The Origins and Sources of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy – Pt. 5

 

Being Moved Beyond Simple Exposition – From Within

Many of us who write fiction probably do not anticipate where the effort will lead us or what begins to stir within ourselves. When I began the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I had a story line and then used Dara Marks’ Transformational Arc to organize it and structure it. One perception is that it may then be a matter of filling in the blanks. No such thing.

The story took on enhancements and a life of its own in ways not anticipated. And then there was the matter of insistent characters who showed up for inclusion. In the end I had to concede that the story and the writing process was stirring things inside of me.

Essential Elements

At the beginning, the intention was to write a story about the salvation of our future. Without a doubt we live again in a very dangerous time. In human interactions we have the capacity to use nuclear weapons to bring untold destruction. At the same time we are seeing clear evidence of climate change wrought by our presence. Deniers can deny all they want but we have the capacity to damage so much of this planet in ways never before seen. 

Other Discoveries

Even though we have been around our habitat for millions of years, we know so little about it in many ways. We have learned that life is insistent. We have learned about change and now know how adaptable life forms are. We discovered life so deep in the ocean around warm vents where we assumed no life forms could exist. We now know that asteroids contain water and amino acids which strongly suggests life seeds itself well beyond this planet. How naive we have been!

Being Discoverers

We know we like to explore and discover more and more about our world. And now we are looking to go to Mars. It has been virtually striped of its atmosphere because it has no magnetic field but we seem interested in terraforming. It is unlikely but we may discover something we had not thought about.

What will happen if we break out? Are we ready? Are we mature enough as a species to bear the burden which discovery reveals? And who might we meet out there. In Star Trek they insisted that they not interfere in civilizations in other worlds they discovered. Part of that seems to come out of the perception that we may not be that wise. There are stories of invasion and attacks by extraterrestrial beings and we hope they do not come here. That, in some ways, is a projection of our understanding about our frequent lack of maturity.

What Fiction Brings

As I wrote the story, its characters developed. And now as I look at the trilogy I find that a book 4 seems to be demanding my attention. But it remains in the shadows and I will see if it will manifest itself. But one thing became apparent, that the story was leading me toward the theme of transformation. In human history we have seen sudden delineations and development as with language and culture. Is there a transformation in our future?

If we survive this dangerous period, how might we advance? Suddenly we see stunning revelations about widespread molestation and mistreatment of women. The cascade of revelations is such that we cannot turn back from it now and women will no longer have to suffer under this kind of rule. And in writing these books I found that the empowerment of women was essential. I really have to wonder if the empowerment of women is going to lead us to a significant transformation. We will see won’t we?

###

Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

(Available now in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.) 

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before them.

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

(Available now in Pre-Order and goes on sale April 29 on Amazon)

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Are We Kidding Ourselves – Pt. 1

 

Gaining Perspective

I’ve been sharing my experience of writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy—that it started out as one book and now may actually be four books. One of the problems is that demanding characters keep showing up and so do intriguing twists to the plot.

That’s one set of issues, but there is another set which is related. It requires me taking my psychologist off the shelf. Being a clinical psychologist has been interesting and demanding, but after all these decades it seems I have no greater fixed clarity.

Essential Questions

I still have to ask, What is reality? And I also still have to ask, What is mental illness?

Okay. There, I said it. There is a fundamental problem. Well, two fundamental problems. First of all reality is maddeningly unclear. Second sanity and mental illness have no bounds.

The Matter of Reality

Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder. And reality is in the eye of the beholder as well. Is that bad? After decades of dealing with psychology my answer is clear. Reality is a matter of what is serviceable and functional—broadly defined. We don’t have to agree and our respective viewpoints may serve our respective purposes. If we have the same job and the same focus, that is another matter.

The Outcome

The end point is respect and accepting that these different views need not be considered a problem so long as they do not serve negative purposes. Currently we are seeing the down side of this issue about reality on the political stage and the uproar and potential devastation are terrible to consider. 

So again, we see it is a matter of functionality, but in some instances there are destructive orientations. Reality may not be at issue but intent may be the key issue.

