Reviews: what’s helpful & what isn’t…

As most writers, like myself, earn so little from our writing, reviews are worth their weight in gold. Today, The Funeral Birds received its second one. It’s very uplifting to be able to reads someone’s thoughts on your work. Of course as a writer I’m aware that not everyone will fall in love with my characters, plot line or dialogue, but as long as the reviewer has been fair and explained the reason for their negative review which will give me something to work with to make improvements with my writing in the future, I’m happy.

It’s negative reviews that has little or no information in them which are of no help to us writers. If the reviewer was to tell us what they disliked or didn’t enjoy about the the book it can be very helpful when writing future books. We’re not expected pages of a detailed report, but some helpful pointers do give a good insight into where improvements can be made. If characters feel rather wooden or two- dimensional rather than well drawn and engaging, please say so, these can be fixed in the next book. If the pace and structure of the story left the reviewer feeling bogged down with unnecessary details again the writer will know these are an area that needs working on. Was the writing confusing? Were there just too many adverbs and adjectives. What about the theme of the book? Did the reviewer find it refreshing and original or one they had read before?

If you are going to give a star to your review think about comparing it to what you have written in the comment box.

⭐️1 Star: You’ve got nothing right: explain exactly why it is a 1 star review. What was wrong. The characters, setting, storyline etc.

⭐️⭐️2 Stars: Substantial work needs to be done on all elements of your writing .i.e. characters, storyline, pace & structure, narrative voice, dialogue, setting, themes & idea etc

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 Stars: A reasonable effort, but with some problems whether that be the storyline etc. At least give the writer some idea what the problem was that stop you from give a higher star.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️4 Stars: Generally good, but not quite perfect. This might be because the book didn’t give you the ending you were expecting, or it didn’t quite meet all your expectations.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️5 Stars: Can’t find fault. The writer nailed it for you. The book ticketed all your boxes.

10 thoughts on “Reviews: what’s helpful & what isn’t…

      1. Paula, I understand! I garnered three reviews of my first book–each from a different country–and while they are positive and supportive, I would enjoy some constructive feedback so I can improve my next book. But, since the positive reviews are flowing both our ways, I guess we’ll have to just get used to this wonderful happy new reality!

      2. Also, my apologies for not replying sooner to your many comments on my posts! The interface on my computer hides your replies under a tiny little icon in an upper corner which I just found. So, thankfully, we will be able to reply back and forth much better now!

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