Ahh, the reviewer

I haven’t been working on my stories lately. Poor Robert and Allison are still awaiting their ultimate connection while Lynette and Lachlan are in need of a cover before uploading/publishing. *sighs* However, that does not mean I’ve not been tending my craft, either.

I may have mentioned I joined the Kindle sponsored Goodreads read-a-thon and upped my one year reading goal to 45 books – from 30 – by year’s end. I am six books ahead of schedule, by the way, having finished fifteen books as of yesterday. And with each book comes a review, as well. So I have been busy writing, critically thinking, and poking my muse with – hopefully – well thought out and informative reviews.

Alas, one cannot please everyone all of the time. A book I finished on the first of this month, An Affair to Dismember, was reviewed; all reviews are first posted to Amazon, then one of my other domains (Scribes Canvas was formally a webhost reseller domain but is now a reviewing only site), and sometimes on Goodreads as well. I gave the story three stars on my Amazon review.  I felt it was fair; five stars are reserved for those stories that are truly extraordinary while a single star, and I’m not sure if I’ve even gone that low thus far, are for stories that I wished I never committed to read and want to forget, just utterly despise them for whatever reason. Three stars mean I liked the book well enough and recommend the writer to other readers, but does not necessarily mean I shall be a big fan of the writer or go out of my way to purchase new books to grace my bookshelves.

My reviewing style is one honed from graduate school. It’s not an educational or school-like voice, but still one chosen to keep “me” out of it. Meaning, the review is focused on the story and the author, not the reviewer, so I never use first person references as the reviewer. If a sentence calls for a “me” voice, I refer to myself as “this reader” and not “I” or “me”. I use critical thinking when reviewing. I try to balance bad comments with good – make sure a positive comment comes before a negative one. I hope my critique is read with the intention it was written in, as an informative and helpful tool for the writer. It is also hoped the writer remembers I am but one solitary reader and may very well be alone in my opinion, but I am very much entitled to that very same opinion.

Most writer’s seem to appreciate my reviews and take them in the spirit they were written. After all, many come back and ask me to review their next offering, as well. However, some of their, hmm, well-meaning, friends choose to attack my review for whatever reason. In the aforementioned review, two such people took great pains to leave comments about my use of “this reader” in the review. No comments about the story. No comments about the creator of the story. Just, my references to “this reader”. Now, how does that help the story’s writer in any way? They wanted to lecture me on, I guess, arrogance, and instead presented their own. While drawing (negative) attention to the written review, which can actually do more harm to the story reviewed than my actual review.

Another kind soul apologized for their behavior. Not necessary but much appreciated. She hoped their mean-spirited comments would not push me away from reviewing. They won’t. I’ll keep reviewing and eventually return back to my own writing. When I am ready.

Until then, I am so outtie….

ahh, to write

Title should show my relief, I would think. Yes, I am finally writing again, thankyouverymuch. *grins* I finished the minor changes with the early revision work; recall, I started revision work due to the length of time away from the story, I had to re-read before writing again and my eyes were totally fresh. The changes were mostly cosmetic….

I have two scenes finished in chapter seven now and will begin the final scene in this chapter when I head back to my bedroom – after posting this, I should think. Trying to decide if it’ll be a long scene – the beginning of the big reveal to Allison concerning her parents. Or, a shorter scene leading up to the big reveal and having the reveal take up chapter eight, instead.

I did the arctic wolf research and decided to keep Kara’s hair color as-is; according to my research, although arctic wolves are primarily white in color, the color itself is not what determines their species… it concerns where they live and some genetics, i.e. smaller ears, thicker coats, somewhat smaller stature. The smaller stature part – I’m not changing the size of the big males in Kara’s family, either, although her mother is petite, just like Allison. Marie – their mother – is French, and father Jake I sort of figured is French Canadian. Both are ‘pure’ wolves, coming from a clean lineage, which is part of the storyline between Robert and Allison.

You know, I just may use Kara’s jealousy more, feed into that for the final scene in chapter seven… Jake and Marie have been asked by son Henri who the mysterious ‘Michelle’ is, and instead of having them reveal their past to Henri only, I can get Allison back to their house so she can hear it at the same time… hmm, have to think about which way to play this.

M’kay, time to get back to the book… oh, and I need to finish reading the book I’m part-way through and get the review written. The book, sorta blah, I’m just not into it, mainly because of the character setup and portrayal. Both the male and female were created to show people with extremely bad luck and disappointments before finally meeting one another and (I suspect) everything changes to puppy dogs and roses there after. But all of the sad-sack buildup crap left me totally not caring about either character. So, I am so outtie….

Ahh, the review

Er, not my own. Well, mine, but not a review of my fiction but rather many reviews I have written. I’m beginning to do quite a few over at Amazon (Moi), so much so that I have devoted my old hosting-reseller domain, Scribes Canvas, into a review site.

I can’t recall an exact number of reviews I’ve submitted at Amazon, but I currently have three movies and eight books reviewed on my site. Just started another book earlier, barely into the first chapter but had to put it down briefly to make dinner and play with the dogs… my teenaged granddaughter is staying with me for two weeks (pssst, she’s reading on her tablet as I type this) so that means I’m doing some actual cooking. Any-hoo, I’ll get back to my own reading right after I post this.

The thing is, writer’s really should read, read, and read, in order to stay up on their craft… some of the newer author’s works that I am reading have so impressed me, I felt absolutely compelled to write a review… reading and writing reviews, unfortunately, is keeping me away from my own fiction! *chuckles* Well, there could be worse dilemmas I suppose.

As to Teen D, when here, she is very much interested in reading and writing… hence, my gift of a Kindle to her, which she can use for both reading and writing. However, her mom tells me when she is home, all she does is read Wattpad and play games, and mom is concerned that she is filling her head with the poorly written, grammar deficient, and nonexistent spelling found on Wattpad. Well, earlier, Teen D asked me to read a story she is writing and has already published on Wattpad… I told her I’d be happy to read it, but expect Grammy to make corrections! *laughs* She jumped onto my desktop and immediately began making corrections to the story, checking with me concerning proper formatting…. I walked out of the room while she made her corrections… (She closed the browser *grins*) Behold, the power of Grammy!

So, back to my latest read – it’s part of a series so I’d like to see what happens as well as keep the reviews up to date, then hopefully return to Robert & Allison’s story sometime tomorrow. Until then, I am so outtie….