Emergence Collective · writing

Building calluses

At one time in my life I was certified as a personal trainer. One of the things I learned, an apparent fundamental principle that can extend to many aspects of life, is: You can not grow without resistance. One needs something to push against to grow strong. Building calluses on your hands is a defense mechanism to protect them from the abuse they are getting.

Mentally I prepare for the coming callus. An unintended consequence of being an introverted author is that I have to become extroverted. Put myself out there if I want an audience. I reach out to the community and ask for feedback. Up till now, I’ve had the pleaser to bask in the cozy waters of positive praise. Certainly an ego boost. I know there is going to be negative criticism. It is inevitable

Deep inside, I can’t wait for it. I know I need it to happen to grow as an author in my writing (because there may be actual truth in the negative feedback) and as an online presence. I have been communicating with the community and I know there is one person with some issues with my novel.

Here is the message: “I am trying to work through your story –a clickable table of contents would help greatly – at least then you can navigate a lot better also you might want to consider tweaking your description on Amazon –check out how to do log lines –something that gives the whole plot summary so the reader knows where the story is going. Honestly as a reader its a hard story to navigate—I need to know more where it is going to begin to think editing and structure.”…….

Let’s deconstruct this. I understand that not everyone will like the story itself. That’s fair. I did have some terrible issues with my manuscript format, mostly because I didn’t know how to use word for windows; I have since figured it out. The clickable table of contents I actually removed because of said formatting issues. Kindle create is finicky and was messing up the chapters (Missing chapter headings, making the table of content sloppy). So It was a conscious decision. I suggest using a bookmark to save your location in the story.

Plot summary…. Honestly I think I nailed it. I want to leave some mystery to the story. I hate spoilers. I think until you get to a certain point in the story (I don’t think this person has) the summary of the book is confusing, but if you soldier on everything will become clear.

Editing and structure… Im new here. Just learning the ropes so, there is a learning curve. I am not sure how this is relevant. When I read for pleasure I am not thinking about editing or structure. I think there should be some wiggle room as far as a few typos and grammar. Unless its so horribly written that that’s all I can think about, and not the story. If this person feels this way, put the book down. I am not asking you to suffer through it or edit. 

I am preparing to get a less than a 5-star rating from this person, and I am ok with it.  Honestly. I am not hurt or bitter about it.  If you are reading this, and you wrote that message, well this is the reasoning and I hope that you can forgive my literary transgressions. If a one or two star review is in your heart. Please don’t hesitate. I can take it. You can be Will Smith, and I can be Chris Rock, taking the bitch slap like a man, deserved or not.

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