Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday Writerly Ways~Oops, Was it Something I Said

I sure hope so.  I know I've been absent from this blog hop for a while but an email this morning got me thinking.

I read all emails and comments with a grain of salt. Some emails and reviews are hopelessly hostile while others are good. Both are helpful and I'll tell you why. Comments to this blog are harder to judge, but it is still in the mix as feedback.

I always use me as an example. Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption has a 1-star rating. Not my proudest achievement. I finally got around to reading the reviews. The email was a follow up to the review. A friend emailed me with concern on how I felt about it.Yes, I'm slow and late to the party. Mainly because right now, I just have bigger fish to fry in my skillet of life in general. Yes, it stings a bit from my author point of view, but it is still one of my best sellers in fiction.

The comments, you don't have to go to Amazon. I'll post them here.
By John C. Brewer on February 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
I wish indie authors would take the time to have their work properly edited at the very least. Here we have a 152 page book (which is really short) self-published, on sale for $7.99 and the first two pages alone have enough grammatical errors to receive a failing grade in an English class. I applaud any author's attempt to get their work out there, and hope this author continues, but if English is not your native language you need to spend a few hundred bucks on a professional editor so people can see how creative you are and experience the magic of your story instead of being distracted by poor editing.
Format: Kindle Edition
Okay, so one line reads - "The guard outside the lab had said something about a world class The only thing he could the amount would be gym and track in silo #2." Huh??? I re-read it twice, three times, rubbed my eyes, shook my head to clear out the cobwebs and read it again. I am not making this up - this is exactly how it appears in the book (along with hundreds of similar lines). WTF - does this guy not proof read???? And, to top it off, sometimes the characters "talk" like hillbillies with a lot of "what do ya want"s and "is that how ya"s and "outta"s and sometimes not. I would not have given it even 1 star but apparently Amazon reviews won't let you give any thing no stars.
I support the "independent" writer and I don't expect everyone to be Stephen King but, come on, throw the reader a bone and at least make a stab at proof-reading - okay?
 
By Misselaineous on November 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have no idea if this is a good story or not. Between bad grammar and lack of syntax, there were the continuity issues, so I'm lost. Then there are the quotation marks in lieu of apostrophes. It"s driving me crazy. When I grammar/spell checked this review, it caught every one of the author"s errors. (It even caught my purposeful ones.) I must say I admire anyone for putting their "stuff" out there, but PLEASE, edit first. I had a writing teacher in college who said no matter how bright, funny, or insightful you are, if you can't speak or write properly, no one will ever know. I read this on my Kindle, so I'm using Kindle locations vice pages. So here are a few of the errors I've found...
Location 222: "Of course, they could have put a transmitter on her car or tracked her by satellite. minute, old girl. She was letting tendencies run away with her mind." I'm still not sure what this means even though I read it like 5 times
Location 233: "Whoa, wait a her paranoid." Huh?
Location 260: "There were six bedrooms upstairs. Their grandmother had twelve and raised all of them in the house." Did Grandma have 12 kids or 12 bedrooms, this house or another one?
Location 265: "She peered into the refrigerator and saw the box of specimens still waiting. Warning to the general attacks, and anyone who was bitten was to go directly to their nearest hospital." Continuity is totally lacking here, and elsewhere. I mean, the very next location is a newspaper article, I think?
Location 307: "How her mentor had asked her opinion, sent her samples, and how she"d gotten specimens from her cousin of victims." I had to read this sentence 4 times to make out the meaning.Was her cousin a victim?
I'm not sure I'll finish this one.


Really bad right?  I make no bones of having formatting issues with Kindle. It shows up fine with the proofreading before publishing but in the downloaded copy, it's a mess.

 It all depends on your point of view too.

My stance is a love it or leave it one, and not without some measure of gratitude. Gratitude? Yes, gratitude. I'll tell you why. The person took the time to write a comment. Some rather lengthy ones at that. And yes, I could come back with some scathing comments and excuses of my own, but I refrain. I know it needs work but I'm not able to do it right now.

Anytime you can get someone to comment, IT IS A GOOD THING. It's worth its weight in gold.Whether they liked it or didn't like it is for the most part irrelevant. Of course we'd all like glowing reviews, would we? That isn't always the case.

I've consider striking a chord with a reader a positive thing with readers where they feel compelled to comment. Is that a bad thing? One even took the time to spell/grammar check it for the review. Now that thorough. Time is everyone's most valuable commodity. That in itself earns my respect and a closer look. I won't make excuses. The book has some problems. Little did I know that I was suffering small TIAs during the writing and editing of this book. That only showed up in the MRI following my big stroke.

I've mentioned several times about comments to this blog being negative, but that also is a point of view thing.  Recently, real life has stopped me commenting on a lot of blogs that I usually do. For two months or more. With the juggling act I'm doing now, time is platinum. The best I can do is read the blog posts and sometimes comment. What do I feel the need to comment on. A blog that really twists my mind and makes me think. A momentary pause in what is happening around me. It has to make me take the time to give feedback.

My feedback-Sometimes it's a support thing, in gratitude for commenting so often on my blog, and the other times its because of a strong emotional response to either agree or disagree. The last is the greatest to me as a blog writer. It proves that I can touch people where they live.  The "Oops, was it something I said?" You betcha! Not really an oops because I did it on purpose...writer that I am.

As a blogger, I write what is in me to write. As a writer, I do the same. Comments and emails are always good feedback even the negative ones.

The one good thing of being the age that I am now is that I can audit a college class for free each semester. When I heal enough and after my husband dies, I may just do that for an English grammar refresher. I'd be going into it with fresh eyes having forgotten or misplaced most of it anyhow. It can only be a positive step forward, right? Death, for me, is the absence of learning.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

5 comments:

Zan Marie said...

{{{hugs}}} Jo, you're a trooper.

Nick Wilford said...

That's a great attitude to have to try and learn from all comments, good or bad. It's the only way we'll grow.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, J.L.,

By the sound of it, you handle criticism well. There's no point in having a mud-slinging match with the reader. As you pointed out, at least they took the time to leave a review, which shows they cared in some shape or form. For that, we have to be grateful.

Barb Polan said...

Great attitude, Jo. I used to work with an EDITOR who had trouble with clarity, spelling and grammar. Even she got more support than those comments. And online copy can always be easily fixed, while a printed newspaper can't be.

bindu saju said...

Just started the blog hop from M'J's blog. Every blogger love to get feedback. You are very correct about time: it is platinum