Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Amazon ABNA feedback

So... I got my Amazon ABNA feedback

From what I can tell, the main problems were a) the subject matter, as the reviewer wasn't a sucker (LOL) for vampire fiction and b) the person only had three chapters and could consequently not "get into" my shifting POV structure that is made clearer once a person is about six chapters in. (A/B/C1/A/B/C2... and so on)

Granted, I'd been heavily influenced by GRRM at the time and he does this shifting structure with not four but about 20 viewpoint characters. GRRM I am not.

So... What to do?

I'm going to sit tight for a while and continue querying agents. Failing that I'll consider revising to drop the secondary characters (Arwen and Etienne) by making them non-viewpoint and less important. I'll change the setting to an adult market as well.

Thing is, I know I'm a good writer. **sigh**

But I just have to work extra hard now to attend to these bugs. At any rate, Camdeboo Nights was written after I completed my second novel, which I shoved under my bed.

See the Amazon review thing below:

* * * *

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

I was pleased to find out that this is not an exerpt trying to compete with the Twilight series. The writing in Chapter One featuring Trystan was very suspenseful and a nice surprise ending. I liked the description of the car and the building hunger of the vampire.

Chapter Two was surprising in that it did not pick up the story after Ch 1, and yet was still interesting and the characters were likeable. It also let me know that this particular geographic location was likely in England or other European country. I liked Helen and Damon and wanted to know more about them, and what happened to their mother.

What aspect needs the most work?

While it was acceptable to have Chapters 1 and 2 seemingly not related to each other, I got totally lost in Chapter 3. There was no explanation for what occured nor did the location fit the previous chapters description. I could not relate much to the characters and found the entire story a bit bizarre. I felt a bit of empathy for the characters that were being beaten, but felt more for the characters in Chapter 2.

I also did not know yet how the title applied to this excerpt, and I did not see yet how the 3 chapters tied it all together. The characters in Chapter 3 were a bit stereotypical in their descriptions and their language/voice.

There is also some editing needed to pick up on the duplicated words, etc.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

Overall, I think this novel has potential. I have no clue what the main plot of the story is, and I think there needs to be a bit less sterotyping of characters, and some explanation of what is going on, where it is all taking place and why the reader should keep reading. I didn't have a strong desire to find out what scared the vampire, and I had a mild interest in finding out what happened to the kid's mom in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 felt unnecessary to the story.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

The prose is really well done. Nice style, fluid motion, good descriptive sentences, believable dialogue. This is not my genre at all, but I was interested in what was happening all the way through.

What aspect needs the most work?

There are some writing mistakes but a good edit and that would be cleared up. Example....Trystan gunned the engine and Rose
responded. He gave her fuel gradually,
allowing her to pick up speed without her bulk
jerking.(how can one "gun" an engine, but yet give speed gently?) This is fairly minor so don't worry too much.

I was confused what kind of school the last chapter took place in? Was this an unotherly realm school or was it a regular high school that Arwen and Etienne were attending. I was hoping it would say, but I never could figure that out. Might need to get that in earlier so the reader doesn't wonder the whole time.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

Overall this is not my type of read. I don't like supernatural vampire books. However, I can see many people sucking this right up(pun intented) and enjoying the creepiness and surreal moments.

Good job and I can see this book doing well in the marketplace. Best of luck.

The lower rating on plot hook only indicates my lack of enjoyment in this kind of fodder. I wouldn't read on as I am already pysched out. LOL


  1. I thought that a reasonable review. Had she had more than three chapters she may well had enjoyed the shifting viewpoints.

  2. I'd say this was an encouraging critique.

  3. The reviewer seems genuine, but I am surprised she (he?) admitted to a lower rating due to lack of enjoyment for the type of story.

    Overall though, I agree: quite encouraging to hear that the novel has "potential" and that it could "do well in the marketplace."


  4. A nice expression of your experience in life.
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  5. The review is more important for any products and it shows a good sign.

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