This Is the Kind of Feedback I Like

Got another review on the book. I’m going to go through it bit by bit just to highlight the kinds of things that help writers get better. I’m not saying I agree with all of them, and you also can’t please everyone, but there are some good takeaways here:

A fun and strange adventure. Three stars.

I really liked the underlying idea of this book. The thread of that idea was there but in many spots only faintly where the story devolved into a bunch of snarky conversations between characters. Action scenes would be great as anime scripts. Not a lot of sympathy for the protagonist but understandable given her development throughout the story.

Fair enough about Elpida, the main character, being unsympathetic. But the reader picked up on the idea that she had to start like that in order to grow as things progress.

The comment about snarky dialogue is one I take seriously, because I’m not a fan of that Scalzi-esque type of writing and I do try to avoid it. The thing is, the characters don’t all like, or trust, each other at the beginning. At least the reviewer didn’t say the dialogue was on the nose.

And that bit about the action scenes making great anime . . . that’s not the first time I’ve heard that.

The story finally started moving forward about 75% of the way through. From then on everything came together and made the read worthwhile.

Overall a decent read. An easy half of the first 75% could have been lost with no effect on the plot or story.

Again, fair enough. I’m not sure about that 75 percent figure, but everyone has different tastes. At the end of the day, I’m glad the reader stick with it and enjoyed the book.

Speaking of different tastes, another reviewer described it as “heavily action-packed.” So live and learn, right?

And finally the end product. Typos galore, misspelled words, missing words, etc. It obviously went through a spell checker but I seriously doubt this story had anyone give it a serious proofreading. And all of those mistakes are road bumps that remove the reader from the story which is unfortunate.

Rating is based on story and not the poor copy.

Now this stings. I did have the book professionally edited, and I must have read through it myself about a dozen times.

Ah well. It’s time for revisions. I was shooting for typo free. I guess I missed the mark.

Takeaways for the next book:

  • Outsource typo hunting to multiple people.
  • Publish just the eBook until all typos are gone, and then publish the paperback.
  • Think about that 75 percent number. I don’t agree with it, but it’s still good to keep it in mind.
  • Slow starts are deliberate. For A Traitor to Dreams, I toyed with multiple beginnings and the slightly slower set-up just fit the best. But I mean, stuff starts to go down by chapter four . . .
  • Work on eliminating snark, even if characters don’t like each other.

This is the kind of feedback I like. Bring it on!

Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think, ideally be leaving an Amazon review!


  1. I didagree about the slow start and 75% figure. Also about the snarky dialogue. I hate snarky and would have noted that when I read it. Re the typos, my copy had a lot, but as I had an advanced review copy, I thought it was still going through the last proofing process and chose to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I can verify that there’s no substitute for somebody else’s eyes, especially in something as big as a novel. As a copywriter and editor, I’ve been on both sides of it (although only on the reviewing side for novels). The brain ends up seeing what it expects to see, not what’s actually there.

        If you ever want another picky bastard to ferret out typos and such, let me know. I’m up for it.

        Liked by 1 person

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