Junior Inquisitor

Junior Inquisitor

Sunday, April 12, 2015

My lack of perfection

So it turns out I'm not perfect. While that was something I had already known, and have been reminded of this deficiency many, many times by my parents, teachers, drill sergeants, professors, employers, other officers and my lovely wife, when it came to the subject of my book, Junior Inquisitor, there was still a chance, a small but not zero, possibility that it was perfect. After all, everything is perfect before it is open to scrutiny. Before my book was on sale, when it was just a completed project, it was perfect.

When people were reading author copies, I received lots of positive feedback. People vowed to write many 5 star reviews. My ego swelled, and I was glad. Finally the day came, the book was out for mass distribution, and reviews came in. All 5 stars. Twenty eventually rolled in within a weekend. And then Rick Gualtieri gave me a 4 star rating. Not perfection, but still a very good rating, and from an author whom I respect and have read most of his books. And it was just one 4 star, with strong points of why Junior Inquisitor wasn't a 5 star in his estimation. I found myself in agreement with his points, and vowed to make my second book even better. More people read my book, more 5 star ratings came in, and then----a 2 star.

"Bought this because I have found very few books in this genre that are worth a read and this one came highly recommended. That being said this book is short on detail and lacks character development. Not a bad read but wouldn't buy any others in this series."

I have to admit I was disappointed. What did I do wrong? Why does this reviewer dislike my book so much? She, making the assumption based on the name given that the reviewer is a she, states “this book is short on detail and lacks character development.”

Short on detail

My writing is set at a very fast pace, avoiding what I call “over-describing.” Excessive detail slows the pace down, not something you want in an action story. I could write,

Brother Sebastian drew his heavily modified, Glock model 17 from the tactical holster. Fitted to his hand by the Monastery's Weapons Master, Brother Ralph, it fit his hand and his hand alone to perfection. Leaning forward a few inches he began getting into his 'shooting stance' shoulders forward, knees bent, arms in a straight line, parallel to the ground and making a triangle. His left hand snaked down to meet his shooting hand, wrapped both hands around the butt of the gun. He punched the pistol up and forward into his shooting stance, as he peered down the specially blackened slide to the modified ghost ring front sight. The ghost ring was fuzzy and indistinct as it was supposed to be as the target, the Screwface snapped into view. The purple-black nimbus of magic flickered and flared as she prepared to launch another spell at him.

Bit long winded and with what I think is excessive detail. My editor would be screaming and trying to get me to cut everywhere. Perhaps a better version might be

Brother Sebastian drew his pistol. In one smooth motion, he shifted into his 'shooter's stance' peering down the slide past the indistinct and fuzzy front sight, as the Screwface snapped into view. The purple-black nimbus of magic flickered and flared as she prepared to launch another spell at him.

Admittedly, in the second version the reader is doing some work, filling in details, like which type of front does Brother Sebastian have, or his body position in a shooting stance, or the modifications made to his pistol and what type and model it is, but the action is there, and most can follow along with out issue.

lacks character development”

A similar issue, I can describe every event that lead up to Brother Sebastian becoming an Inquisitor, all the people he interacted with, and so on. The same can be done for the other characters as well, but I can't do that and keep the story moving along. I want the reader's experience to be a screaming de-orbit from space, not the plod of a flock of racing turtles.

What it comes down to is while many like the rapid pace of my stories, that does not mean everyone does. Some will not enjoy my stories. Part of me know that what I wrote was not for everyone; some do not like a roller coaster ride when they read. And now I have proof.

I will keep writing in my style to the best of my ability. My 2 star rating will be there as a reminder that even when I do my best, not everyone will like it, and that's okay.
If you like fast paced adventure you can get my book here -

                   Amazon - http://goo.gl/D6KrbX

                   Smashwords - http://goo.gl/XsGgAC

                   Nook - http://goo.gl/MVLXia

                   Google Play - http://goo.gl/g2kNPa



Liza O'Connor said...

No book will please everyone. Not one book in the entire world has pleased everyone. As the reviewer noted, she doesn't tend to like anything.in this genre. Thus, she's not your target audience.

As to your extended description paragraph, it gave me a brain freeze. Please don't change your writing voice. It's fabulous now. Just accept people are different and what entertains one will annoy another. Be yourself. Your book has gotten amazingly high reviews, well earned in my opinion. Check any best seller. They get twos and ones, as well. And just for the record, I think your books have just the right amount of detail.

Farish's Freehold said...

Thanks for the kind words Liza. Again I wrote this not because I was upset, but because I realized that what I offered she didn't want. Sorry she didn't like it.
I'll just keep writing the best stories I know how, and entertain as many as I can.

alex-ness said...

I agree that taste is different all around the world of readers. But don't forget, there is the case of different taste, but there is also the case of people enjoying leaving negative feedback. I am not saying every review has to be 5/5 or anything like that, but it is a fact that on Amazon particularly, there are people who love to troll authors, and again particularly, they love to break the chain of 5 star reviews. You can only obey your sense of taste, and writer's voice. Answering the demands of people who aren't going to like your work regardless of what you do, will only cause you frustration.

Farish's Freehold said...

Alex-ness, you make an excellent point. I don't think the review was trolling, but an honest opinion by someone who was expecting a different style of book.
I'm going to continue to do my best, in the style I write, and thrill as many as possible. My books will not be for everyone, but those who do enjoy will get my best.