It’s been too long since my last update. Life proceeds. Earning a paycheck, kids, and ordinary home life take a lot of time.
I’d like to take a moment to respond to reviews of The Stars Came Back that people have posted. It may be the start of a series.
I’d like to address all the one star Amazon reviews first. There are eight of them at this time. Every one of them mentioned the screenplay-esque format as being a major problem for the reviewer. I trust it was not a surprise, given the 30 pages+ of free preview. Sorry if it didn’t float your boat, but that’s how it started out. If you are willing to give the story another shot, I’ve finished the normal prose version and handed it off to an editor to work over, and I’m expecting it to be done any day. Castalia House, my publisher, will be releasing a military fiction / essay anthology soon, and because I have a short story that takes place in TSCB’s universe included, I’m assuming they’d like to release both at the same time. Then you can see if you can find out why the five-star folks liked it. I know no story will appeal to everyone *shrug* C’est la vie. Considering this oddly-formatted book has 116 reviews and only 8 are one-star, I’ll live with it, and while I won’t enjoy it, I do value honest feedback.
Among the four two-star reviews, one says “The author has obviously written this as a screenplay and has had it rejected“. Well, no, actually. I never submitted it anywhere. I never really intended too, except in the vaguest of early days. The standard screenplay format wastes a vast amount of space, but it’s fast and easy to write in. The story as it played out in my head was entirely visual, and my intent was to NOT get inside people’s brains, rather just show what an observer would see (much as happens in a movie). So I used a modified, much-condensed format that is somewhat similar to a screenplay so it could be read fast and easy. I think it terms of basic images and dialog, so… that’s what I wrote. If someone want to buy the rights and take it to the big (or small) screen, it would be an easy transition to make, and I’d be happy to talk with them, but for me it’s the story that’s important. And no, it’s not a copy of Firefly, though there are some similarities as all space-opera will.
Among those that thought enough of the story to review it, only 12 of 116 are one and two star, or a smidgen more than 10%. Sorry the format bothered you, but if that’s the biggest flaw in my first ever novel, it was an acceptable risk for me as a novice writer to take.
Oh, and happy Thanksgiving!
3 thoughts on “Too long”
I thoroughly enjoyed the semi-screenplay format. But then I love watching writers try something different, whether or not it works out in the end. (I thought it worked, by the way, and definitely hope to see more.)
And what’s that thoroughly modern joke? “You’re not a real writer until you get a one-star review on Amazon!”
Thanks for your support, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. The format was a risk (one the original freelance editor I hired opposed keeping), but going a more “traditional” route was also a path littered with the crushed and burned out souls of aspiring writers. I kept it both to save time and as a way to stand out a little bit. 116 reviews and more than 3000 copies sold later, it seems to have been be a gamble worth taking. I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Hadn’t heard that joke, but yes, I suppose that’s one way to look at it 🙂
3000 copies is the real answer.
As Robert A. Heinlein said, “The sincerest form of flattery begins with the words ‘pay to the order of…’.”