Tara Fox Hall's Blog - Posts Tagged "one-last-look"

ONE LAST LOOK: A WRITER’S PLEA (TO THE REVIEWER)

It’s a given fact that all writers will get bad reviews in their lifetime. Some of those will be deserved; a work unpolished, a first effort not reworked sufficiently, or simply bad grammar, etc. But some of those won’t be. The crux hangs, of course, on the reviewer. It is their opinion which flavors the review, making it either praise or condemnation. That is as it should be. Yet I make this plea on behalf of all writers, everywhere: Take one last look, and make sure that you meant all that you said.
There is no age limit I know of to be a reviewer for most review sites. If you run your own blog, there is no criterion at all that must be met. Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying that blog sites are less than qualified to judge what books are worth reading, or that they aren’t entitled to speak their views. I’m saying that anyone and everyone can be a reviewer, or post a review. This is not a bad thing, in and of itself. The more reviews any item has, the more information those looking to buy have at their fingertips. But when anyone can say anything about anything with a few clicks, it makes for almost no responsibility on what is said, or the fallout that will follow because of the review that is written.
I admit to being guilty of “passionate reviews” in the past. I have read books that were awful; who hasn’t? I have been angry at writers that wasted my time, or led me up to a climax that fell flat. Not all books are of five star quality. Part of the reason I began writing was because I longed for a story that no current writer provided. But there is a fine line between being honest, and being cruel, just because you can. Please know the difference.
No writer I have thus met throws together a piece, and sends it off. Some writers spend years perfecting a novel, or just a short story. We attend workshops, we join critique groups, we do whatever we can to hone our talent, to make what we produce the best it can be. We are always trying to improve, to write a better story with each new idea. Why then, is there so little respect given to an author who has spend countless hours giving you that book you have spent, at most, several hours reading?
Publisher writers are not amateurs in any sense of the word. I haven’t chosen this often grueling career with the sole intent to get rich. My goal is to give you, the reader, a tale to hopefully make your life a little more exciting, a little more romantic, or a little more thrilling. If I disappoint in that lofty goal, I apologize. It certainly wasn’t my intention.
This is my plea, dear reviewer: take one last look, before you hit enter and seal my success or my doom with your words. Think about how you would feel as you read the words you have written, if they were aimed at your work. I’m not asking for you to give me a five star review, or change your opinion. Just give one last look. There are ways to critique that encourage, not discourage. If your goal is simply to warn potential readers concerning inadequacies in my work, push send. If your aim is to not only give your opinion, but also to motivate me to do better, then take one last look. Give me not just correction, but inspiration.
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Published on February 29, 2012 04:45 • 430 views • Tags: one-last-look, reviewing-advice, tara-fox-hall