November 17, 2011 by Renee
An extremely useful tome. 🙂
Have not read this cover to cover (mainly because some topics I’m not yet ready for), but it does live up to its promise of being THE go-to reference for Writing.
This is great, isn’t it? Well, turns out that this review had a “but”…
Now, I’m going to do what every author/agent/publisher advises authors to avoid doing. I’m going to pick apart a review on my book. Why? There are several things that can be learned here. I learned a few things and so can you.
R ratings imply that the work in question contains some adult material which includes adult themes, activity, language, intense violence, nudity, drug or alcohol abuse or other elements generally considered to be inappropriate for a child under the age of 17. However, children aren’t “banned” from R movies. They simply require adult accompaniment. But most parents are not going to bring their kids to an R-rated movie or let them watch an R-rated television show. NC-17 on the other hand contains these elements and other adult content that is completely and totally too adult for anyone under 17. You go to a theater and try to accompany your kid into an NC-17 movie and they’re going to kick your ass back out. No children admitted. Period. The two are different ratings and honestly, do not apply to the Companion. I’ll give you PG. Definitely. Not R or NC-17.
What irks me is that I was singled out as the dirty mind in this venture. I’ll have you know Carlos is much more creative in the dirty department than I am. He’s as salacious as they come and you know, I think you’d be surprised to know which racy content is actually his. I also don’t like that some people reading that review may believe that it’s just a book full of porn or a poorly disguised reference manual on the art of intercourse. Boy, won’t they be disappointed when they race out to buy it.
On the other hand, when a reviewer rants about the awfulness or the explicit content of the book in such vague terms, you have to take that ranting with a grain of salt. I’ve noticed that many reviewers who prefer “clean” fiction or “Christian” fiction, for some strange, masochistic reason like to pick up general adult fiction and then act all scandalized when it contains profanity, violence or sex. It’s adult fiction, folks. What the hell do you expect it to contain? Characters that shit unicorns and butterflies or relationships that involve holding hands and sharing good old fashioned pecks on the cheek after church? Please.
Before I go, I want to add that the rating is not in any way annoying to me. She gave us 4 stars despite the nasty unnecessary sexual content I put in there. That’s great. But honestly, we’ve received a 3 star review that I was more proud of. The reviewer conceded that she hadn’t read it cover to cover, but she also pointed out what she gained from the parts she did read and that’s all I hoped for in writing this book with Carlos. I wanted writers to find something valuable inside. Every writer loves the 5 star reviews, I’m no exception, but now and then, take a look at the lower ratings. See what the reviewer is actually saying. Don’t get all caught up in the numbers. We’re writers. Read the white space. This is where we learn to become great writers.