Face it Folks, You Cannot Please Everyone
You Cannot Please Everyone: When I first began seriously writing back in 1995, I wish I had adopted what I like to refer to as the constant editing technique at the time. But since then, I was yet to be published.
What can I tell you – after almost eighteen years of writing, I have finally found a process that works for me. Each word is not only spelled correctly, but its particular version is also carefully selected via the process of working through the Oxford English Dictionary, plus utilizing the method of synonyms by right-clicking on a word offers you a choice of alternatives.
As an example of which form is correct for a given circumstance within any sentence, I give you earth instead of Earth. Both conditions are proper according to the OED, but the earth is the usually accepted form.
I finally decided to adopt the technique last year while writing my last eBook novella, The Forgotten Age. I’m glad I did. Apart from reducing the errors to an absolute minimum, bearing in mind that no book is ever totally error-free, it also ensures that the darned Goodreads and Amazon trolls, plus the odd one or two individuals who love to find fault, tend to refrain from voicing their opinion in the form of a one-star review on either site.
But no matter how meticulous your approach may be, you have to be prepared for those people who absolutely hate your work. In Forgotten’s case, one individual posted the following on the United Kingdom’s Amazon site:
“Perhaps one of THE worst books in the history of literature…..this history or any other! I WANT MY MONEY BACK! Any Egyptian national would be offended by this book, and any person of average or above intellect (clearly not the author) would be offended by this book. Even within the realms of fantasy, this “work” would NOT be considered worthy or considered at all. Perhaps it should come with a clearly stated warning that readers beware of impending rubbish upon purchase? Have I already said I WANT MY MONEY BACK!? And while we are doing that, please can I have all references of this book cleansed from my memory? I will even put thought to a financial contribution to the author never self-publishing any future “works” as clearly this would benefit humankind’s future.”
Did you see his obvious errors – lack of a capital letter E in Egyptian and a lower case I, plus the totally incorrect use of block capital letters, not to mention how he drew attention to the word’s work and works? Face it, folks, you cannot please everyone, no matter how hard you try.
You can take a look at his review for yourself if you go to my UK Amazon author page and click on Forgotten’s cover. The above example clearly demonstrates why Amazon and its satellite site Goodreads, should never allow ordinary individuals to review any book, now or in the future. Fortunately, the positive reviews far exceed his and those of a couple of other disgruntled individuals.
Returning to this post’s main thrust about adopting the constant editing technique, It would not suit most writers as it drastically slows down the whole writing process, particularly the prolific in our ranks. By using it, you can forget about any form of daily word count target, something that many new and seasoned writers think is the be-all and end-all to getting that next book out there into book land.
Since adopting the technique, I’m lucky if I write a paragraph each day before editing. Back in 1995, I would have been thoroughly disappointed. No longer…
As a new and self -taught writer who makes a ton of mistakes. I write in a flood of words and go back later to try to make changes. I miss a bunch! I have lived in dread of the nasty critic. I’ve become aware of a whole group of bottom dwellers who seem to find their only true source of creativity in bashing another’s original efforts. They need original works like mine or yours to find anything creative to say at all. They have nothing particularly original to say, they feed off yours. I call it a sort of piggy back talent they catch their wave only when you surf out. Unfortunately there seems to be a whole culture cropping up that admires this piggy back talent more than the original intended pieces themselves. There is a difference between honest criticism and these bashers. Thanks for sharing Jack. I am curious about your editing system.
Thanks for commenting Cynthia. My way is not for the faint hearted or the undisciplined among our ranks. But what it does do is make you painfully aware of your own failings. By that I mean the usage of certain words such as – like, and, so etc, that I consider lazy words. With each few thousand words I write, thankfully I improve. when it comes to any form of writing, determination and discipline are requirements for us all. 🙂
Strong nouns and verbs, with few adjectives, make for powerful writing. Less is more, and all that. Like Jack, I take a great deal of care as I write the initial draft, then refine, refine, refine.
Best of all, is to leave the work for a couple of months and go back to it with fresh eyes. Despite all the attention to detail at the initial draft, I always find plenty to improve on later. The trick at that stage is not to overwork and spoil the flow.
We all work in different ways Paula. Continuous Editing works for me. 😉
As Jack knows, I don’t plan or outline or even set a plot. I freeflow and see where the story takes me. I like this because I hate knowing the ending to any book, even one I’m writing, until I get there. 🙂 Wacky, I know.
I can write a 150k novel in a week and spend a year fixing it and it doesn’t bother me. I have tried to outline a story, even a short one, but my mind REF– USES to let itself follow that outline.
Still, I have to please no one except myself in the end. I do not take offense when a troll tells me how bad it was. Nor do I fret over honest criticism. If I ever re-write it (Not going to happen because I have so many other stories need telling) I will take all of it into account. What DOES upset me is when I run out of Coffee, like now!