Dec 21 2012

The Naming Game

Posted by Mathias

Under the Darkened Moon once had a character named Kal.  Kal, alas, is no more.  Oh, he still exists in the story, but he is no longer called Kal.  His new name in the final manuscript is Tarek.

Why did I change his name?  Ultimately it was because too many characters had names starting with the letter K.  Kyel and Kath were enough, so I changed Kal to something else.

The decision was made easier during the live read edit when my wife was reading the story.  She has this particular drawl to her speech where she constantly replaces the “a” sound in words with an “e” and visa versa.  She also does the same thing with the “e”s to “i”s for some reason.  But she only does it on certain words.  For example, pen is pin, but ten is not tin.  She never pronounced one of the characters, called Den, as Din. (more…)

Jul 01 2012

Don’t Believe The Hype Part 2

Posted by Mathias

This is a follow-up to my post last week titled Don’t Believe The Hype, It Hurts Later.

A friend of mine recently received a plethora of not so kind reviews on his self-published novel. He complained to me that people were just being cruel and hateful and how he feared it would hurt sales of his book. After all, he reasoned, his wife read the story and thought it was excellent. When I asked him who else read the story he informed me, “no one else.” Oh boy.

Comments on his novel included lots of 2 and 3 start reviews. These reviews focused on the high number of misspellings and a lack of character development. Were they really being mean? He assured me that they were and that the complaints sere unfounded. Said friend gave me a free copy to read. I told him if I liked it I would give him a good review. (more…)

Apr 16 2012

Weeding Down My Review Group

Posted by Mathias

I admit it. When I gathered up people to review my work and give me feedback on my stories that I accepted all comers. I was just thrilled that friends and acquaintances were interested. But as time goes on, it is clear that I need to prune back the group which is like an overgrown tree.

As I have recently tweeted, I let one woman go because she never had anything nice to say about anything. Every comment was snarky and unhelpful to the point of nitpicking. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when she started complaining that I was “showing” where she thought I should be “telling” and visa versa. Not one passage was right to her. She also complained about me having a scene at night when she felt certain it should be during the day. Nothing pleased her and, after conferring with several others reviewing my work, I decided that she was just a bitter person who might know how to write, but who did not know how to deal with other authors.

On the opposite end of the spectrum I have today told another reviewer who “loves” everything and never has a critical thing to say about my work that if she does not start actually critiquing and start giving more than 100% kudos that I will have to drop her from the group as well. I don’t need a “yes man/woman”. I need real opinions.

I will be looking at other people in the review group over the coming weeks as well to try and make the group stronger. I want to produce a good product. The only way to do that is to have serious opinions I can trust.