Reviews and Writing

The bane and happy of any writer is a review. Seriously, getting a two- or one-star review* guts me. Even more so if it comes from a reader who liked the first book or someone who picked up the books because someone said “Hey you need to read these”. Honestly, I have to temper this with the knowledge that not everyone liked everything. And it’s a bitch because really, deep down inside… I want everyone to like every single word I’ve ever used.

I’m not going to say written because in truth… the words are there. It’s just a matter of which ones to use.

So back to reviews and the gutting. It’s a natural thing. Deep down inside, past all of the bravado or introverted behaviour, writers have egos. God knows, I have a huge ego. I want to be the best. Be the most solid. Be on top. It’s a sickness and what drives me. I agonize over every word and see if something feels right. So to have someone say it sucks… feels…bad.

Bunneh**

But not so bad that I should stop. I do have a story to tell. Or five.

Postive reviews are as much of a pain in the ass as negative ones. There’s a pressure that builds up inside of me. Can I meet expectations? Will I deliver? Can I keep someone entertained? Reviews are by and large, a win-lose situation. You can learn a lot about what people like and dislike. Therein lies the trouble… what to glean from a review?

Bottom line, glean very little. Make notes of valid points. The big ones for my books:

Korean Names
I know the Korean tends to be hard to follow. I have to balance that out for non-Asian readers. I won’t homogenize the names because well, they’re Korean. And well, Cole’s gotta write them down too. Can’t say I’ll use them less. Not in this series. But I can say I do try to make it clear. Hopefully, I’ll keep everything straight. *crosses fingers*

More Sex
That’s what I didn’t expect. I usually have the boys do the nasty when it feels right for them to do so.  I think I’ll continue with that. I don’t think C&J are in a position to do it like bunnehs all over the place. Trust me, as much as I hate writing sex scenes because I want to keep them fresh and…well…smexy… I’d like the boys to do it more often.

Lots of Guns and Cole Getting Shot At
Guns are easy to use. Also, Los Angeles does have a lot of gun violence. I shoot at Cole a lot because well, it’s fun. Also, I’m writing fiction. He’s gonna get shot at more than anyone else. It would be boring if he were a normal guy sitting around watching football…however that would leave more time for Jae to crawl into his lap. Also, knives hurt more and you’ve gotta get in close. Trust me on that one.

So…. How is Dirty Laundry doing? Honestly, at this point, I don’t know. I’m halfway in…the point where I really hate the story. It’s always that way. I hit a mark and I hate everything about where I’m going. We’ll see how I feel in a couple of chapters. Or maybe even six chapters.

So if there’s anything you’d like to see more of or less of, let me know. Can’t say I’ll write to it but I’m always interested in opinions. *grins* Sometimes, I even have one of my own. Actually I have them a lot. Mostly about people not using enough garlic when they cook.

* This is not a call to go tromp on people who leave two- or one- star reviews. Because really, I’ve been there. I’ve read books in a series that just didn’t do it for me. And I so understand. I do. I do thank them for the time they’ve spent reading my books. That’s very sweet of them to do so.

** There’s no reason for the bunneh to be here. I just wanted one.

23 thoughts on “Reviews and Writing

  1. I havent wrote my review yet…my review has to be perfect lol cause my reviewing ego has to agonise over every word and make sure its right…I promise mine will be 5 stars 🙂

    1. Sure… no pressure. *grins* Mostly this was about how reviews are a damned thorn because you want good ones but oh, the pressure! PRESSURE! Right now, I HATE Dirty Laundry. But that’s normal.

      Hopefully I won’t hate it when I’m done. That’s the important part.

      Heh…. and no worries about the review. *hugs* I’m just glad you all like it. Really.

      1. 🙂 I didnt mind all the Korean names as I would assign a label to them to keep them clear. Like ‘bad guy’ ‘asshole’ funny guy etc’ I cant remember which was which I just remember doing that 🙂

  2. Verena

    I FINALLY got my paperback of Dirty Secret yesterday and I just finished reading it. I absolutely loved it!!! I’m sure Dirty Laundry will be great too and I can’t wait to read it. But in the meantime I’m really looking forward to Sinner’s Gin. 🙂

    1. Ah, thank you. I’m glad you liked it. *grins* I’m really looking forward to seeing how you all like Sinner’s Gin. It’s a different type of book from the Dirty Series but I hope Miki and Kane will become faves. *hugs*

