Author rushed a couple scenes that didn’t allow me to connect well with the characters. I paraphrased this, I think she actually said it a bit kinder, but the words still stung.
Rushed scenes? And then it hit me, Jack Nicholson was right, I couldn’t handle the truth.
First, I merely dropped my head against my palm and heaved a huge sigh. Rushed scenes. That meant it was confusing to the reader, right? I lost her. For how long? Did she put the book down and walk away trying to decide whether or not to even finish it?
Then I just denied her words. Walked away, didn’t look back. Pretended I hadn’t read the review. Reread all of the good ones.
Until the next morning when I pulled out the book and started to read through it as a reader this time, not as an author. And you know what? I rushed a few of the scenes. I wanted so desperately to have filled the pages with exciting suspense that I forgot to keep the impetus on the main characters. I had broken my promise to the reader to keep the romance in the forefront. I let her down, made her question whether or not she should have spent her hard-earned money on a story that had a promise attached to it.
My best review ever. Worst rating—best review. Because she taught me something valuable as an author. Never let down the group you are writing for, no matter how much you want to break away a bit from the formula. If you are writing for a group that you know has specific expectations, you must not give them something too different.
I learned more from that review than from all the five-star ratings I’ve received. I appreciate the reader’s honesty and am grateful that she was willing to put it all out there to help this author remember just who she’s writing for.
Did I handle it? I finally did. And am so indebted to that honest reviewer.