The recent GoodReads drama has brought on a whole slew of discussion about the state of the YA community and the bloggers and the authors. The debate over how reviewers should review books is not new but has been given a fresh make over and pushed onto the stage like a reluctant débutante, shaking in her six inch heels.
Of course, the commentators come out to ask why we can’t all review nicely and why we use snark and why can’t we all just get along? Albeit with slightly less personality and absolutely no originality or differences in how we express ourselves.
I’m going to pretend for a moment that the arguments are sane and reasonable. Logically, if authors and other bloggers can legitimately make requests for the style and function of our reviews – then I think we should be able to do the same.
And so here is my personal take on what an author is, and can do with their novels:
The only legitimate way to write your novels is in the style of a love child between Melina Marchetta and Neal Shusterman. That’s drunk. Also, with a gambling problem and it’s writing only to make money so that the mob won’t kill them and their entire family. Imagine exactly what that child would be like, and write the novels that this child would write. Except you can’t use vowels. Not even the letter “y” if it’s functioning as a vowel. Maybe not even commas either. Commas are completely unprofessional. I think their curly little tail is taunting me aggressively.
The only exception to the aforementioned and completely valid writing style above is if you’re writing in the style of Laini Taylor or Markus Zusak. Those are also valid writing styles that you can adopt. I will also allow you to deviate from the Laini Taylor style but only if you’re writing in the style of Laini Taylor if she were born in Elizabethan times and hanging out with Shakespeare (but not friends. If they’re friends then you’ve gone too far).
And theoretically, if reviews by definition must lack opinion and emotion then they should probably reflect the product that they are commentating on. Therefor none of you should ever write with emotions and none of your characters should have a personal opinion about anything. The storylines and themes should absolutely not resonate on a personal level with your audience. This will help us reviewers a lot since then we won’t need to include an emotional response to your book in our review.
I also think your novel is not a valid novel and is only a very long expressive post if any of your characters use the word “irrevocably” or deviate from the above standards at all.
This is a completely valid, well-thought out opinion and I hope that all authors will respect it. I will now only be reading your work if you do all of the above to standards that I deem acceptable. It is then perfectly understandable and reasonable that, should you fail to perform to the above expectations, that I will no longer consider you authors but instead refer to you as expressive post writers.
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