A long time ago (Okay, not extremely long ago, but several years) I was in highschool, writing silly little fan fiction for my favorite TV show.
I knew at the time, I wanted to write, but I didn’t know how serious yet. I dreamed of writing novels and getting my work out there, but I didn’t how to start a book and I didn’t have the discipline yet.
So, I did what I knew I could do. I wrote short fan fictions and posted them on fanfic .net.
(No, I will not link to them. They embarrass me so much, I refuse.)
Anyway, things were going okay. I wasn’t hugely popular, but I got a few reviews each time I posted. Most of them were nice and gave nice praise about the story and such.
Until one day. I got a negative review.
It wasn’t nasty, the guy was polite. But he sure didn’t sugarcoat it.In short, he told me he thought I had some interesting ideas and a good grasp on the characters, but my writing wasn’t good. Fact, it was pretty bad.
The biggest thing he said was I started too many sentences the same, mostly with names.
(I.E Joshua said “blah blah.” Rose looked at him. Annie wondered why he was speaking. Joshua couldn’t figure out why they were looking at him. He could talk if he wanted to!)
At first, I was upset. It’s hard to work hours and on something in your off time and be told it sucks.
But later, I started looking at what he said. And guess what? The man was right.
To this day, when I’m writing or reading, I still keep his advice in my head. It took months, but I finally got another person who I beta read for to stop doing this.
From there, I took it and realized not to start all sentences with names, but keep an eye on how I start each one. I learned to mix them up and keep it different and moving.
So unnamed guy who left a review on my story? You did me a huge favor. Thank you! You helped change my writing for the better.
I’m sorry I didn’t thank you when you left that review.
Have you ever gotten a review or editing note which has changed you?