The essence here is related to intent and outcome. The wonderful thing is that in writing fiction we can serve whatever purpose we choose and it is up to the reader to love the story or to throw the book in the trash.

Mental Illness

Quite awhile back there was a movement to move virtually everything related to human nature into the health field. Our mental status and related functioning was dragged in kicking and screaming. To this day there is a dispute about what is and is not mental illness. 

Our differences are substantial and, especially thanks to Carl Jung, we understand that there can be vast differences in personality. That means those differences are often great but not pathological. The issue again comes back to functionality. We often have to see what the outcome is or how harmful the person is. It remains complex and we have to respect the complexity.

What Is The Point? (It’s about time you may be saying!)

While the issues of reality and mental illness do have real world consequences, the basic point is applicable to the world of fiction writing. In fiction we can swing open the door for exploration and what we see is generally safe and can be intriguing. As I indicated above I found that characters could be insistent and plots could be intriguing in many forms. In the end, in fiction we see how nuanced our lives can be and that our different realities and functionality enrich our lives. And that enrichment is not just in our books but in our existences. There is much to be enjoyed and savored and, yes, managed.

What have you concluded?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Writing – The Larger Discovery

 

Means of Expression

Too often we take for granted the availability of what I will call means of expression. It seems to have started long ago around our camp fires and quiet evenings in caves before there was writing. We have been discovering ourselves and our potential for a very long time. 

Religion surely began long before we could write and reflected our needs of many varying kinds. We sought guidance and understanding. In time, surely even before we had writing there were entertaining and often moving displays to each other. And then came language and writing.

It Hasn’t Stopped

Now we have the stage, visual media and all different forms of written inspiration. For many of us it is not a pastime or simply amusement. When we look we see the movement of us and our cultures.

Do any of us who write begin with a clear understanding of why we write or where it will lead us. Certainly some authors amuse us, aid us with our dreams and inspire us to seek involvement and changes for our future. It is hard to be definitive regarding the specific scope of all such expressive endeavors. Likewise it is hard to define the reactions of the people who view and read these productions or what it means to each one of them.

As The Writer

And, as I’ve said before, I didn’t begin writing with a clear goal or understanding of what I was doing. Doesn’t that sound stupid and clueless? But it probably is true of many of our endeavors. We do not definitively plan in many cases. Even in the creation of a family we do not plan it out although we may think we do. We probably did not specifically foresee that fabulous face and while we may think our children will be a little me, we are often not prepared for who comes to live at our house.

The Wonder of Discovery

And therein lies the wonder. Wouldn’t it be dull if we could specifically plan our course in life and who will join us in the voyage. In the same way I started writing thinking there was a story I might like to develop. It proved not to be entirely under my control. The insistence on inclusion and development of some characters was challenging. I had to take charge at least to some degree. 

And it was only later that I recognized why I chose the themes I chose. Myth is a powerful force and when we refer to myth we often make the error of taking it to mean that it lacks truth. In fact, what I see is that it often conveys deep truths, offers us futures to weigh and other endless possibilities.

Enjoying the Adventure

It may seem odd but for me it does not detract from the experience to study what is revealed. The story and its experience may explode and lead but it is also endlessly intriguing. It enhances the reader and the writer and may open unintended and unexpected pathways. This may not be new to you but when we each look at the implications, it is a matter of wonder.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Author as Host – AH!

 

The Attraction  of Writing Fiction

What a fascinating idea writing fiction is. You have this great idea in your head and what fun it will be to bring it to life.

And Then There’s Reality

I’ve found, in some ways that the actual writing skill may be the least of it. That’s not arrogance or being dismissive. I found a lot of unforeseen issues. Let me be upfront that I’m a clinical psychologist which turned out to be a plus and a minus. I found some things I hadn’t expected such as characters beating on my door and some I had to fire. I had no idea that would happen.

Characters as Living Beings

Maybe that’s a problem because of what I did for a living. Doing psychotherapy sounded really interesting and it was but it is also challenging. My clients were sometimes stubborn—like a character.  Sometimes they had unexpected things going on inside of their brains—like characters. With a character you can try to ease them into something coherent. Real people are often not so obliging. And actually characters can be annoying and stubborn as well.

