Here are my latest book reviews for my novel Dark Was the Night. For those following me on Facebook, I know it’s the same stuff I posted there. I’m sorry, but I had not posted these reviews here, and I have followers here too. Albeit, they are only ten, but still. For the ten of you who’ve decided to follow this blog, you are very nice people.
These book reviews can also be found on my Books page, but I wanted to elaborate on one of them.
I was riding the high five-star wave with the first few reviews, and how smug was I to assume that this review would be no different. But the book earned a four out of a five-star review. A solid review and I agree with the reviewer saying I didn’t really go into depths with the physical descriptions of my characters. I’m not big on descriptions. In fact, I hate long, elaborate descriptions that only drag the story.
Reading Tolkien was a torment for me until we got into the main plot of the story. I know, some people love descriptions. But I am of the position that some deduction must be left for the reader.
In writing my story, I found that I struggled to describe my characters physically. I really had a hard time integrating their physical description without disrupting the natural flow of the story. I found it to be awkward and clumsy. What good is it to know that my protagonist has brown eyes if it doesn’t advance the story? If a part of their physical appearance is essential for the plot, I will mention it, but the rest can be easily deduced. A character with a kid who is 18 years old can easily be imagined with salt and pepper hair. Do I then need to enter into more specifics? I don’t believe it’s necessary unless that character had the kid young; therefore, I would mention that because it’s important to the story. But I think that characters also should be open to interpretation. Each reader has the right to imagine them as they see fit. I believe they can relate more to the characters if their physical appearance remains vague on the page but becomes well-formed in the reader’s mind.
But I understand where the reviewer is coming from. Some readers do like the visual specificities of characters. I will keep that in mind for my next book. And this is not to say that I am not pleased with the review. On the contrary, it’s a solid, honest and good review. I just thought I would comment on what the reviewer said about my lack of physical descriptions.
So, here you have them. The reviews from The Book Commentary and Literary Titan.
“Dark Was the Night is an exceptional suspense that shines in its prose and stylistic elements, a story that will keep the reader guessing at every twist and turn.” – Jane Riley for The Book Commentary
“Although I loved the plot and premise of this story, I would have enjoyed more details around the characters to give them more depth. That was especially the case when it came to their physical appearance. But I am glad to say this is my only complaint, and it does not affect my feelings towards the story as a whole.” – Literary Titan