Dilemma of a Modern Writer – Is this possible?

For many years and many centuries women fought for equal rights and equal opportunity.  It wasn’t all that long ago we finally achieved our dreams.

As a writer, I believe we must read, read, read – not only to understand what is good and the ‘how to’ process but to study what is popular (or even fads) of now.

Unfortunately the most horrible book became a best seller and I foolishly bought it.  Fifty Shades of Grey became a best-seller, so much garbage I couldn’t read it.  Life is much to short to waste my time on garbage.

I cannot expand on the most entertaining, accurate review I have ever read by Katrina Lumsden on Goodreads.  She gives Fifty Shades of Grey a one-star review.  I wish we could give negative number reviews.

Christian (the supposed hero) is jealous, a stalker, cruel and doesn’t have a single attribute that should be considered appealing to a modern woman.  The heroine is meek and unbelievably weak for a woman in modern times. In the real world she would seek counseling. Any ‘real’ man would have rushed to her defense and squashed Christian like the bug he is, then built her self-confidence.

This story depressed me – if this is what the modern woman wants I can’t produce it.  I considered my romance novels,  Melisa Hamling (author of Twenty Weeks) said that Wade in my One Dance with a Stranger – was hotter than hot.  I was pleased with the review.  But now I wonder is Wade too nice to be a hero? Will he ever attract a modern woman.  He doesn’t beat women, he doesn’t ‘force’ women and he certainly doesn’t try to control women. But he is strong, sexy and very fun to be around. He also allows a woman to have a brain to think for herself.

One Dance with a Stranger by Mary M. ForbesThen I know I can never create a monster like Christian.  I can never create an unbelievable heroine like Anastasia – so meek and submissive for no apparent reason.  If women today want a dominating, cruel, horrible man then I can only say…


Dilemma of Modern Writing – Reviews

With self-publishing becoming a regular occurrence, one method Authors are using is to review each other to promote their books.  It should be a good way to promote their works, but is it?

Before exchanging reviews I think it wise to ask a few questions – especially on how a person might review a genre/story they have no interest in or even dislike the topic.  Some will review on the content as it pertains to the genre.  Others will simply give a bad review for this simple reason – they don’t like it.

An example for me was in child-rearing subjects.  As my own children are grown and I don’t always necessarily agree with how children are being raised, I could easily bash these books.  I don’t.  I don’t even give negative opinions if I disagree unless it was something that stretches my credibility to its’ limits.  I will give a fair review of format/content/grammar and spelling. It may not be raving comments but it will be a 5 star rating if deserved.

I have exchanged books with a number of authors.  Most have been fair, even though they aren’t necessarily ‘romance’ readers.  But some have been so far from what the good reviews are, I question why.  How can that be possible unless they are judging the book on content they dislike?

I recently read Twenty Weeks by Melisa Hamling.  It was an excellent YA novel and extremely well written. It however deals with controversial subjects.  Although she has received raving reviews, she has received a few reviews that are obviously on the opposite side of her opinions.  But these reviewers didn’t consider this was a fiction work and Melisa in no way was preachy or ‘telling’.  Her characters were believable and acted in a manner teens often do. Their choices could logically go either way and Melisa revealed that very well.

My advice is to make sure other authors will give a fair review of your work, not the content.  Today’s opinions are very heated.  This could lead to that terrible thing a writer would fear above all else – Freedom of Speech – if we continue to bash opposite views.

Once Dance with a Stranger by Mary M. ForbesOne Dance with a Stranger has received excellent reviews, but a few haven’t (only by other authors) when it comes to other Authors reviewing your work. Readers are giving it a good review.