And Then There is the Author

We would like to think that the story and its construction are firmly under our control. Well, that’s what we might like to believe. What I’ve seen is that we often harbor beings in ourselves that we are not clear about. Naively we might think the character we chose is brilliant but it may be something hiding in us. Oh dear! 

And then there is our own personality. Maybe you haven’t considered that but as a psychologist I found I had to. I know my Jungian personality type and understand that part of my personality is in my unconscious. Interesting construct—and then comes the writing. My primary personality component is intuition. How cool! My basic direction is toward what might be, and I ask “What If” a lot. As a writer my saving grace is that my backup function is thinking which means part of me then moves forward to give some structure and focus rather than always racing off toward the horizon. And, of course, there are other attributes further down. Those things in the unconscious constitute traps in themselves.

The Coming Together

When we go to work we have a brilliant idea and then are bombarded by the demands of characters and various parts of ourselves. Sometimes I think it is a blessing to know this because of my profession and sometimes all it tells me is how unexpected and difficult the writing process can be whether we are forewarned or not.

Tools

I’ve found that the construction of Dara Marks’ transformational arc helped keep me under control. It also helped to know that we all have hidden beings in ourselves. They may drive a character forward or make him or her be insistent. Our personality my help us or hinder us but it is helpful to know that our personality may contribute. So much for the neat idea of writing which simply needed actualizing. We are beings who live with a host of selves and beings. That’s both a blessing and a curse but it helps to not have it all be unexpected.

Maybe in the End…

Of course,  what I’ve been talking about is the unexpected but it need not be a curse. If we know we live with our multiple inner sources we can form alliances and allegiances that help us. Over time we can form them into resources and aides. It may be that the process may be less or more challenging but at least we can know to expect challenge of kinds we might not have expected.

AH! Or should it be YIKES!

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Welcome To My Newsletter – Myth and Transformation

 

                                      

Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy                     Book 2 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called                                     Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge

Women in Power                                                        The Chosen Rise

Available Now at Amazon                                        Coming Soon                                                                                              

 

Transformation Seems on the Horizon -Like It Or Not!

What might transformation bring us?  Have you asked your soothsayer lately?

Waves of Change

I’m going out on a limb and saying I expect increasing waves of change. It may mean disaster but I love possibilities and see good ones on the horizon. They help guide my fiction writing. What do you see in the future?

I’m constantly captured by a view of waves in human history. They may be multiple and overlapping but we can see them and currently they seem to be coming more rapidly. In the ancient world the waves were long term but now they seem to be accelerating. They offer the fiction writer a lot of interesting material.

From Dark Ages to Hope

Some times we look at the ancient world and see wonder, but it could be a cruel place. After the Dark Ages came the Renaissance. Certainly many evils remained but there was marked change as reason and a turn to individualism triumphed. More recently we have seen things like the consolidation of countries in Europe and marvelous increases in research and technology.

Social and Political 

During the time of the World Wars there was massive conflict but there were also social and political creations. Even with our current conflicts we can see distinct possibilities. If we sit back and focus, it is often surprising what we see may be possible shortly.

What’s the Point?

Recent events suggest we may be entering a dark and foreboding era but there may be welcome surprises. Certainly there are those who are focused only on their own benefit. But we still have options for lovely and fulfilling transformations. There may be benefits that can be truly substantial. Future possible transformations inspired me to write the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy.

What kind of transformation do you think may lie just ahead?

Let me invite you to also join me at my blog cuspofreality.com. In my posts I’m sharing my thoughts about our world as it is and how it may be. We may stand on the cusp of reality and when we step off we can only dream of what we may find. 

Available Now: Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power

                                          by Roger B. Burt 

                       (Book 1 of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy)

Change and Empowerment – Revelations in Fiction

What do you see as the major themes on our planet right now?

Why Write Fiction?

You’d think a clinical psychologist would know why people write fiction. It’s fiction! What’s to ask?  Probably a great deal.

The fact is I don’t know why people write fiction but I can speculate. I suppose there are some general reasons which may apply to most art forms. But I’ll save you the meanderings which you might find interesting or not at all interesting. Let me tell you why I think I write fiction.

