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Getting a Critique: Smart move for Aspiring writers
October 27, 2015
I just got the best critique ever! Not because All I got was “Wow, what a great story, but because my critiquer (is that a word? well it is now) had really constructive comments and suggestions.
I was lucky enough, while at the RWA conference, to win a raffle prize: a critique of the first three chapters of my book by a published author. Squeee! I NEVER win anything. Not only did I win, but my critique was being handled by none other than the amazing Anna Hackett (check out her website: http://annahackettbooks.com/. She writes these fabulous Action and Sci-fi romance stories like: The Anomaly Series, and Hell Squad. You can even get some for free by visiting her website, so don’t delay.) Sorry, I digress. :-)
Ms. H. was nice enough to take time out of her busy schedule to not only read my first three chapters, but also provide me with some amazing comments and suggestions.
Her first words straight up were: “Flashbacks are hard to do well and generally to be avoided, especially at the start of your story. Flashbacks distance readers, they are eager to be back with your character in the NOW seeing what is going to happen.” This was a great suggestion, and not something I’d have thought of/known. The end result the beginning of my novel is TIGHT!
Some suggestions were things I’d thought of on my own, but figured I was tinkering with the story too much, so I was happy to see we were in agreement, such as: “This chapter end is not so strong, the story just kind of peters out. Can you revamp a little to end with more impact? You want to end on something strong always, that keeps the reader wanting to turn the page.”
The other suggestions though were EXACTLY what the novel needed to tighten it. Although Ms. H. only critiqued the first three chapters, her notes were so concise that I know how to apply most of what she said to the rest of my novel.
Despite being a prolific author, Anna was also more than happy to communicate with me via email to clarify certain points or even offer suggestions to better my writing. She ROCKS!
So, if you’re not sure on whether or not to get even a few chapters critiqued I would highly recommend that you do.
Now to figure out a way to convince her to become my mentor, hmmmm. *taps finger on lips* Oh, I know. Anna, if you’re reading this and looking for someone to mentor pick me! :-)