Instagram photos. Some great photos have yet to come.

There are some other things I’m considering. One of them is more author interviews. What do you think about that?

Let me know what you think in the comments. What are you most interested in seeing return?

From Andorra to Space! The Jay Dee Show 3

Another week, another group of video to share with you. In the past week, there were fewer videos, but partly because of my anniversary. Things should return to normal in the next week, though! This week, we looked at another country, Star Trek, and more. In my main channel, there were 6 videos.

First up is the return of the Library Book Hauls with my daughter. She continues to be silly.

Also returning is The Star Trek Project with episode 5.

Moving on to the Read the World Project, we take a look at literature from Andorra.

And then it’s the final video in the From East to West series about our move from Japan to Canada.

Then it’s a Retro Book Review. I take a look at Excelsior by George Sirois.

And finally, we go back to #16 of Authors Answer with a look at some online writing resources.

Then going on to my vlog channel, I posted 4 videos, though two should be coming tomorrow.

Up first, we got to watch some guy riding on the hood of a car in a parking lot. That day, there was some silliness going on.

And then I talked about doing search engine optimization and show you how I make hot chocolate.

Monday was our fifth anniversary, so my wife, daughter, and I went to Plate International Buffet, a great restaurant in Edmonton.

And last, we watched the Presidential Debate on TV, and I considered a drinking game.

And that’s all for this week! If you have any comments, please leave them below. And of course, please subscribe to my channels!

The Snow Doesn’t Stop! The Jay Dee Show 2

I hope you’re ready for more videos. It’s been an interesting week, including a lot more snow. I worked quite a bit, but I kept up with booktube. I researched and explored the literature of Algeria, and I enjoyed giving some shoutouts. Let’s take a look at my main channel‘s videos.

First up is a vlog-like video where I talk about some authors who behave badly.

And then we go on to find out about literature from Algeria.

Next up is a popular video of mine, my monthly booktuber shoutout video.

And then I started a new tag, one targeted toward the parent booktubers.

Nearly finished the From East to West series now. Finally, we have reached Canada!

Then I reviewed Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards!

And finally, I answered Authors Answer #15, talking about new media.

So, let’s move on to my vlog channel. It snowed again! Is it going to stop?

First of all is my daughter’s first time playing in the snow. You definitely need to watch her first snowball fight.

The next day, my wife and I encountered a creepy snowman.

Something happened on YouTube thanks to Casey Neistat, a big vlogger. Find out what happened.

My daughter told me about a Pokemon that she was pretending to be. It was absolutely hilarious!

And yes, it snowed again!

If you have any comments, please let me know below. I’ll be back with more videos next Saturday!

Snow and Books! The Jay Dee Show 1

Get ready for a lot of videos. As I promised, I’m doing a weekly digest of my YouTube videos, so you can watch them all in one place! First up are the videos from my main channel, then those from my vlog channel. I strongly suggest you subscribe to them!

So, check out my main channel’s videos!

First up, you can see what happened three days before we left Japan. I went to Tokyo with my friend and looked at cherry blossoms.

Next up, a review of Revelation Space, by Alastair Reynolds.

And then I talk about some lesser-known authors I recommend in Authors Answer #13.

And return to some silliness with my daughter in her second library book haul.

September ended, so I talked about my September reading in this wrap-up video.

I then talked about what I plan to read in October.

I was tagged to do the Author Goals Tag, so I talk about five things I want to happen as an author. Definitely watch for #5.

And then my most popular video recently, it’s a video I took the day before we left Japan. I talked about how I was going to miss Japan, and that I felt like I didn’t want to leave. Kind of a bittersweet day.

And then, I did a review of Gunship, by John M. Davis.

And finally, I talked about what I think of first, the character or the plot in Authors Answer #14.

Next up are the most recent videos from my vlog channel. And there’s snow. It snowed!

In the first one, I went to work for a day of training. It was quite a bit of training, actually.

Next up, my knee has been acting up. It’s become stiff and sore.

Snow started falling in Canada! But not in Edmonton yet.

Then I had a great day at work, and I also talked about flying drones.

There was a news story I read about a restaurant in Osaka giving foreigners more wasabi than usual. This is my opinion about it.

We had a couple really cold mornings with frost. I had to get up early to go to work.

And finally, it snowed! It really snowed!

That’s a lot of videos. You don’t have to watch all of them, but I encourage you to watch whichever ones interest you. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed the videos!