I was pleasantly surprised this week to find a review of my story, “Hunger”. I say ‘surprised’ because as far as I’m aware it was an unsolicited review.
It was mostly positive, though It also pointed out that perhaps the writing left too little to the imagination. Also, the word ‘trashy’ was mentioned, though not strictly in a bad way.
Now, when I wrote the story, I felt it was quite a romantic tale (though not Romantica), the realisation of a dream, etc. Having not read it since it was published, I still believed that.
Spurred by the review, I took another look through “Hunger”, and was surprised by what I noticed. I mean, the story is from a male POV, and is written by a male...and it reads like it.
What I came to realise was that a published story is much like a photograph. The story captures your writing as it is at that moment. Warts and all. Just like those family photos that make you shake your head and wonder what the hell you were thinking wearing those jeans.
“Hunger” was first published in 2007, and again by eXcessica a year ago today (with modifications). It was written before I found my ‘voice’. Before I’d uncovered the way I wanted to write stories, and write sex. If I were to write it again tomorrow, there would be some modifications.
The same theory applies to the cover, which is also my work. The reviewer (I couldn’t find any reference to a name, otherwise I’d use it) didn’t feel the cover art accurately reflected the story. Again, that was only my second cover. At that time I wasn’t even a cover artist. Just a guy who’d been using Photoshop for over 15 years.
But in both cases, it was my best work at that time. If I looked back at something I’d done a year ago and didn't think I could improve on it...I believe I’d either have lost my perspective, or lost my mind.
The review can be found here.