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Reviews, eh?

5 November, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Very busy writing at the moment. Sword of Justice has come back from the editors, and I’m pleased to say it’s going really well. There are always little things to change, but it’s nice to feel that it’s going in the right direction. I’m also getting stuck into the sequel, and there’s the small matter of a top-secret short story as well. So I’m basically spending most of my time at the keyboard.

All of which makes me think about reviews and reviewers. Iron Company has been out for a little while now, and the reviews are starting to make themselves known. It’s always nice to get feedback, even if it’s not always uniformly positive. In fact, reasoned negative criticism is probably more useful to an author – it’s good to know what you got wrong so you can fix it next time. No one  wants to have their work trashed after spending months trying to make it as good as possible, but constructive critical comments are always welcome.

There’s a good summary of how criticism works on Gav Thorpe’s blog. He’s been doing this thing for much longer than I have, and it’s all good advice. Of course, one of the problems with picking up (mostly) online reviews is that even some of the most high profile books don’t get that many. Most Black Library titles will pick up less than half a dozen reviews on (say) Amazon, with the exception of the flagship series. That’s all good feedback, but what if you get a few people who just hate everything? Or, almost as bad, a few who love everything? If you took too much notice of the scores there, you could end up with a very skewed impression of your book’s reception.

So, in general, I tend to place more weight on the comments on sci-fi and fantasy review sites like this one. Though the reviews can be quite short, they’re written by people who care about the genre. Most of all, of course, I take note of the opinions of proper Warhammer/40K fans, for whom the setting really matters. Which is why it’ll be good to see the old BL website back up in due course – godammit, I miss those forums!

Categories: Warhammer Fantasy
  1. Xhalax
    5 November, 2009 at 15:58

    I miss the forums too!

    As much as I had a love/hate relationship with them, it was always good to have a
    mooch around them when I felt like procrastinating from work for a sneaky 10 minutes. That ans it helpe me not be such a flake and actually write a reveiw or two or at least express some thoughts and ideas.

    Though I must confess Mr. Wraight that I’ve still yet to finish Iron Company as I’ve been a little out of sorts and not been in the mood to read anything at all. But I ales carry it around with me so that when the moment happens and my ‘woe is me’ mood breaks I can pick it straight up and carry on where I left off. It’s just expressly annoying that my bad mood appeared right when they’ve arrived at citadel and the conversation on the battlements has me thinking “Hmmmmm!”

    • chriswraight
      5 November, 2009 at 16:39

      Heh – no worries Xhalax :). Hope you enjoy it when you do get round to it, and that your ‘woe is me’ mood doesn’t last forever…

  2. 5 November, 2009 at 17:44

    Iron Company is sitting in my reading pile, which is worryingly huge. You know, I think I might bump it up closer to the top, just so I can write a review of it on the Temporary Forums (where, as always, you’re very welcome in the interim).

    I’d love to have a chance to have a conversation about writing in general, so if you do sign up over there, let me know and I’ll drop you a PM.


  3. Xhalax
    5 November, 2009 at 17:55

    Thankfully in two weeks I have a train journey to fill an I love Reading on trains so I should make a good fist of Iron Company then….and I I finish it before I have to return home, I suspect my brother will want to borrow it.

    And I suspect my mood will last until Saturday. Long weekend, lots of sleep, lots of Wii and ice skatey goodness, a room turn around and a new hair style will have me right as rain.

  4. Clement the Attlee
    10 November, 2009 at 20:46

    Hello Mr Wraight, hello everbody! I’ve finished ‘Iron Company’ and I thought it was excellent. Just wanted to say well done. Plenty of highlights to pick over so expect a more detailed response soon but until then, a big thumbs up.

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