At Duke they awarded me a doctoral degree after my studies and what I had done proved to them I had a grasp of the human mind and behavior. I’m trying not to laugh because my education continued far beyond my graduate school years. I now believe that all such endeavors are forever a work in progress. Psychology is the study of human and animal behavior—Period. That’’s a big door to walk through. Contrast it with psychiatry which is the study of mental illness, emotional disturbance and abnormal behavior.

Creating a Blog

Definitions can be endless. The longer I look at life, the more I struggle with the meaning of behavior and, I believe, concerning mental illness, we need a wholesale reexamination. and redefinition. This blog is entitled Cusp of Reality because I have found that reality is ephemeral. We desperately grasp at it to retain our stability. It requires ongoing examination and it is clear humankind is constantly confronted with all forms of instability and change.

Exploring a Changing World

As a function of my personality I am always fascinated by possibilities and work to contain the exploration of them and to maintain some order. It appears we are currently entering another dangerous period of world instability related to climate change, demographic dangers and what may be the end of capitalism. But to me one thing has stood out and that is that we don’t focus enough on the empowerment of women. It almost seems it is dismissed as simply a function of the contraceptive pill. As women gained control of their fertility their horizons expanded.

Maybe there’s more to it. Leslie White spoke of the extrasomatic stream which is culture. At this moment there is broad based cultural change underway related to the role of women. Recognition of this fact and my regard for the potential impact of the end to the subjugation of women led me to generate a “what if”. My personality type is known for searching possibilities and I love the process although it must be restrained.

Extraordinary Potential in Women

The bottom line is that I could not resist telling a story about women leading us not just to a stable and productive future but possibly to an unexpected transformation. Women are generative and hold so much potential in their hands. In their world there are untold benefits. Men certainly make their contributions but their nature requires restraint. 

Looking at earth and the challenges we face I wondered what might happen if there really was an earth goddess called Gaia who was working to safeguard our future. She found us intriguing and thought we held potential. So she decided to guard and even guide our future.

Beyond Fundamental Conflict

In history gods and goddesses were often reflections of facets of human behavior. They hurled thunderbolts, fought with one another and on and on. But what if there was a process with meaning beyond earth as we know it. There is a universe out there and it is reflected in the here and now but also may have much more meaning related to a future we might only imagine.

Birth of the Story

An idea led to characters being born. They appeared and the story of Gaia’s Majesty opened. Frequently it seemed ever so far beyond my grasp or my control. What started as a story and one book grew into a trilogy. I thought that ended it but now a fourth book is materializing.

Bottom line. Why do I write? I write because I explore and while I am in my later years the exploration does not end. I continue to mine parts of myself and to scan the world. Human existence comes in waves both personally and collectively. We seem to be at the end of a wave and the next phase relates much more to what women will bring to our future. I cannot resist telling a story reflective of these possibilities.

Where do you think women will lead us?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Origins and Sources of the Majesty Trilogy – Pt. 5

 

Being Moved Beyond Simple Exposition – From Within

Many of us who write fiction do not anticipate where the effort will lead us or what might begin to stir within ourselves. When I began the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I had a story line and then used Dara Marks’ Transformational Arc to organize it and structure it. One perception is that it may then be a matter of filling in the blanks. No such thing.

The story took on enhancements and a life of its own in ways not anticipated. And then there was the matter of insistent characters who showed up for inclusion. In the end I had to concede that the story and the writing process was stirring things inside of me.

Essential Elements

At the beginning, the intention was to write a story about the salvation of our future. Without a doubt we live in a very dangerous time. Perhaps the least of our dangers is how we may ruin our economic future. And then there is our capacity to use nuclear weapons to bring untold destruction. At the same time we are seeing clear evidence of climate change wrought by our presence. Deniers can deny all they want but we have the capacity to damage so much of this planet in ways never before seen. 

Other Discoveries

Even though we have been around our habitat for millions of years, we know so little about it in many ways. We must accept that life is insistent. We have learned about change and now know how adaptable life forms are. Deep in the ocean around warm vents we discovered life forms we assumed could not exist. We now know that asteroids contain water and amino acids which suggests life seeds itself well beyond this planet. How naive we have been!

