Friday, April 29, 2011

The Review's the Thing

To my great surprise the other day, Smashwords notified me that another review of my novel was posted. That review is only the second one, so I immediately dropped everything I was doing and went to read what this reviewer thought.

He gave me three stars like the first review.  The reasons for a mediocre review were several: first, the novel starts slowly.  And yes, that's true.  I've known that all along.  In fact, the current revision I'm working on addresses that.

Next, the reviewer states that the characters in my novel were a little flat.  I disagree.  The characters are not flat; I specifically made a pass through the book to fix that exact issue. Once all the characters are engaged in the story, I am constantly showing their reactions and behavior.  I don't show all the characters all the time because that's not needed to tell the story. Additionally, I give detailed information on all the characters, some more than others.  But you have to read carefully because for several characters I only mention these details in passing.  More details will be forth coming in later books.  But, of course, the reviewer does not know this.

Lastly, the reviewer says the conflict between elves and humans in the book was vague. Again, I disagree. The conflict is well stated.  The characters even spend time discussing it a little.  I show the reason for the dispute too.  So in what sense is the conflict vague?  Do I require the reader to do a little work to fit the pieces?  Yes, a little, but not much since I make the point that one group of elves blames humans for events that happened thousands of years ago, even though the current human kingdom is not related to the humans that caused those events in the past.  It is true I don't say why that is but I don't think it is hard to guess.  I can't really show why that is in this story as it is not relevant but I suppose I could offer opinions on that point.  Hmmm.

Nevertheless, the reviewer was satisfied with the story and willing to read the second book.  Based on this, I judge the book successful.  And in a few weeks I hope to resubmit the book to the publisher who expressed interested in January and sell it. I'll blog on this as soon as I can.

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