I have to laugh or cry… I can’t decide. I swore from the start I wouldn’t read reviews. What’s the point? I have read so many books in the past that I adored, even LOVED, only to see a reviewer or a fellow reader say “eh… I didn’t really like that character” or “just wasn’t my thing” or “totally overrated”. If I truly loved the book in question, I would be outraged. How dare they voice stupid opinion about genius? However… a big however… I always looked at those reviews (again from a reader’s standpoint) to help guide my book selection. I thought I was savvy enough to average out general consensus and if the storyline itself was interesting to me… sold! So yes, reviews are important. Period.
From the other side of the page, as an author, you have created said characters. No matter how objective you think you are, it is hard not to want to explain the voice of your MCs. But as an author, you have to let go. Your words are left to interpretation. Whether or not you understand how a reader views your work, there is squat you can do to defend it. Even if they LOVE your characters, you as an author have to leave it be. Interpretation.
That is why the written word is so powerful. One word can be have many meanings in many languages. Every person comes to the proverbial table with different viewpoints, backgrounds and educations. No two people will ever see things the same way.
“Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art.” (Susan Sontag). Well said.
2 thoughts on “Interpretation and Reviews”
We can’t help it, you know. Reading reviews, I mean. 🙂 It’s so very human. Once the book is out there, though, all the author can do is stand on the sidelines. The book must survive its readers at that point, although, with any luck, some will love and adopt it. 😀
Isn’t it the truth? Even good reviews, you end up thinking “great! They liked it, but wait… they didn’t really get it”. C’est la vie! I need to learn to leave it and concentrate on what I’m writing now! Thanks for the support!