Good Reviews/Bad Reviews what does it all mean?

I’ve discussed reviews a few times over the years, and recently I see many new authors struggling to make sense of it all. My best analogy is, take four friends to a movie and you’ll come out with four different opinions. For the most part, that is all reviews are – opinions.

However if you find in a lot of your reviews a similar theme, IE: plot holes, character flaws, grammar issues, then you know those areas are problematic. You need to take them all with a grain of salt, and a learning tool. Use what you need, ignore the rest.

I am going to leave you with two examples here of wildy opposing reviews from a book I recently read that I absolutely fell in love with – AND from one of own books too!

https://www.amazon.com/Demonologist-Novel-Andrew-Pyper-ebook/dp/B008J4TDSO

The Demonologist: A Novel by [Andrew Pyper]
TAKEN FROM AMAZON
5 ***** Review
The “Demonologist” is without a doubt the most unusual story I have read this year. Breathtaking in its suspense and narrative scope, this story unfolds slowly at first, then gaining speed to the final pages and denouement, drawing all the strands of the story to a surprise finish with a double meaning. Supernatural occurrances interwoven with flashbacks and the present storyline kept me on the edge of my seat to the point that I finished it in two days, nearly couldn’t put it down, but at the same time being unable to read this in bed before trying to sleep due to the disturbing subject matter. The author is masterful in his prose, so good that I need to look up other writings of his – the only question is which one is next, and of course how can it possibly match what I just finished reading. You will need to suspend your sense of what works in the present world a bit, but its easily done because of the way it draws you in! Highly recommended & Five Stars!
The Demonologist: A Novel by [Andrew Pyper]

1 * Review
DEMONOLOGIST…..This is the worst book I have ever read! The book begins with a divorce, goes on to a close friend telling the main character that she is dying. The book includes suicide, a desperate chance in Rome to be brought to help a man in deep religious torment. The entire situation terrifies him meanwhile the author sees John Milton’s PARADISE LOST as an evil piece of literature. Confused? the book gets worse. The main character returns to America and starts having evil hallucinations and this mess just gets worse and worse I cannot see how this mess ever got published! Don’t bother to try to read it. It’s a lost caus

NOW MINE

TAKEN FROM AMAZON

5****

 Good space drama/character study Wow! This book had me biting my nails to the end. It wasn’t that there was so much action involved (although there were pivotal moments with some action that moved the story along all in a leap). It was more that you grew to care about the characters and were left on the edge of your seat, wondering what was going to happen to them. Would they ever escape their imprisonment? Was there anything out there for them if they did escape? It was so grim in the beginning, I found my mood altering to match Finn’s dark brooding, his wish to keep everyone he cared about safe, his helplessness at being unable to do so. When events occurred, I was puzzled and alarmed and joyful right along with him, the mark of a good story. I’m glad I took this ride.

1*

Cardboard characters Such an interesting idea, so unconvincingly developped. What a pity.

So there you have it, people love it or hate it, or somewhere inbetween it! Give it your all, get an editor, and keep writing! I’d love to see some of your best and worst reviews. Share in the comments and show the world we’re not alone in this crazy journey!

Breathe Life Into Your Characters

What’s most important to you in a story? 

The plot?

The ending?

The flow?

How about the characters?

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All of the above should coalesce into one amazing, unforgettable tale – if only it was so easy! 

Even if your plot is thin, or your ending not to everyone’s satisfaction, you must have characters that people can identify with. A character to love. A driving force so the reader will want to see what happens to them. Perhaps mixed in with one they will hate who is stopping your character from achieving their ultimate goal.

While you don’t always have to have a character as an agonist, you do have to have one they’ll love, otherwise there is no reason for them to read on.

How do we accomplish that?

Write about people you know. I mean really really know! You have family, friends, co-workers, we’er surrounded by living breathing characters – use them. They don’t have to know and you can mix a trait from one person with a different trait of another. Thinking about the real person, how they act, talk, or move, breathes the life into your fictional character.

Not all my book reviews are stellar, and that’s okay, what always pleases me the most are the comments on my characters. After all, they are the story. 

Snippets from my reviews: 

The little girl, Montana, was my favorite character. She always added joy to the story and the characters who had given up hope.

