Over the number of years that I’ve been writing, and I’ve noticed the reviews and comments written by some people about stories that have read. While some of their one, two, or three star reviews may have some legitimacy, due to the fact the writer had written a boring piece, there were too many punctual errors, or the person wasn’t feeling the story entirely, I have noticed a number of reviews that was over-opinionated, petty, and lots of nip-picking.
Ouch! Why did I say that? Well, why not tell it like it is.
I’m going to give a brief re-cap from a review I received in 2012, when I released “The Girl Upstairs” on Romance Divine. I won’t say the name of the reviewer, out of respect, but I got to notice all the nip-picking on my story:
Before I get into the pieces of the story, let me give you a brief summary of my story that Carlos Munoz moved out of
York City, in search for a better life in ,
and he falls for this woman Bella that lives above him. What Carlos doesn’t
know is that Bella has a dark past, an ex-boyfriend who just got out of jail.
When her ex-boyfriend finds out where she lives, Carlos does what it takes to
save Bella from the most unthinkable. Scranton, PA
Okay, now the review I received three years ago, with a bombardment of criticism from one reviewer.
The reviewers said that how could I write a story where a man who was a financial analyst go down to being a janitor? And have I done any research on how much a financial analyst makes in
New York? Also, what are the odds of the
ex-boyfriend finding out where she lived? It’s not really possible, if he got
out of jail. The sex was really good, but your characters didn’t use any
condoms. I don’t think I could give it a good review.
My response was like, really? Get the fuck out of here! But I have much thicker skin than that, and I’m sure there are many authors who feel the same.
Now, I did explain in the story, The Girl Upstiars, that Carlos was a financial analyst who got laid off when the company went under. He tried to find another job, but he couldn’t make ends meet and left
New York City to live
with his brother, until he was able to get his own place. The average salary of
a financial analyst for a big company in New
York City is 70k. When he moved to Scranton,
located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the only
job he could find was a janitor job that paid $23k a year. I know a hell of a
drop. I also explained in the story of why he didn’t pursue the job as a
financial analyst. He also hated the job, the more he was working in that
The odds of Bella’s ex-boyfriend, who just got out of prison and discovered where she lived, finding her is totally fiction. I never intended to get into the details, and drag on the scene. In my opinion, I found it too boring, and I like to avoid any extra fluffs and fillers.
And now the part some readers bitch about reading erotic stories – characters that engage in risky sex in the story. Yes, in the real world, HIV/AIDS and other STI’s exist, but in the story, my characters are immune to it, unless I say they are not; whether you like it or not, that the way I write my sex scenes.
Now I know, in the real world, these events aren’t at all possible or things are handled differently in a situation, but there are a lot of readers that need to pull their heads out of their ass, because the story is fiction. Shall I spell it? F-I-C-T-I-O-N. I am an erotic romance author that uses ‘writer’s creativity.” The true purpose of the story was about a man who left the city life to settle in a small town, to fall in love with a woman who was right for him. The story was never meant to feel real.
But to get back to the topic of fiction, when you watch a TV Show or a movie; let’s take NCIS or CSI, for example, or better yet, Law & Order: SVU, better yet. What makes the T.V. Shows really interesting is how they plot the story. Surely, they use real life events, but they also use writer’s creativity. I will give you samples of writers creativity, and there is no law for it. The truth is it’s how well can you make the show very interesting.
The episodes in Law & Order: SVU, uses realistic events in their shows, they also use creativity to keep it interesting, otherwise it wouldn’t have lasted sixteen seasons. They have to add different plots, scenarios, and create twists that will make you say ‘Oh Shit!’, but also the story doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending in the story. Also, in the show, the crime is immediately solved. While in reality, cases like these go cold; victims don’t come forward because of fear, and sometimes these crimes go unreported because of other circumstances. The show is a hit, because of the creativity of the show, not because it feels so real. The show is supposed to capture you in a drama. That’s the trademark of Dick Wolf.
I use some real events in the story, but I choose writer’s creativity to keep it interesting. If I use any ounce of realism, then the story is over-explained and boring. Realism in a fiction story hinders creativity, no matter how you put it. Both Stephen King, L. Ron Hubbard, Danielle Steele, E.L. James, and James Patterson, all respectively, use creative writing skills to make their stories interesting, regardless of how real it might feel to you, which I’m about to touch another subject about how real it needs to feel.
Reader: But I need the story to feel so real to me. I need to be the character when I read it.
First of all, get over your melodrama. What is it that you need to feel the character? Do you expect the character to physically touch you? Fiction or fantasy is meant to let your mind escape, not transform you into some magical creature. We are suppose to help your imagination fly, not keep you grounded with reality. And to those who need to be the character, come the fuck down to reality, because you sound ridiculous! If you want to understand the character, then that is different, but for you to be the character I think you need to seek help.
Reader: This one phrase in the story didn’t sound right.
Really, this one phrase in the story instantly destroyed your mood to read the book. Do you know how pathetic you sound to the average person who has sense and sensibility? No one’s perfect in the world, but your pettiness is compared to going over to five-star restaurant and bitch to the waiter that your glass of water isn’t clear enough, even if they served it to you from a Fiji water bottle. Seriously, get the fuck out of here!
Reader: The things in the story aren’t accurate.
Okay, while there is a half argument here, but the story can still be fiction; not real.
If you’re writing a historical story, you do need to do some research. I don’t care if you’re writing a story that takes place in 2003, for example. Smart phones didn’t exist in 2003, and running water from a faucet didn’t exist in the 1781. You have to do some fact checks and research on what existed. I mean the internet didn’t exist publicly in 1990, and in 1994, it was barely making a mark in the
and United Kingdom.
However, to counter-argue here, If I feel like including a forty-story building in a town called
in my story, I can. There’s no rules
on that. If I want to create a fictional town in my story called St. Marks
Hill, California or Lubbock,
States I can! It’s fiction, it
doesn’t have to be real or accurate to your liking. Santa Maria,
I want you to show me where in the rule book of writer’s creativity that I have to write it so real? Filmmakers use this, so do authors, and there is no rule book. Only your mind can create such fictional things. It’s the most unique and complex weapon in your body. All it takes to write something fiction is a vision.