Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Ugly Duckling

Ive been fortunate thus far in my books' reception by readers. For the most part my work has been well met, and commented on fairly and positively. Most of the few complaints have been qualified by something along the lines of "its not really romance, but I loved it." As you can imagine, I'm pretty happy with all of the above.

I think the criticisms have been fair, often spot on, and always incredibly helpful both from readers and from reviewers and critiquers. Then again, I've never been opposed to critique, as I've stated on more than one occasion.

But there's this one book, it seems, that no one really adores but me. You know how it goes, right? Shoot your darlings? But I love this book. I'm not going to lie. It's also the only thing I've ever written that got an outright poor review. Readers' responses have been lukewarm at best.

So I think about it a lot, this book of mine, because oddly enough, I still adore it.
I know, I know...I probably missed at least one beta reader's advice that I should have taken. I probably forgot a crucial element, made a wrong decision, rushed.
I can't see it clearly, I'm too close to it, etc. etc. etc.
Except I've put it aside, waited. I've achieved distance and such, and I still love it.
How the heck did that happen?

Well, as far as I can tell, in this case, it just did. Taste comes into play, I'm sure. But I'm just as sure that I made mistakes with it.
I also know that I made some decisions while writing this particular tale that I still stand by completely. They aren't popular choices, but they still mean something to me. I wouldn't make them any differently now--even with the hindsight--and that makes me scratch my head a little.

Don't take me wrong here, I still believe wholeheartedly in feedback and critique and being wide open to accept input and make the appropriate changes. Actually listening and responding to critique is something akin to a religion in my world. It's important. Vital.

But every once in awhile, that artist I've buried deep beneath the surface rears her head and puts her foot down. She says, nope. This one, you do your way. You have a reason, and it doesn't matter if anyone else gets it. This one is for me.

This one is for me.
Every once in awhile, I think that's just fine.

~Frances

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