Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A writer "rating" other authors.

I thought I'd write a blog about my thoughts on rating other authors. As my "followers" will know, I read. In fact, in the last year or so I've read more than in the whole rest of my life!!! That may not seem so amazing for some of you given the short number of books I've read, but it is huge for me. As a writer, I spend my "free time" WRITING. Reading (sometimes) seemed like a waste of my time. Then I read On Writing (still reading it) and Stephen King emphasizes the need for writers to read. ALL THE TIME! I scoffed at first, thinking myself better than that. But the stupidity of my arrogance soon passed and I realized how much I needed to read. So I have been. Not that I read lots, but I'm trying. I'm also trying to branch out and read outside the genre I write. (so far I haven't stepped far but I intend to.) Anyhow.... In reading, and being a part of Goodreads, I also RATE the books I read and I normally write a review.

This can be dangerous.

For one, as a writer you can piss off another author. I seriously DO NOT wish to do that. I really strive to be fair and write about the strengths of a book. I'm not a professional critic. You all know this. I barely know enough about the English language to write an entire novel myself. But since I read, and I have people who comment and find my opinion interesting on occasion, I write reviews of what I read. When I do this, it is just my opinion. I like what I like. I try to point out strengths. I try hard not to rip anything apart. If a book is bad I more than likely will not write anything about it. I can't see myself trashing some one eles's writing. I know how hard it is to write to begin with! I don't even remember rating a book less than three stars. I may have, I can't remember. In general, I probably will not rate a book less than three stars because I don't want to be rude.

How I rate:
5 stars are books that basically blow me away. Either by the stunning ability of the author to write the tale, or the emotion it provokes from me while reading, 5 star books are ones I could not get enough of. I would read these again. I may even have two copies. (e book & paperback) I would also recommend the "5 stars" to anyone who enjoys the same genre.
4 star books are really good books. Not "blow-me-away" good, but books a thoroughly enjoyed reading and ones that held my interest all the way through. I still recommend these books! Just because I couldn't rate it 5, I still liked it a lot. Sometimes the 4 comes from being able to predict things. I like surprise and I'd I can figure the plot out before reading it, I can't give it 5 stars. Sorry. And I don't think that is unfair. I'd you read MY BOOK and you can predict it, by all means don't give it 5 stars. I want to keep readers guessing just as much as I like the feeling myself. 4 stars are books you really like but there just wasn't enough of that something-something to rate it a 5! Ya know?
3 stars... Yes, there are some of those. These are books I had minor problems with. Maybe a plot point, maybe an over use of sex, maybe bad morals I could not get passed, whatever it is I could not being myself to rate the book higher. Hopefully the 3 stars have positive things to review and I will do my best.
2 stars or less... I probably won't rate these. Books in this category I couldn't get into. And maybe couldn't finish. But as an author, I don't want to seem "high and mighty" by saying anything about it. Rude. Plus, I'm not good with grammar and critiquing and plot summarizations etc so what gives me the right to bad mouth someone else? right?

So... There you go. I spelled out how I rate books and how I review them. I review because there are people (maybe six) who actually like my opinion and may wasn't to know what I think about a book THEY read. So I give my opinion. My opinion is just that-MY OPINION. I'm not a professional critic, I just write about what I liked about the book and I normally point out at least one flaw. Feel feet to call me out on anything that seems rude, or is uncalled for. I don't set it to offend anyone. I try my hardest to be fair.


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