As most of you are aware, Deadworld hit the shelves a couple of weeks ago. Being the debut author that I am, I have incessantly tracked comments, reviews, ratings, and such on a daily basis. Ok, actually several times a day, lol. Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s really a waste of time to be such a spaz about it, because you run the risk of driving yourself nuts wondering about all of the varying points of view that get expressed about your story. Going into it, every writer has the flimsily held notion that most, if not everyone will like their story, regardless of the fact that we all know it won’t happen. Given that this is an unreasonable expectation though, what should one expect?
Worst case scenerio is, that you get the “meh,” response. Readers don’t love it or hate it or find anything really worth commenting about. “It was ok,” is the last thing you want to hear. Being labelled mediocre, in my opinion, is worse in general over someone claiming they hated the book. Why? Because you want your stories to inspire a strong reaction. Now I’m not talking about hate related to poor grammar, consistency issues, and such, but more along the lines of story and character. So, while the “hated it” reaction can be cringe-worthy for any author, myself included, it does mean the writing stirred up something in the reader. Of course, if 99% of readers are having that response, that’s a whole other ballgame.
In the case of Deadworld, after a couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a bit of this love/hate dichotomy, particularly with the heroine of the story, Jackie. People to seem to either love her or hate her. She’s a rough, emotionally unstable/broken woman, who doesn’t handle her issues very well. She needs a lot of work. As a writer, I love characters who push the boundaries of sympathy. They’re intriguing to me, and it’s a lot of fun to go about seeing how they can get things turned around and back on track again. The dilemma obviously, is that starting at that point makes it tough on the reader to like them. Thus, a lot of love her or hate her. Now, I didn’t go into the book with that particular thought in mind, but it has become interesting nonetheless. Clearly, I’ve crossed a few lines on the likeability scale. Will this be good in the long run? I certainly hope so, because I’m having a lot of fun writing her journey back from the brink. The difficulty is to convince readers to come along for the ride over the course of more than one book. As we all know, in reality, most emotional issues don’t get resolved over the course of a few days, or even a few weeks. It’s a long process.
Have you had books you totally loved and then had friend hate it for the very same reasons you loved it? Literature is a strange world at times. Glad I’m a part of it. 🙂 Happy reading/writing everyone.