Reviews: How Writers Can Use Them

I kind of secretly like reviews. Perhaps it comes from my 8 years of writing workshops, or perhaps it comes from the little voice in my head that is super critical of everything I do, but I find them kind of useful in their own way. Here’s why:

  1. Consistent Feedback. The resounding feedback for THE DIMINISHED agrees on one thing: the beginning is too slow. And looking back on it now, I see that, for the most part, the reviewers are right. The beginning IS too slow. And knowing that has informed how I revise and refine book two. Thanks, reviewers.
  2. Room to Grow. THE DIMINISHED was the second book I ever wrote. Ultimately, I’m really proud of it, but I also hope that it’s not the best book I ever write. Therefore, when I read my reviews (which is rare now that the book is out), I look for things I can work on, like characterizing my romantic interests better.
  3. Awareness. Ever writer has little tics and habits that they don’t see, but readers catch. I love seeing these mentioned in my reviews because being aware of them makes me a better writer.

All that said, since THE DIMINISHED was published I’ve tended not to read my reviews because at this point, I’m not sure what more I’d see that I haven’t already seen. Also, I’m deeply entrenched in a new project, and I don’t want Vi and Bo’s voices to carry over into this new world.

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Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

Kaitlyn Sage Patterson grew up with her nose in a book outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After completing her M.F.A., she moved to South Korea, where she taught English and started writing her debut novel. THE DIMINISHED will be published by HarlequinTEEN in April 2018, followed by its sequel in 2019. When she's not staring off into space and trying to untangle some particularly troublesome plot point, she can be found in her kitchen, perfecting the most difficult recipe she can find; or at the barn, where she rides and trains dressage horses; or with her husband, spoiling their sweet rescue dogs.

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