Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Writing 101: Everyone's Opinion is Subjective

Beta readers. Reviewers. Your good friend. That writers group you joined. A lot of people are going to give you a lot of opinions about your book. They'll ask questions and tell you what they think. And as the author, you've got to remember that everyone's opinion is subjective.

Everybody's Got Something to Say Except for Me and My Monkey

It's a fine line for any author to walk. You need the opinions of readers, because you're writing for the readers. But you also need to stick to your guns when it comes to telling the story that you want to tell. In other words, you can't always follow the advice that your beta readers, friends and reviewers give you. Sometimes, you have to write what you're going to write anyway -- and leave it that way.

Everyone's opinion is subjective. I don't particularly care for it when authors add songs and poetry to their book, but some readers go wild for it. I'm not afraid of adding violence to books and some readers want those action scenes, but it's going to put other readers off. 

It all boils down to the basic truth that all storytellers must face: you can't please all of the people all of the time. Always listen to the opinions of others. Hear what your beta readers are telling you. Read your reviews thoroughly. Take it all in. Keep the opinions you can use. 

Forget about the ones you can't. Because everyone's opinion is subjective, but as the author yours is the one that matters most. It's your voice, your words, your story. That means you have to write for you, and not so that you can please someone else.

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