Here’s the deal. Writers, authors, artists, sculptors, musicians, singers – all lay their heart out there on the book shelf, stage or gallery. Bare, exposed, vulnerable. It’s a package deal. Unless you put on your big girl panties and deliver the goods, you’re just another wannabee.
The author’s first shock is the realization that even though your mother thinks you’ve produced the award winning creation, others (not people who love you) may tell you its the worst thing since a hundred years ago.
The second shock is when the publisher likes your work, but some members of the public write scathing reviews, and don’t mind cutting down the author along with the novel. Most every author has experienced the ‘one out of five’ amazon dark day.
The third and final shock is when that killing bullet strikes. That’s the day you receive a gut wrenching review from a professional. That bullet fills you with doubt that you have what it takes. Maybe you should stop chasing that elusive golden light and bow out gracefully.
As an author for the past fifteen years, I know about my responsibility to offer to you, the public, quality. And, I know the value of an objective opinion. And, I know while I’m developing my talent, there are others qualified to tell me when my work needs WORK. Yes, I concur. It could stand another rewrite.
The confusion begins when several respected authors and critics have conflicting viewpoints on my work. Some will actually suggest a complete revision of the entire plot and modify the characters I’ve created according to their vision. All the while saying, “But it’s your story.” Others call and say, “I couldn’t put it down.” Ugh!
I used to like romance novels until I got so terminally bored with the repetitive plots and shallow characters. I’m almost certain the authors bowed to their critics advice and pumped out dozens of novels using the same tried and true formula. A professional critic will tell you a romance author must follow that one specific formula. A suspense author – a different recipe.
While I scan the list of agents and their submission guidelines, many of them request something fresh. Well, ladies and gentlemen, Feather Stone is about to give you something very fresh. I may get whacked by the romance and suspense industry, but that’s okay. All I can say is, “Hit me with your best shot. Fire away!”
How much do you value the opinions of readers, fellow authors and critics. Do you take their advice as gospel and rewrite until your manuscript pleases everyone? How do you manage the criticism. Me? I went for the chocolate sundae.