Posts Tagged With: Weasley

1 Star Rating Silliness on Goodreads

So following the re-release of Imminent Danger, I was over on Goodreads doing some editing — making sure the new purple cover shows up when you search for the book, making sure the reviews transferred over from the old edition, etc. And I discovered something very odd.

A gentleman named John Hayward (probably not his real name) had given a 1 star rating to all three of my published works — i.e., Imminent Danger, as well as the two free short stories. Fair enough. He hates my writing. A bit weird that he didn’t bother reviewing any, just slapped on 1 star ratings and called it a day, but whatever. No, wait, that is really weird …

So I went to his profile page. He joined Goodreads December 2014. He left three 1 star reviews — all for my books — on the same day in the span of 3 minutes. He hasn’t posted a single rating or review since then.

Yeah, something fishy’s going on.

I contacted Goodreads about it — this guy is obviously trolling — and I got an email back from them yesterday. The bottom line is they do have a system in place for removing false ratings and reviews, but this user didn’t have enough red flags on his account to justify an investigation. Basically, they were sorry about it, but they can’t do anything. They were very professional and polite, and they urged me to contact them again in the future if I found more suspicious circumstances.

Here’s a screencap of Mister Hayward’s profile page for your viewing enjoyment:

john hayward 2

And here’s his profile page if you want to see for yourself: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/37879516-john-hayward

I don’t blame Goodreads for not taking down this guy’s ratings — they have a system, and I get that. So that leaves me to wonder what I’m supposed to do about it. It also makes me wonder what this guy’s deal is. Did he really, honestly, truly read all three of my books, hate them all, and create a Goodreads account just so he could leave 1 star ratings? Is he someone I’ve pissed off, and he’s trying to get back at me via online ratings? Is it some random troll just passing through? Only time will tell.

Thus ends my tale. Any insight is welcome and appreciated!

 

Unrelated media of the day:

Prepare yourself for some major feels (i.e., sad feelings) …

Categories: My Works, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , | 53 Comments

Vlogs on hold while I find my video camera …

I’m really annoyed by this. I brought my FlipCam to the Argyle Arts Festival, where I had a booth back in August to sell Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It, and I got a decent bit of footage from said event. I don’t remember if I mentioned the Argyle festival on my blog, but basically it was a medium success. I only sold 3 books, but I did trade one book for another local author’s book, and then I traded another book for some handmade soap and body butter. So not much in terms of sales, but lots in terms of swag!

Anyhoo, I’ve since misplaced my video camera, hence the appalling lack of vlogs. There are few things in life I enjoy more than babbling into a camera (Note: that was a blatant lie), and now I can’t even do that! Horror, thy name is my inability to replace objects from whence they came!

So that’s essentially why there haven’t been any vlogs for a while. Ah well.

On the writing front, still working away at Chasing Nonconformity. I’ve got the timeline worked out properly now, so at least my characters will be in the right places at the right times. Now to just get everything slotted into place.

I’ve also been toying around with a new short story concept, which would be called “The Dusk Bugs”. It would be based off my recent walking trip through the “Banana Kingdom”, a long stretch of pavement in a swampy area that someone has spray painted a bunch of bananas on. I made the mistake of walking through the Banana Kingdom at dusk, and there were … well, not to ruin the ending, but there were a fair amount of bugs. Terror ensued. I think it will make for an underwhelmingly thrilling tale. Stay tuned!

 

Unrelated link of the day:

The Harry Potter-themed series of gifs is titled: “No … no no no, I wasn’t ready for feels today!”

http://imgur.com/gallery/sB9Vj

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

A Reflection on the Pointless Murder of Beloved Fictional Characters

This post was inspired by Zen Scribbles’s recent post Jack Did Not Have To Die!

Today we will be discussing something near and dear to my heart: when authors kill off beloved characters for no good reason.

Now, obviously authors can do whatever they want. If they want to kill off half their characters, that’s their choice. But what I implore authors to do before they start knocking off characters left and right is to consider the audience they’re writing for, and consider what impact these deaths will have on their readers.

Example #1: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Deaths include, amongst others, Hedwig the Owl, Fred Weasley, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks.

Why was it a bad idea to kill these characters? Because the entire series thus far had been about good overcoming evil — the idea that, if you’re true to your principles and willingly help others and try to do the right thing, you will succeed. This was a wonderful message to send to children … at least, until they read book 7 and found half their favourite characters dead.

Sirius Black’s death served a purpose — it was to teach Harry caution, to make him think things through before blindly jumping in. Dumbledore’s death forced Harry to man up and get s**t done. But Fred Weasley’s death served no purpose. Lupin and Tonks didn’t even get a death scene. And what purpose could there possibly be in killing off a fluffy owl?

I know that JKR was trying to impress upon us the horrors of war, but I feel that could have been done in a different way. Perhaps maim them, like she did to George and Bill Weasley. George RR Martin (Game of Thrones) can kill off all the characters he wants because that’s the world his story is set in, that’s the genre he’s writing for. But Harry Potter isn’t a gritty political intrigue — it’s about a boy hero facing down true evil and winning. And I believe that senseless deaths have no place in a series like that.

Example #2: Mockingjay (Book 3 of the Hunger Games)

Deaths include, amongst others (SPOILER ALERT), Finnick Odair and Primrose Everdeen.

Now, Finnick’s death I sort of understand, much as I’d rather not — he was deep within a warzone, after all, so death was a very real possibility. But Primrose’s death? Ridiculous. There was no good reason for her to be in Capitol when those bombs went off. She’s a child, for God’s sake. She should have been safely back in District 13 — by all logic, she would have been. And yet, there she was when President Coin’s ridiculous plan to explode everyone happened.

The point of her death, I assume, was to … um … screw up Katniss even more than she was already? I think Peeta’s alarming mental instability and constant attempts to kill Katniss had already screwed her up sufficiently — killing off her sister was just unnecessary.

Now, Suzanne Collins has more of a leg to stand on than JKR, because she had already established that her series involved killing mass amounts of people. But prior to Mockingjay, people had been killed in a context that actually made sense. Primrose being in Capitol during the final wave of attack made no sense. Not to mention that the assorted people back in District 13 who were Katniss’s friends and confidantes would have been looking out for her sister while she was away doing totally pointless things in the Capitol.

Pro Character-Killing Tip: 

You can judge whether or not a character’s death is appropriate by viewing your readers’ reactions.

If they read the death scene in utter shock and scream, “Noooooooooo! [Insert Name of Character Here]! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!!!!!”, then you did well. Congratulations. The death scene you wrote was touching and believable within the context of the story.

If they read the scene with an expression of increasing disbelief, followed by them snapping the book shut and saying, “That was just stupid. Why the hell would the author do that? That made no sense!”, then you might want to consider a rewrite.

Thus endeth the rant. Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments.

Unrelated images of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

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