Amell, retired US army general and rancher, won my heart, which made reading The Used a bumpy ride, but how could he refuse to defend innocent

Once you start reading this book, you’ll become best friends with her characters. I and Finn are like two peas in a pod now. I love his humor. The author has given each of her characters a distinctive personality, which I love.

There were a lot of things that Theresa did that many other authors seem unable to overcome. The first was the character differentiation.

Characters are fresh and diverse, they evolve in their own opinions and intimate thoughts.

Her characters are well developed. It leaves you wanting to meet each one and have a conversation. I especially love Chief Salinger!

The characters felt real. One in particular I found a touch annoying, but when I encounter people like that in life I have that reaction. So I liked that it brought a genuine reaction out of me, which is always good.

You will connect with Jacobs’ characters right away, making the fear that they feel much more tangible.

The characters are what really shine in this haunted house tale.

Do you have a different way you build your characters? Please share your ideas with us. It never hurts to try new things. 

 

 

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Writing and your health

Today’s blog comes from the virus causing havoc with my immune system.  As a writer you know we already have adversary’s to face. Whether it’s a day job, family obligations, or our own mental turmoil, then we all get sick at one time or another. 

 

Migraines – millions of us get them – there is NO writing for me during those.

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Oops you got the poops! There’ll be many pauses, but shouldn’t interfere with writing too much. 

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The blues? Sometimes writing helps alleviate it, sometimes you can only curl up and hide away.

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A common cold – usually you can struggle on – perhaps a bit dopey on cough syrup – might lead to interesting stories.

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I have a virus ( not treatable with meds, lucky me) that is affecting my sinus’s/inner ear, so I get woozy and dizzy spells. Tons of fun! Therefore it’s taken me nearly two hours to write this simple blog. The novel’s going to be a blast this weekend, but I feel fine so I’ll write during the calm, and rest during the spins.

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How do you cope with illness and your writing? Push on or take a break? 

 

Check out my books here: https://theresajcbs.wixsite.com/authorpage

Why blog?

Blogging for writers is another form of expression. 

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It’s practice.

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A way to  meet different people. Not everyone wants to read a novel

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Share Poetry

first it was dawnthen it was goneas time marched on twilight seeped into the bluechanging the hueas darkness grewand night rang trueone by one stars blinked into sightfilling the black o

 

Tell people about new releases, maybe they will want to read this one.

 

 

Share other authors successes

https://www.theboldmom.com/

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Teach what you learn

https://authortheresajacobs.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/making-book-video-promos-2/

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Take a new path and share how you did it.

https://authortheresajacobs.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/box-store-book-signing-why-you-should-do-it/

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Share a short story

Be Mine.

Jane tucked her newly acquired decorating books against her hip as she fished into her purse for her car keys. A voice came out of the darkness, startling her. Jumping, she almost dropped the books and pulled them tighter to her side as she turned.

“Jeepers Harold, you scared me.” Jane shifted her hands under the books to spread some weight.

Harold’s voice was hushed and breathy as he slid out from between his Taurus and a cement pillar.  “I’ve been reading those books about manifesting what you want. You know the Tim Robbins and Andrew Carnegie books.”

Jane curled her lip, even from three feet away she could smell stale tobacco on his clothes. “Yeah, and how’s that working out for you?”

“You’re here aren’t you.” His left eye twitched rapidly.

“What do you mean?” A chill danced up her spine. She felt her nipples harden under her bra and rounded her shoulders, now longing for the cable-knit sweater that she thought was too hot to wear.

Harold stood straight, his brown stained teeth too jumbled in his small mouth appearing rat like as they peeked between his dry lips. “I’ve been visualizing you and me together.” His worn Keds shuffled the dusty cement as he moved imperceptibly closer.

“Uh,” Jane took a step back and hugged the books up to her chest. She took a quick glance beyond Harold and into the gray depths of the cold parking garage, noticing now how cavernous it felt. “Sorry Harold,” she mimicked checking her watch, never truly taking her eyes off him, “I’m in a bit of …”

Suddenly a shadow rose from behind a sleek black SUV. A swift motion of darkness that blended with the rest.

