A friend of mine, who has always been very supportive of my fledgling writing attempts, told me tonight that he hates something I've done. This is not just in passing... he really hates it. He loathes it. He hates every aspect of it.
This is a refreshing thing to hear, as I've found that during the past year (it's pretty much a year to the day since I released The Binary Man and began writing myself into a caffeine haze) I've received occasional lukewarm reception, occasionally good, but rarely any criticism.
This is actually more depressing than it sounds, for two reasons. 1: I always want more feedback, and 2: there are a lot of things I've done wrong. I know it, whoever reads this occasional blog knows it... most likely anyone who stumbles across my stuff on amazon knows it. My stuff is poorly proofed by myself due to my soft brain. My plots aren't always planned well. My dialogue can be stilted and cliched. My characters can react unrealistically at times.
I'm trying to address all these things and I hope I'm slowly improving. I have met a great person who as I type is probably hard at work editing my back catalogue for the peculiar blind spots I have for my writing. I take great pains to make sure my dialogue sounds realistic without falling into the trap of actually being realistic with all of its false starts and snatched sentences. Planning plots... well, I must admit that apart from a vague outline I nearly always wing it based on how the characters fit within the setting. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I could spend a lot more time redoing and refining my stuff but I admit that I am actually enjoying throwing my words out and seeing what sticks.
The point is that from a writing point of view I'm still an infant. I'm one year old. And just like a child, sometimes I need to have the rules explained. I need to know what to avoid, I need to know what bits I'm doing right so that I don't lose focus on them and I need to know when I'm about to drop off into a chasm of crap... well, that last one is a little more figurative but you get the idea.
Please, tell me which bits of my books are crap! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I want to know!
Think of me as a public project. Get involved. I'll always listen.