When you are simpatico with an author, you love her. She can do no wrong. You're insulted if somebody dares give them a 1 star review. The reviewer is crazy. Or is he or she?
Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips was released in 2008. today, it's Kindle version ranks ~10,000th and sells for $6.99. The novel has legs. (the paperback is less in price (from .01 to 2.49 to $7.99, i.e. less) but ranked ~150,000). Check out the current RWR magazine about ebook sales of all books as a percentage of the whole market.
First of all, I loved this story and naively thought everybody would. The sales speak for its popularity, but if you look at the reviews: 82-five star,37-four star,16-three star, 6-two star, 6-one star, you might be shocked. As soon as I noticed the 1 stars, I had to read them. I'll paraphrase to protect the guilty.
REVIEW: The girl's (quirky IMO) cute but no match for world famous, rich, and extremely handsome hero, yet in the last two chpaters he falls for her. Go figure.
Is there anything to be learned from this 'astute' observation?
1. SEP is doing just fine thank you. She doesn't need to change a thing.
2. We the unwashed could tweek our similar heroine to be either an unreliable narrator regarding what she her self image is and/or play up in the hero's mind the whys of his attraction to her.
Is this fantasy? Plenty of women want to be carressed by a romance, made to feel good about themselves. Loved. Pssst, guys do too.
It's not fantasy. It's atypical.
THE MALE POV: I used to be that 'extremely handsome' guy. Just ask any of the girls I paid highly to say that. I was not attracted (beyond primal noticing) to the prettiest girl in the room. I was most attracted to a good looking girl with a special personality which suited me. My blog readers know who/what I like.
I think reading favorite authors 1 star reviews insures your own writing's scotoma(s) will disappear' You'll increase the integrity of your own voice, and perhaps discover a nuance to punch up your writing. Like they said in Gypsy, "You gotta have a gimmick" (to be noticed).
So here's my barely applicable video (but entertaining (to me) and if you have the time. Time 5:27). For me, just gazing at Natalie Wood, well, that's all I need.
p.s. speaking about plot ideas and enriching your writing, a little culture can't hurt ya. PBS is putting on every Friday night from 9 to 11, episodes of Broadway, The American Musical. This is not only a fantastic history of Broadway, including its roots and rare footage, but for me it will be a special Christmas gift to the my best friend and best man at my wedding.