Normally, I eschew too much self promotion. But because this is my blog and I get to make the rules, here’s a review snip from Long and Short Reviews for NOWHERE TO HIDE (But don't worry--we'll get to writing in this post. Promise.)
Terry Odell creates characters that the reader can empathize with and cheer on as they cope with overwhelming challenges. She also writes a love scene that makes one apt to agree with Colleen that “sex rocks”. Her writing style is so smooth that she seems to disappear and the characters come alive so the reader is in the moment with what is going on.
Nowhere to Hide captivates and keeps one turning pages.
But, since it wouldn’t be right to spend the whole blog talking about a nice review, let’s look at it from the author’s standpoint.
Anyone care to gander a guess at what line in the review makes me the happiest?
Characters, maybe? After all, I’ve always stressed how important characters are, how good characters can carry a lousy plot, but lousy characters won’t make a difference even if the plot is exemplary.
Or what about the ‘sex rocks’ comment? Nowadays, it’s hot that sells, at least in romance. It’s always nice to know you got it ‘right’ (even if it freaks out your kids).
Or the page-turning comment? After all, what author doesn’t want to hear remarks like, “I couldn’t put it down.”
While I definitely wouldn’t discount any of the above, the fist-pump-moment for me was this: “Her writing style is so smooth that she seems to disappear…”
And that, I think, is the ultimate compliment. In the past, I’ve discussed voice, and how important it is to find your voice and let it shine through on the page. Doesn’t this comment by the reviewer seem contradictory to that premise?
No. Definitely not. Because, if you want the reader caught up in the story and the characters, you, the author have no business being on the page. Every word on the page should seem to come from the characters, whether it’s dialogue or narrative. You’re the conduit for the story and the characters. You’re there so they shine, not the reverse.
I’ve said it before…when you hit the editing phase, anything that sounds “writerly” gets cut. Ruthlessly.