The shadow moved so fast that Harold didn’t get to turn his head before the steel pipe connected with his temple. His arms flew straight out towards Jane, as though reaching for an embrace, his body lost control and tottered sideways.

Jane gasped. Her eyes widened, dropping her books, she turned to run. Her foot slipped on the smooth cement. She instinctively put out her arms to catch herself, but her fall was halted by an unseen force, and she found herself wrapped in a granite embrace.

Jane felt the heat of the man’s body penetrate her chilled skin. Trying to look back and see who it was that held her, she never got the chance. A giant hand blocked her mouth and nose, holding her head firmly forward.

Her lungs had not had time to fill from her fright, and she attempted to suck in air through a wall of thick skin. Jane wiggled, kicking at solid thighs.

A soft voice that did not match the monster, whispered, “You were not his to take.”

The humid breath caressed her ear, her body involuntarily shivered, and she wet herself, as the voice finished.

“You are mine, Jane.”

 

Whatever you can imagine you can share with the world. What are you waiting for get blogging!

 

 

 

Nonconformist or just bat-crap-crazy?

This will be one of my most self-debated, (should I or shouldn’t I), posts to date. It’s guaranteed to be the top controversial and I may even lose followers because of it.  I’m sure my husband will shake his head and wonder why I shared this with the world, but I’m tired of pretending…

I don’t believe in New Years Eve!

Okay that’s that factually inaccurate. I know it happens, I see everyone celebrating, heck I’ve even been to many parties over the years. Though each time when midnight struck and people whooped and kissed, I’d be trying to find the best place to hide so I wouldn’t have to fake enjoying that moment. 

I never got it. 

I don’t follow any religion and time was invented by man to make life easier. So why do we need one night to be the catalyst to launch our changes?

If you want to lose weight, do it when you think it.

Want to work harder, work harder right now.   

Need a major change in your life, what’s wrong with April or July? 

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January 1st is no different that any other 1st of the month, it’s another day to pay bills, cook dinner, take out the trash. Alright, I do enjoy not having to work for the man because it’s a holiday, but that’s how I treat every holiday. 

Social media makes these times hard on people with troubles, depression or losses, and it just annoys those like me. I’ve already had to play the happy wishes card. Dec 31 – Jan 1 will be the worst.

I play along because I’m polite, and I do care about peoples well-being, only I care EVERYDAY! Not just once a year. 

Now that my peace has been spoken, you can still  enjoy my books here! 

https://www.amazon.com/Theresa-Jacobs/e/B01BAS13T2

Facts if you want: 

New years beginning
In pre-Christian Rome under the Julian calendar, the day was dedicated to Janus, god of gateways and beginnings, for whom January is also named. As a date in the Gregorian calendar of Christendom, New Year’s Day liturgically marked the Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus, which is still observed as such in the Anglican Church and Lutheran Church.[2][3]

How to write when you just don’t feel like it.

Set the mood

I cut the last bunch of flowers from my garden to create a pleasing atmosphere and soothing scent.

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Prepare your drinks and snacks

I’m good for a few hours. When the hot drink is gone, it’s on to water. 

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Play the right music

Whatever you like that suites your mood, or your writing.

Dress accordingly

https://opalescence.store/collections/winter-accessories/products/flannel-cartoon-warm-pajamas

This is not me – however this outfit portrays my writing attire! 

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Move locations if need be.

I have an old computer running to my TV in the bedroom, this way when I get tired I can prop up with pillows and keep going. 

Record when necessary

Sometimes I get too tired to type anymore, so I’ll grab my phone and talk to my own messenger  – it needs a lot of editing – but that’s okay! 

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What tips do you have when pushing through a nanowrimo session, trying to hit the end, or just need to get’er done?

How do you write?

People are always asking how to write and work full time. Here’s my advice.

 

Give up any thoughts of a social life – at least for the first ten years.

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Use the weather to your advantage.

Too hot = air condition and write.

Too cold = crank the heat and write.

Just right = get technological (or old school) and write outside! street-1209401_640

Forget about sleep!

Nap before you crash. 

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Try not to go insane and put those thoughts to paper! 

 

 

AND

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Happy writing folks!

 

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