Requesting Feedback from Readers and Writers alike.
Some writers are afraid to publicize their works because they’re afraid of the negative feedback they might receive. One writer I encountered, very talented in composing short-stories, threw in the towel after 2-3 people negatively criticized their work. The ratio of positive and negative reviews of this writer’s work were 16:3.
As a new self published writer, I often find myself changing many things in my book to appease readers. In-other-words, I’d take on the perspective of any diverse reader and try to look at my book from their eyes and understanding. Sometimes I change things hoping they (my readers) would be able to easily grasp/articulate. Moreover, I sometimes find myself softening words or truths as not to offend certain people, in a sense trying to compose my work in the most universal easy-to-understand dialect there is for all. But, am I losing a piece of myself, or who I am as a writer when I take on this approach?
Most would say it is wrong to “dumb-down” your literature to “7th Grade Level Writings” to appease someone else. And still othes would say, “I don’t care if the reader understands my book or not. If they can’t understand the type of words used in my book, then let them Google it.” (statements I’ve heard from other writers)
I can understand both point-of-views, but consider this for a moment. Who are the readers you are trying to reach? What level education? What culture? What faith? Do you want to attract just a certain type of reader, or do you want to expose your literature to the diversity of the world? If we be honest, any writer would love for their book to be a bestseller around the entire world. So, how do we accomodate the world?
What if someone picks up your book, does not have the advance education and knowledge to grasp how you choose to compose literature (your way)? What would you tell him/her, “Sorry, this book is too advance for you. Go get an education then come back and read my book?” Won’t that be hurtful?
What if someone picks up your book and begins reading it, comes across complicated words that they’ll always have to stop and lookup in a dictionary/thesaurus to comprehend the picture you are trying to illustrate? Won’t this be distracting to the reader? Personally, if I was that reader and had to continuously pause at a word in an attempt to figure out its meaning, I would put the book down immediately. Words do have many different meanings and implications, and one misunderstood word can contaminate the entire context.
In contrast, what if a highly educated reader picks up your book and begins reading. Our concern now would be whether that person would think your book too “elementary” for his/her degree?
So, how do we as writers and readers find the balance in what we love?
Readers & Writers we need your feedback on these issues:
- Whether it’s bad advice to encourage new Writers/Authors to consider their audience when choosing to publicly publish their literature.
- Whether an Author should write a book based on what he/she hopes the audience will understand and love.
- Whether the Author writes for his/herself, with no care for the readers.
You’ve read my thoughts on the subject-matter above. So what is yours?