Private Musings Publicized


Musing over comments received about my books, I thought why not make a note journaling some of them, especially since most of the feedback I get is verbal. It's my public show of praise for a few words getting a lot of use.

Most of the feedback has been on Leiatra's Rhapsody. Started off with the questions. "How did the Rapper..." forget the question, but being the first bit of feedback I recall very well thinking that maybe I was writing too over the top. And of course I got quite a few side-glances, and the "...girrrlll!" Along with, "how did you piece this together!?!" ...and "what made you come up with that name... 'Leiatra?' I got the too long, too slow hints too. But the comment that really floored me was when I heard, "this is borderline porn!"

Whadt!?! Oh my goodness. I thought I used every cover up tactic I could think of writing this piece. Look at the profanity chart in the 'unLiterized Lady-Like' post below; not that the lack of profanity is a clear-cut indication the content is mild, though (in comparison to what was later to come) it must be an indication I used some amount of restraint.

Intermission... two things, or actually three things.

1) I don't write stories for the shock value. Period. After an uncle told me there was nothing in the world that hadn't been done, witnessed, or experienced before, I took that to mean there was nothing I could write that would surprise anyone. Consequently, I never considered trying. Seemed to me it would only read over-the-top silly.

2) I did however choose to write Adult fiction because it freed me from having to stretch my resources sugarcoating.

3) I as well have never written a book *yet* where I did that crying thing. Well wait... there was one, but that book I never published. And Pleasure (of course) was a real tear-jerker (...ugh, when I got to the end). But generally, I don't write to illicit tears, bringing me to...

...The reader who admitted to crying at parts of one story. Not Leiatra's Rhapsody. One of my other books. I couldn't believe it. I wanted to ask, "why, for what, when, where!?!" I think the surprise registered on my face hearing that one.

Mostly I hear about the humor in my books. I mean, when one reader told me how humorous Leiatra's Rhapsody was I have to admit I was tickled, especially since it wasn't one where I did a whole lot of laughing while writing it. Which is another thing. It's never my aim to 'try' to be funny, even if there are many moments when I do find myself laughing as I'm writing. Besides writing over-the-top silly, the worst has to be trying to be funny and end up coming off corny. ← And sorry for the corny word but I couldn't come up with anything else.

At any rate, I really appreciate the comments; and wanted to take a moment to praise some of them.

Comments

  1. So, on the whole, what do the comments do for your writing style? I know once the work is out there, people want explanations of the characters and what the author was thinking. Do you, at all, waver to move in a different direction, should there be any uncertainties among your readers or do you stay true to what your voice is?

    I recall after The Color Purple movie, Alice Walker interviewed and said she went into a depression as a result of the feedback. It hurt me to hear that and we (black folk) were responsible for her going into a dark place as that.

    How do you combat or handle what may be offensive to readers without sacrificing your mental health?

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  2. Some comments I eternalize...like hearing too slow, or too much detail I work to improve. Others I hear, but respond in the opposite. Sugarcoating so everyone is comfortable is one. Writers shouldn't compromise their work appeasing what they don't see.

    I think I got that awakening Alice got a while back. Helped me make sure I wasn't intentionally riling people up, while toughening me up at the same time to either write, or leave it alone.

    And oh, you can write about the clouds and the sun and up will surface someone very offended. Anyone that steps into the public experiences it.

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  3. You're right on that last statement. I mean, we probably wouldn't write at all if afraid of what comes down the pipe. I am glad and knew Walker would continue her passion. She went on and brought much needed attention to female circumcision in Africa, so writing is a very powerful tool, as you well know.

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  4. Speaking of Walker and the Color Purple, I admit after the movie I couldn't watch the Glover in a movie for yeeaaarrs! It was so funny because one of my cousins said the same thing happened to her!

    Love Walker, connected with her bio, and wholly respect her work but whoo...

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