Being Discoverers

We like to explore and discover more and more about our world. And now we are looking to go to Mars. That planet has been virtually striped of its atmosphere because it has no magnetic field but we seem interested in terraforming. It is likely that we may discover something we had not thought about.

What will happen if we break out of our planet? Are we ready? Are we mature enough as a species to bear the burden which discovery reveals? And who might we meet out there? In Star Trek they insisted that they not interfere in civilizations in other worlds they discovered. Part of that seems to come out of the perception that we may not be that wise. There are stories of invasion and attacks by extraterrestrial beings and we hope they do not come here. That, in some ways, is a projection of our understanding about our frequent lack of maturity.

What Fiction Brings

As I wrote the story, its characters developed. And now as I look at the trilogy I find that a book 4 seems to be demanding my attention. But it remains in the shadows and I will see if it will manifest itself. But one thing became apparent, that the story was leading me toward the theme of transformation. In human history we have seen sudden delineations and development as with language and culture. And then there are things such as the Enlightenment. Is there a transformation in our future?

If we survive this dangerous period, how might we advance. Suddenly we see stunning revelations about widespread molestation and mistreatment of women. The cascade of revelations is such that we cannot turn back from it now. And the uprising of women to overthrow their subjugation is stunning but just beginning. And in writing these books I found that the empowerment of women was essential. I really have to wonder if the empowerment of women is going to lead us to a significant transformation beyond anything we might suspect. We will see won’t we?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

An Innocent Discoverer – Adelais Dubois

 

Who Shows Up

Unlike many other characters in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy Adelais did not seem to be in the plans of the author. Most of the other Andromeda warrior women had a clear place and presence although who they were had to be clarified and developed. In Adelais’s case she suddenly appeared to this author.

Not All These Women Had Dramatic Histories

Yes, Adelais was from a Primal family, but not every member of such a family was ordained for a purpose or would even become deeply involved either in the Andromeda or other aspects of the mission of the Tethyans. In Adelais’s case she had spent a peaceful childhood in a bucolic setting in Provence, France. She is properly characterized as an innocent and like so many innocents it came to a painful end.

What Propelled Her

She was on her way to university at the Sorbonne in Paris when fate intervened. But, of course, in this trilogy, whether it is fate always has to be questioned. In Paris she stopped to visit her grandmother who was prominent in the environmental/sustainability movement. When her grandmother was brutally murdered in front of her everything changed. She was taken to the Thonis Tethys in the sea off of Alexandria, Egypt to attempt to heal her emotional wounds.

But Then There Is Who We are

The experience led to her coming to terms with her inner spirituality and the need to take action led her to join Andromeda. Of course she got to know the other women and one of them was Nicole with her clear links to the spirit world. This experience was to thrust Adelais into a depth of understanding and involvement she had not anticipated or sought.

Who We Are

Most of us are not truly in touch with who we are deep down. Sometimes we find a side to ourselves which is wholly unexpected. In Adelais’s case she was drawn deeply to an alternative reality and spirituality. Of course, in such a context we have to question how much was simply a cascade of events and how much in some way showed the hand of Gaia. Each of us develops something of a life plan but often it takes turns which are unexpected.

Adelais as an Explorer

Adelais illustrates the fact that we are all explorers in one way or another. Some people seem to go through life on an even course which is an exploration nonetheless but for others there are dramatic turns. Adelais shows how we can rise to the occasion and grasp a wholly new course. It was necessary for her to attend to the need for healing, but, in the end, she healed, found she had not truly lost her grandmother and learned that there may be much more to our world and the future of humankind than we ordinarily believe. There is so much to be explored and Adelais takes one trail of possibility for us to observe and to engage us.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health? by Roger B. Burt

Author Issues

Do you believe writing fiction is a straightforward endeavor?

A Complex Endeavor

I opened this new series with a post about choosing categories. Writing actually has become an increasingly complex endeavor. I thought I might share some thoughts for my fellow authors. But the rest of you are invited to listen in. You might find it amusing or even interesting.

What Happened?

