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Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Failed Treasure Hunt is a Lesson Learned

Some of you remember my excited tweet from a few days ago:

After a long treasure hunt, I've finally found a paranormal novel written by a decidedly elusive author. Will it be a Treasured Tome?

Sadly, the answer was a resounding...


I struggled to read this ebook whose length rivaled that of War and Peace, but after a little over four hundred pages, I knew I had to stop. Actually, I knew I had to stop after I was a little under two hundred pages into it, but I refused to admit it.

This blog is about giving undiscovered indie authors the attention they deserve, right? I'm far from perfect. Who am I to say what's good and what's not?

But then I remembered one sentence from my How I Review tab:
 "You will never see anything on this blog that I would rate with only one or two stars."
This work clearly fell into that category, and this was upsetting. I felt that my time had been wasted. I could have been reading something else. Something better. This was not a work I felt could be posted for others.


I was wrong. No time spent reading is ever wasted. I may have disliked this ebook. I may have wanted to throw my Nook across the room a few times as I struggled to get through this work.

But my time was most definitely not wasted.

Rather, this is a good time to point out a bit of advice we've all heard plenty of times before: Write what you know.

Obviously, if we're writing a paranormal or fantasy novel, we won't have real-world experience with wizards, magical creatures, or the machinations of the gods. We have no vampiric friends, and we've never cast a spell that went horribly wrong. But we do need to understand our characters.

We need to give each of them a purpose, a unique personality, and a goal.

Without this, they become two dimensional and bland. If we don't love them, nobody else will, either. If all we do is pretend to understand our characters, our readers will know it.

Don't pretend. 

People are capable of liking some rather nasty characters. Don't be afraid to create a despicable protagonist. Just be sure that if you do, you know how that character thinks, why that character thinks the way she does, and what caused her to become the person she is today.

Make her real.

And on a more optimistic note...

Any ebook I find that doesn't make it to this page gets deleted from my library out of hope that the next time I find it changes will have been made, and I'll be able to give it another chance. We all make mistakes, and we all deserve a second chance. These are our babies, after all.

A deletion from my library today could be a Treasured Tome tomorrow.

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