  3. Patricia Grayson

    I need the bunneh too this early in the day. Oh Dark Thirty. I am on page 75 of the print copy of “Dirty Secret”. Korean names? No problem. Puzzled, I just flipped back and reviewed a bit. After thirty years my husband has trouble pronouncing perfectly my mother’s French name. So I’m new to Korean. Big deal. Jae-Min is so pretty-sounding, and I love “hyung” which I can’t even wrap my mouth around.
    So, by page 75, the ANTICIPATION of the smushy scene sure to come up is terrifically exciting(I’m trying to be G-rated) so that’s great. Some of the sexiest stories don’t even describe making love, they just show the heart and soul of the people involved. By the way, the cover art doesn’t come close to the manner you describe Cole and Jae-Min. You’re much better.

    1. Why thank you, love. *squishes*

      In the sex scenes, I do try to involve more than the physical for the boys. Cole’s very much the romantic and I’d hope he’d see things a bit more eloquently.

      Finding hot Asian boys for covers is incredibly difficult. I demand more of them to choose from *grins*

      hyung… you know what I should do… is record something so you can hear it. I’ll do that in a post.

  4. Treasure

    I think everyone gets reviews of one kind or another and they always suck. In my work it’s called a defiency audit, and not only is it a review of your work, but you have to go back and justify with documentation why you made the decisions you did and write out step by step your thought process and logic.
    I thought Jae and Cole did a good job of explaining korean names, For me I think the sex should flow with the story. Cole at least spends a fair amount in a hospital what with one thing and another. Not as a general rule a sexy place.
    I’m looking forward to the next book, and I hope we get some more of the back stories. To me it seems like there is an ongoing mystery running through the background of Ben and what made him snap

    1. Ah, Ben. You’ll see a sneak peek of the Ben mystery in Dirty Laundry and we’ll get more into it during Dirty Deeds. *grins* Promise. I know why he did it. I just have to share it with you all. In a way that makes sense *grins*

      And reviews…. one hand we want them… on another hand we dread them 😀

      1. Verena

        Can I bribe you into telling me why Ben did it? Not knowing is killing me. 😀

  5. Stephanine

    Some advice: Don’t try to meet our expectations. They are too varied and quite frankly, you will fail if you try to do so. Do not change your writing style. Do not change the amount of sex and violence in your books. You wrote Dirty Kiss for yourself, correct? The only expectations you were trying to meet were you own (and your publisher’s) because you didn’t have a fan base to critique you. Now that you have two books published, I’m sorry you are feeling pressure to change your writing style, the amount of sex scenes and the type of violence, etc. due to some negative reviews. Please don’t. Just continue on writing for yourself and Dirty Laundry will be just as incredible as the first two books. Your writing is superb. Josh Lanyon is my favorite author and honestly, you are right up there with him now with a handful of other authors whose books I hold in the greatest of esteem.

    p.s. I didn’t have a problem with the Korean names. I always, when starting a new book/series, write down the characters as they appear with a summary of who they are. It helps me remember them and it serves as a guide throughout the story.

    1. Ah, I don’t think I could change my writing style if I tried. *grins* I like killing things. And shooting people. For the most part, I honestly don’t think about who is reading this when I write. Well, no… I think about the three / four beta readers I have and if the story makes sense. But that’s really as far as I think. Everything else is just pretty much pouring onto the page and going forward. Once the story is done, it’s no longer mine but yours.

      Most of all I’m glad that the stories speak to you. That you like Cole and Jae. I adore writing for them, sex scenes included.

      *hugs* and thank you. *grins*

  6. Yeah I get it, that’s why I always say that my reviews are mostly for readers. I say mostly because, obviously, many writers read them too. Also because I know that my past experience is more geared toward editing, so sometimes I feel like a review is a letter to the author.

    What I will say though, about you my dear specifically, is that I’m not worried. And it all depends on how you define “on top” (I’m not talkin about the bunnehs!). Even sales are subjective, and let me tell you that most of those top sellers are some of the worst writers in my opinion! So I’m not worried and fuckem! You’ve proven you deserve respect and you shall get it 🙂

    Love your hugs!!

    1. Mostly by on top I probably mean.. on top of my game? To be consistent. And well, to deliver a good story. If I’m known for anything, I’d want it to be for a good story. That I keep you entertained. I think then, I’m good *grins*

      And more *hugs*

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