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Beta read/critique > Asking for your help - Is this writing really worth only 1 star?

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message 1: by A.R. (new)

A.R. Zane | 4 comments Hi!
Calling ALL spy thriller/romance lovers! I need your HELP! :)

I just received my first book review of 1 star and when trying to be objective and honest with myself and you, i really really think it is a lot better than that - so i'm putting it to the test and asking for the crowd's HONEST thoughts.

So, if you are a fan of spy thrillers with a touch of romance,
I would love to get your comments and feedback and if you've enjoyed
my writing, i would appreciate your honest review on

The first book in the series is FREE Kindle Unlimited and also FREE for all on Sept. 8-9. Here's the link to it -

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.
Thank you!
A.R. Zane

Thank you!

message 2: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Jaussaud | 16 comments Has your book been professionally copy-edited? If so, i'll be glad to take a look at it and give you a review.

message 3: by Rita (new)

Rita Chapman Hi A.R. I can understand how upset you are, given it's the only review on Amazon. However, some of my favourite books, which I have awarded 5 stars, have the odd 1 or 2 star reviews - it's just someone's opinion. I hope you get some good reviews to follow up.

message 4: by BooksNymph (last edited Sep 11, 2019 10:19PM) (new)

BooksNymph | 1 comments You may wish to start with getting a good editor. Editors don't just correct bad grammar. They do copy/line/developmental editing. They point out inconsistencies, plot holes, and so on. This is essential because readers will get frustrated with your story and put it down (and never read you again) if there are glaring mistakes.

I looked at your writing overall. I think the first paragraph from your book "Dark Haloes" shows the need for good editing. I'll give you a few examples.

Poor Descriptions throw the reader out of the story rather than put them in it. These can be small and large. A few from your opening scene are as follows:

1. You describe the dancers as being in a "dancing hall". I used to go to dance halls as a little girl. Nowadays they are night clubs.
2. "the man on the white singlet and flower-patterned shorts" On? Is he standing on a singlet? Mind you, he could be standing on a piece of clothing, but why would he?
3. You describe the bumping and grinding as "leaves worshiping the winds". I understand you wanted a sexual metaphor, but the one you used is not that. The reader will roll their eyes at this. Remember, simple sentences are most often best. Many writers try to be clever and fall flat.
4. "a thousand thoughts running through his mind". A thousand thoughts is a pretty big deal. what are they? Are they important? If not, why do you mention them?
5. Keep in mind, at this point we have no image of what this man looks like. There's nothing for the reader to start building in their imagination.
6. "beauty-magazine-paper-cut female" please keep in mind, you may know what you're describing but your reader does not. I don't think anyone will know what you're going for with that adjective. Again, another eye roll from the reader.

Inconsistencies can kill a story. You've got to fix them. For example:

1. You describe the man and woman meeting and kissing. They are standing there talking to each other. In the next sentence you say they are dancing. Did they go to the dance floor? Did they begin to dance on the spot? You need to tell the reader or else it sounds like a piece of film with the middle spliced out.
2. To the reader, they just met. It comes across as a hookup. But then, supposedly, they have been in love and have a history. Don't drop that from out of the blue on the reader. You just frustrated them and they feel as if they don't understand what's going on. Story structure is extremely important. These paragraphs don't have a smooth structure to them.

Misspellings and bad grammar.
1. the paper-cut female is described as being in "bum shots". You meant bum shorts. It's also a crop top not a cropped top. Proper use of language is also essential.
2. You have a huge sentence starting out. Break that up so the ideas are clear. Keep your sentences clean, clear and crisp.

If your whole book is like this, then yes, you're likely to get a 1 star with so many mistakes and bad writing. But, the good news is that there is a craft to this, and it can be learned. Keep at it.

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