Many (very many) years ago I had the inspiration to write fiction. I found it engaging and interesting. It was fun to be creative. Looking back I think the impulse to write happened when I reached a life change point.

Anyway, I started writing. Then came a deeply moving job which took all my energy. Then came a divorce, a new marriage, two more children from her first marriage, a new career and on and on. Life takes energy and commitment and each time I started something new, other demands got in the way.

Life Settled Down – Well Not Quite

Later, much later, my life settled down and a new idea for fiction emerged. I thought it interesting to pursue it. My wife had been working on screen plays and gave me Dara Marks Transformational Arc. What a neat way to scope out the progress and development of a book!
So I settled in with the reassurance that I had a structure to guide me.

And then demanding characters began to show up. I had an idea and these demanding people insisted on their inclusion and of course, they brought with them their personality, conflicts and foibles among other things. And then the psychologist had to look out because he began to pick up on their inner conflicts. That doesn’t sound so bad except it leads to conflicts of all sorts that can get in the way of the story and its development.

I’m blogging about some of these people including Avery, Brigid and Luisa among others.

Enhancement and Complications

It may sound nice to have characters showing up because they bring enhancement of the story. Well, not quite. They bring more than enhancement. They complicate the story and so the book became a trilogy – I think. It seems there may be a fourth book stirring.

And through it all I began to see that the story was filled with themes. I could see mythology which had always intrigued me and the prospect of the impact of waves of humanity possibly leading to transformation. But above all, what was striking was the fact of these women’s lives. Back in the 1960s I became intrigued by the process of women’s liberation that has now become the work to end the subjugation of women. Steadily I could see that my commitment to feminism was having an impact on the story and the development of characters.

Never-ending

I’m going to leave this there for now. There are so many other matters that come into the authors life. I’ll be addressing some of them. Have a nice day. I’ve got work to do and it isn’t fiction writing. So much else has cropped up.

Did you believe writing fiction might actually involve crowd sourcing?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Problem With Ratings

 

Manikin leaping from reflective sphere in fantastic landscape

What do you think about the issue of ratings for fiction?

What a Nuisance

When someone is writing fiction it seems likely that the primary reason they are doing it is to write fiction. Duh! It is an interest pursuit and can be challenging in a way that is fulfilling. Unfortunately, in most instances the author would also like to sell some books. Maybe they have a dream of being greatly successful or at least would hope there would be some sales.

And so that means it’s necessary to be involved in promotions. Ugh. The dreaded promotional process. It can be cumbersome and time consuming and is not exactly creative. Since it is quite likely that the book will be sold on Amazon the author will begin to see ratings go up. It is at that point that the author needs a perspective on just what they mean. Here are some thoughts.

My Recent Experience

In the spring Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power was published. I anxiously awaited the first reviews and ratings. Then came the first one. It was a one star. Very far from what I hoped. It lingered there alone on Amazon for quite some time. Not a high point. In the review the person said “vocabulary to advanced for subject matter”. There were other errors in spelling and grammar in the comment. Let me just say that the book obviously was not suitable for them and probably not to their taste. Fortunately, shortly other ratings began to show up with 5 star ratings clearly coming to dominate. Large breath of relief.

Choosing to Rate a Book

In working on promotion it was clear to me that there are very distinct categories and people have clear preferences. I will not review or rate a book that is not within one of my fields of interest or preference. If I don’t like the subject matter I don’t have to read it to know I won’t like it. Well, at least most of the time. Sometimes I’m surprised.

What to Expect

I’m sure there are widely divergent opinions but my perspective is that if five stars absolutely dominate then it is likely that the person has a following. That isn’t always the case but it is sometimes. The import of that is that an author, particularly at the beginning, needs to temper his or her perspective and expectations. Since ratings are often done by reviewers it can be expected that a reviewer will be critiquing a book. And that means when they see a problem or a shortfall it will probably dictate a lower rating. That is fair enough.

A Perspective

The bottom line is that ratings are valuable to authors and readers alike. But the numbers don’t stand alone. Among them are reviews and reviewers can give an added perspective. And the author needs to be ready for the rating which represents a person who simply doesn’t like the genre or the level at which it is presented.

What has been your experience with ratings and reviews?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt