I've received another so-so review. Somehow, the so-so ones are more paralyzing that the really bad ones. What I find really puzzling are the books by other authors that received five star reviews--when I found myself disappointed in those same books. Hmmm.
Anyway, this isn't about other author's reviews, or for that matter, even my own. This post is about the no-man's-land where my writing is currently lost. I'm not sure whether it's because I'm recovering from the flu, or because I'm distracted by family issues, or because I'm thinking about meeting my fellow authors at a convention, but the writing is dead.
I admit the review didn't help. Not because it was a so-so review, but because I'm having a hard time trying to decide what I can learn from it. I always try to learn something positive from my reviews. And this one... well, I'm not sure how to "fix" the next book based on this review.
Every author I know is constantly striving to improve their writing. That's what I do--work hard with each succeeding book to make it a better story with memorable characters and an interesting plot. For some reason, I'm stagnating and moving backwards and I can't quite figure out why.
Perhaps its because I'm torn between two goals: improve the plot/story line or have enough sex in the story to qualify for submission to the on-line publishers. There's a sharp line of demarcation in the publishing field. Sex or no sex. And once again, I find myself somewhere in the middle--sort of uninterested in the excessive kinky sex that seems to be the requirement now, yet not really interested in the closed bedroom door of the old days.
Perhaps like old Will Shakespeare said, "To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." Have I lost my way?
For that matter, even if a publisher buys the story, will readers want to read it? Or will they be disappointed with the new and improved author? What do you think? Is less, more?