1. Wait a few days. Sometimes the initial rage a book gives me fades. Cooler heads prevail and some stuff that made me angry was subjective and not a reason to slam a book.
2. Reread the summary. Did the summary match what I read? Sometimes I expect things from a book it didn’t deliver. Was that me or was it the summary that made my perceptions not line up with reality?
3. Check the genre. I am looking for fantasy reads, preferably Urban Fantasy for an adult audience. I spend a lot of time settling for Young Adult, Paranormal Romance and so on. Sometimes what I hated is a genre standard, and I try not to hate on a book because it’s a romance with fantasy elements and I wanted the reverse.
4. Look at what else the author published. A book catalog sometimes puts a book in perspective and allows me to be kinder.
5. Read another book by that author. Sometimes I need to live in that writer’s style for over one book before I relate to what he or she is doing.
6. Read other people’s reviews. Did someone else enjoy something I missed? Was this book just not meant for me? Others perspectives can help.
7. I focus on what I liked about the book. What kept me reading? If I finished the work there must be some redeemable qualities, what drove me forward and is that more powerful than what annoyed me?
Tell me about your process. Do you refrain from commenting on bad work? Do you dive into a bad review without pause? Do you try to be balanced or lean in to your personal views? Tell me anything related book reviews or what you love/hate in books.
If you’re looking for positive reviews try my Kindle Unlimited series. So far I recommend the Secondborn Series and the Dragon Ridden Series. Let me know if you have other thoughts or suggestions. And as always, feel free to check out my Goodreads profile to see all the good and bad reviews.
I write all kinds of stories, but my favorite ones are where my character is presented with an opportunity for violence and rejects it. It’s where my real life persona bleeds into my writing.
It’s difficult as a writer to create stories centered in nonviolence. A death, fight, or even the threat of violence creates stakes in a work that keeps readers interested. If no one is going to die or be harmed, then what drives investment?
Build interesting Characters. Characters a reader wants to learn about benefit ALL works, but building a curiosity about “what will happen next” when a reader is confident the character is “safe” is crucial if you aren’t going to hold anyone’s life at gunpoint. Readers have to invest because these your characters are funny, charming, quirky, intelligent, or determined.
Build Relationships. Core to the soap opera genre is the “will they won’t they” “What will happen when Susie finds out?!” kind of drama. While soap operas also offer violence, often because serials have gone on soooo long, every relationship twist has been picked clean. If you create deep complicated characters with established relationships, they you can hold interest with their interactions a long time, without ever threatening anyone’s life.
Have a lot of characters. People are social animals, and we like social interactions. Instead of two main characters. Have ten. Let them have their own side plots, spread them out in your world. Let them argue, separate, go their own ways and meet back up. Conflicted goals and ideas can create a rat race to see who achieves their ends firsts. Watch the “good people” get lost in less than moral means to their ends and the “bad people” gain humanity as they see all the harm created from theft x.
Add Mystery. If people aren’t going around stabbing each other and shooting up schools, then there needs to be something else happening. A quest, a pilgrimage, a strange ritual, or an action element that’s out of place. Something curious or suspicious that makes readers wonder “what’s really going on?”
Add Movement. Violence is often equated with action, but it doesn’t have to be. Dance, chases, cooking/cafes/restaurants/hotels all incorporate motion by design. Giving the reader little actions to focus on