As a writer who as at the beginning of her journey, I rely a lot on feedback. Actually, I want to always rely on feedback regardless of where I’m at in my writing career. I know some writers will wax poetic on their art and how they need to tell the story. That’s all well and good – I don’t disagree. I do put a twist on this though. If I was only doing this for the sake of my art and not really caring what others thought, why would I publish in the first place? The icing on the delicious cake of writing is actually having people enjoy and respond to your stories!
This is why fans are so important to me. Heck, not just fans – readers in general. Even if you read my stories and hate them, I want to hear the feedback. Why? Because it can only help me improve my storytelling so that people actually want to read my books.
Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. How could I possibly enjoy being torn apart in a bad review? I don’t! Yes, it does sting. And yes, there are some negative criticisms I take with a grain of salt. For example, if you attack one of my paranormal stories, but you don’t usually read paranormal fiction…I will not make adjustments in future stories based on everything you say. Why? Well, to be blunt, if you’re not a paranormal fiction fan, I’m not writing for your enjoyment, so if you don’t like it…well, that really wasn’t the goal, now was it? I’m a writer, not some egomaniac who thinks that I can use my writing to make people who hate paranormal fiction into lifelong fans. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t think about what you’ve said. Even the most hateful reviewers can have some good ideas – unless of course for those few individuals who attack authors out of greed, envy and competition.
But, for the most part, I’m going to pay even more attention to the feedback from fans of the genre. These are the readers that I’m trying to entertain, so of course their opinion is of the highest value to me. And that is why I LOVE my beta readers. These are the people who know the genre, have read other paranormal fiction works – some of them being fans of some of the more well-known series – and they’re attuned to the themes, action, discourse and even phrasing that has come to be expected with this type of fiction. They keep me on the right track with my storytelling – and I love it when they point out where I’m, ahem, sucking.
I can’t say it enough – I love my beta readers. They’re not only helping me be a better writer, but they’re helping me produce more enjoyable paranormal fiction for the rest of you. That is, if you’re a fan of that sort of thing. 😉
Much love and respect! v–v