Monday, 24 September 2012
I noticed over the weekend that one of my novels, 'The Ellroy Deflection,' had received a review on Amazon.com. It was a detailed, fair and honest review courtesy of Leapin' Literary Lurkers from Oregon, who gave the novel a rating of 3 out of a possible 5 stars. It was exactly the kind of feedback that I had been looking for and, whilst criticism can sometimes sting, the constructive comments were gratefully received. Glancing at the reviewer's other reviews, it is clear that this assessment originated from someone who does not exercise a great deal of restraint in expressing their opinion. The brutally forthright analysis was appreciated and will certainly enable me to address what I would agree are atrocious errors in my work. I had re-read the novel several times with a view to eradicate any mistakes before feeling what I thought was a feeling of satisfaction, however slightly deluded. It seems that I was always going to suffer literary blindness when it came to certain verb tenses and embarrassing spelling errors (Santa Clause and Spinal Chord are highlighted as examples by the reviewer). When I've got the money to spare, maybe I could employ the services of an editor or proof-reader to give my work the professional standard that it is currently falling short of. I am also still pursuing an agent, one company at a time.
I am proud of The Ellroy Deflection as my first literary effort. Whilst being pleased with the story and the recognition that its 'twists and turns' has received, I am aware that it has its flaws. I may have been over-zealous with regard to the amount of characters and peripheral storylines, something I was able to address in my second novel, Barren Endeavour, which readers have told me they prefer. So, I'm glad that my writing is improving with age and experience. My third novel should redress the balance with regard to the reviewer's comments highlighting the thread of chauvenism in The Ellroy Deflection, labelling it as disturbing. It was not my intention for the tone of the novel to become the literary equivalent of an early Guy Ritchie movie, but I have since noted the prominence of male characters in The Ellroy Deflection and have focussed on taking remedial action in the process of writing my current novel. The streak of chauvinism was intentionally inserted with the attitudes leading to the downfall of many of the characters. Ultimately, the moderating role is given to a woman. My latest novel is now under the working title 'The Disposition of Adults,' and is an altogether more balanced affair, both gender and theme-wise.
As I say, as long as I can continue to come up with the storylines and plot to keep people interested, I'm not too concerned about the problems identified in The Ellroy Deflection. My style and skills have naturally improved in the years since completing The Ellroy Deflection. We're living in the age of the ebook and print-on-demand, so thankfully the errors are not permanent and can be altered. I welcome further reviews...