Hi. My name is Ericka Clay, and I’m still learning to write.
I know. It’s quite difficult to admit. As much as I want to wave my fancy Creative Writing degree over my head as proof that I know ALL THINGS WRITING, alas, I don’t.
Not even a little bit.
And I know this to be true not only because I can practically see it plastered across my forehead when I look into the mirror (I also see perfectly arched eyebrows. It’s a genetic gift), but I’ve also heard it from book reviewers who have read Unkept and Dear Hearts and have critically broken down where I’ve gone “wrong.”
Ouch, right? NOPE!
What I love about book reviewers is that they’re not my mother. What I mean by that, is that they’ll never tell me I’m the best writer that has ever existed and that I look mind blowingly fantastic in these JCPenney’s jorts (another genetic gift). What they WILL tell me is that there are a few things I need to work on.
So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite critiques I’ve received in no particular order:
“…I was confused in a few places with the way she integrates flashbacks and memories…”
“The characters are all complicated, as is the writing. Don’t pick up this book, if easy reading is what you are looking for.”
“Nearly every principal character is incredibly flawed, in some cases to the point of being deeply unlikeable.”
“The novel has a somewhat unclear start as the opening chapters are overloaded with a barrage of character names and too many unanswered questions, making it difficult to settle in until the third or fourth chapter.”
“There are a lot of metaphors, back story, and flashbacks in Unkept that often interrupt the flow and clarity of the story.”
“The alternating POVs don’t always take the story forward.”
“However another part of me just can’t seem to truly believe Mitch as a character.”
Now granted, these same reviewers had some amazingly wonderful things to say about my books, too, which I deeply appreciate. But the critiques above are exactly what I needed to hear.
So what does this mean? I get back on that writing horse and do it again, only this time much better.
Those thoughtful critiques are the very reason I’m taking a BRAND NEW JOURNEY and writing a novel chapter by chapter on Wattpad – about a small town transvestite trying to “win” her best friend back of all things! I’ll be changing my style a bit, getting to the meat of the story and using flowery language in teeny tiny doses. I’ll be working on the “here and now” and try my best to refrain from mind boggling flashbacks.
I’ll be taking these reviews to heart.
So book reviewers, thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over for these! You’ve helped me in more ways than you know. And writers, leave discouragement at the door. A good critique helps not hurts, and if it is blatantly hurtful, ignore it and move forward.
We’ve got this, you guys! We’ve got this!
Have you received a “bad” review? What did it teach you?
It’s officially official! Today is the RELEASE DATE for Dear Hearts! Even better news? If you’re a Kindle Unlimited member, you get this baby for free! Be sure to snag your copy today!
There’s a new girl in town, but looks can be deceiving! Find out why Marilyn Winters is an unlikely heroine in my latest novel – that you can read FOR FREE!