Learning to write romance. And how to make bad reviews work for you.

I’ve been immersed in paperwork and study.  And not really the fun kind.  I’ve been doing the homework to buy a house, the hunting, finding, failing, the victory, the paperwork, showing proof of everything down to your blood type, the scanning of forms, endless emails and phone conversations, the driving all the way back and forth to the new town and house and back…the real life drama and nail-biting moments.

Then I’ve been on my quest to know Jesus and all that entails.  Books, books, and more books…and the internet which sucks as far as being a good source unless you know what you’re doing.  I’ve been studying Evolution, Creation, historical proof, archeological proof, scientific proof and on and on.  I was losing my mind with all the science.  Sometimes I had to reread whole paragraphs over and over until I would decide that maybe it was ok that I didn’t know what the heck they were talking about.  I believe, I believe!!!  Lord have mercy!

Finally today I’ve reached the end.  My goals were to find a house and find out who Jesus truly is.  Done!  I found the house and I found Jesus.  Check.  Check.

I cleaned off my desk, filed all the housing papers, and took all my books back to the library.  Now, time to get back into fiction writing mode.  Back to fantasy land.  Back to having some fun.

I’ve been getting some delightful reviews and stars on some of my books including one of my fiction books A Farmer’s Widow.  However, the other day I was hit with a double doozy.  I received two very, very bad ratings on two very different books.  One was my Queen of Sober book on how to get through the first year of sobriety.  The woman gave me a token star and said that if you didn’t drink to excess before this preachy, cliche, nothing to back it up book, you would after.  The other token star and an unpleasant review was on A Farmer’s Widow.  The reviewer said it was 2 hours of her life she would never get back and then wrote up a whole page on the book ending it with a claim that the whole book left a bad taste in her mouth.

So, I’m thinking that since one person wanted to drink herself to death after reading my book on sobriety and another lost 2 hours of her life on my fiction she said had no romance…well, I may need to put some focus on this department now.

I know it seems twisted but I was sort of pleased that the woman that hated my romance book so much took an extra hour of her life to write such a long review.  I mean really.  I read stacks of books all the time and if I can’t engage by the first few pages or chapter I just send it back to the library.  I feel like I’m finally making it.  A year ago I wasn’t even getting reviews!  Progress.

I also received a five star and golden review on the romantic book the same day (but I didn’t see this until days later).  This reader said the exact opposite, that the book was a skilled portrayal of human emotions from grief to passion!  She said the book was captivating from beginning to end.  Hummmm.  The point is that I’m creating strong emotions in my readers.  Either love or hate.  Glory be!  I’m on my way sister!

The good reviews are what keep you motivated and Gods wink toward keeping on the path. Those bad reviews are great tools to be used to hone your skills.  I did a little research on the reader that detested my book.  Often reviewers on amazon have a little site of their own that list all the books and products they review and rate.  She seemed to like a more sexy, intense, hardcore scene.  I understood why my book was a nightmare to her.  It was boring.  My books are borderline Hallmark and she wanted some schmex.  I don’t know what schmex is but she had it in many of her reviews.  Maybe that’s the problem…I don’t know what schmex is and I should as a writer of romantic novellas.  Or maybe not.

I refuse to join the world in all it’s hot love scenes and soft porn.  I will continue to write clean books, however, I will agree with this reader that I could probably steam it up a bit so I  ordered Romancing the Beat and Save the Cat on screen writing.  I’m not writing screen plays…yet, however, this books sounded fantastic on how to actually construct a movie to impress.  I’m sure you can apply the tools to writing books.


Romancing the Beat has already arrived and I’m going to settle in bed with it tonight.  It’s time get off the study and work train and get on the fun, fictional writing train.  I have to get back into storytelling mode.  A few romantic movies, a few books on how to actually write these books, and a little time writing out some plots.  Who knows.

Maybe I should wait until I’ve moved into the new house.  After all, I don’t want to get into book writing, story telling mode and have to abruptly stop to pack and unpack.  Ah, an excuse to extend my vacation.

When I start a book I have to go like mad until done or I may get bored or insecure and quit.  I have something like 4 started books, a half-written book, and one finished book that I didn’t like in the end.  Sometimes I think you have to write and publish before you can come to your senses or nothing would ever be produced and marketed.  Did I mention that I have five book covers that have no books as of yet?  Sigh.





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