Dear reader, it’s not all about you

I recently got the following comment on “My Cookie-Baking Sister”:

Good lord does this story need editing. Not just for the mistakes(though there were plenty of them, that’s for sure), but for content as well. Half of this could be cut and none of the plot would be lost. I don’t know why we needed page after page covering all the mundane details of his dad’s writing career. Not to mention the entire subplot with his roommate could have been dropped.

I also didn’t get the phone call between Justin and Kate on page four or five. He voices some very legitimate complaints about how he’s being treated by his parents, she completely dismisses them, and suddenly he feels better. Huh? He’s just gets over it because she points out that he can read a map and keep his mouth shut? Wow, okay.

Beyond that, there just wasn’t much to set this story apart from any other brother/sister romance.

“My Cookie-Baking Sister” is doing very well, with a 4.76 rating and 180K views. At the same time, I know that not everyone is going to like it. This commenter didn’t. Oh well.

The thing about this comment is that the certainty with which the commenter describes how the story should have been completely different. Lots and lots of people liked it the way it is. It’s not all about you, my friend.

Perhaps more importantly, this is the story I wanted to tell. I wanted to tell about the mundane details of the dad’s writing career. I wanted to write about the subplot of the roommate. I wanted to write a story where there’s a relationship between the brother and sister before they decide to start fucking. I only wrote the story because of the elements in it I enjoyed describing.

So to this commenter – get over yourself. You didn’t pay me to write that story. You didn’t give me advance to write a particular type of story and I produced something that didn’t meet that agreement. I wrote something that I enjoyed writing and that I’d hope other people would enjoy reading. If you can’t accept that stories I write for free aren’t going to meet your exacting standards, then don’t read my stories anymore.

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11/5 Writing Status

I’m somewhat frustrated with the reception to the “Lake House” series. I may discuss that later. Unusual for me, I had a story idea that really excited me as I was finishing another story. Right now, it’s title is “My Crocheting Little Sister”. It’s looking like 30K words, or about 8 LitE pages.

An interesting comment

I got this in a Private Message:

Loved Cruise Double Date except for the little bit about the gambling. I hate gambling too but the way Thomas acted when Jacob suggested black jack was quite a turn off. It made himĀ  seem whiny and rude or antisocial. It would have made sense for him to act that way if he had admitted to himself that he was maybe feeling insecure or jealous about the ex being there and was acting out but instead the passage came off as Thomas just hating an activity, getting bored and basically telling the group your hobby is stupid I don’t like it so lets do what I like instead.

However your writing was great and your sex scenes were very hot so I was glad I continued reading.

To me, this comes down to how explicit an author should make things. As I wrote the scene, I thought it was obvious that the most upsetting thing to Thomas about the gambling was that Rebecca was supporting Jacob over him. Should I have explicitly said that, or should I have the reader read between the lines? I don’t think there’s a right answer as some readers will won’t things spelled out and others prefer reading between the lines. I’ve been taken to task by some authors for spelling things out too much for my readers.