As I began the journey into the world of novels, I didn’t realize how many things I would learn. So far, the biggest one is how much reviewers tend to make assumptions about me as the author by evaluating the characters within the novels I write. Unlike many authors, I do not try to fashion my lead characters after myself. I would find it very constraining as neither is my ego big enough to create myself into a superhero nor my self esteem low enough to create myself into a degenerate loser.
I at least try to write as I have observed the world and people to be, not how I wish it or them to be. When a character acts a certain way, I very likely observed those or similar actions in the thousands of people I have met. Readers react to a novel based on their own life and culture and will review based on those experiences that make them into individuals. If they have not experienced or seen what I have, they will quite possible believe the actions of my characters to be implausible and/or contrived, or worse, a reflection on my morals and ethics.
Communication is defined as the accurate transfer of an idea from one person to the next. If anything breaks down in that transfer, be it verbal, grammatical or visual, communication has failed. In novels, the only things that can fail are the grammar of the writer or the reading level of the reader. I am the first to admit my grammar skills are not topnotch, but I have a good editor. At times, a failure in the idea transfer has occurred, and we have edited and republished the novel. If it is a failure of reading skill, it is beyond our control and I have to live with the poor reviews based on that. Such is the world and I am okay with it. The one area I tend to be sensitive about is a reviewer who presumes what was in my mind and announces to the world what my intentions were in writing the novel.
As an author, you have to have very thick skin as you are putting your work out into the vast world for others to pontificate on. Some may hate it and others may love it, and as the author, you get the highs of seeing your work bring enjoyment to others and the lows and self doubt when readers get zero enjoyment.