Tag Archives: Novel writing

3 Reasons Authors Need Critiques

Have you ever been shocked and disappointed by a big-name author’s book and thought, I wish I could have critiqued that for them first?

If seasoned authors still need trusted critique partners to say, “this is boring”, I certainly do.

And I’m happy to say I have.

While working on my fourth book in the Dangerous Loyalties series, I asked for a first chapter critique from someone not familiar with my previous work. I received a great reality check on the arrogant thought, I’ve nailed it.

What went wrong?

  • I didn’t mention my POV character’s name until the second page.
  • I started with the character traveling and reflecting too long on backstory.
  • Because of the reflection, my character’s emotions became erratic.
  • My reader couldn’t distinguish the character’s goal.

Yes, I knew better. So why did I choose to ignore sound story structure advice from the beginning?

Because I love my darlings. Thankfully, the critique exposed the truth, “They’re evil and must die.”

Rather than stay bummed out and whine, “I’ll never write again” I reassessed the mess and develop an alternative plan. I embraced the opportunity to make corrections on my blueprint before continuing with faulty construction. I also repented from judging the famous author’s boring best seller.

3 Reasons Authors Need Tough Critiques

  1. Reader reviews will be brutal if you cause buyer’s remorse.
  2. Writers need their weaknesses revealed in order to improve.
  3. You’re not as great as you think you are.

Even after working with critique partners, beta readers, and editors, odds are, critical reviews will come, and fans will turn. Don’t let this truth be an excuse to quit or become cocky.

Stand up straight, pull the dagger from your heart, continue receiving help, and get back to creating.

Are the reasons I’ve missed?

So You Want to Write a Novel

Some moment in time the desire entered your mind, “I want to write a novel. How hard can it be?” Well…remember the first time you tried to juggle as kid? “I can to do that,” you said. The clown at the circus made it look easy but when you tossed the first ball into the air, followed by a second, reality hit you on the head. Unless a passionate seed of determination spurred you to practice, most likely, you never became a juggler.

In the same vein, throwing a string of words together on a page won’t produce a quality novel. Your first draft will hit you on the head with the reality of your inexperience. You discover your “novel” lacks: action; tension on every page; true to life main characters with emotions, dreams and goals; a do or die conflict with three major plot points…the list goes on. Without the passion and determination to learn the writing craft you will never become a novelist.

Will you hit the delete button and resume a normal life or is the passion great enough to spend years developing your skills?

Writing a Novel is a Journey

Writing a novel is a journey like that described by the blind seer in, O, Brother, Where Art Thou? Dirs.Coen, Ethan and Joel Coen. Perf. George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Chris Thomas King, Touchtone Pictures, 2000.

Blind Seer: “You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first… first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm. You shall see thangs, wonderful to tell. You shall see a… a cow… on the roof of a cotton house, ha. And, oh, so many startlements. I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.”

Happy Writing!

Source: http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0004836/quotes