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Guest Post: Everybody is a Critic (but I ask for it), by Joanne Lewis – and a Contest!

Today’s guest post is provided by author Joanne Lewis, whose novel Wicked Good, co-authored with her sister, is now available.  I am thrilled to be a part of her blog tour and hope you will check out the other stops! Also, make sure to check out the contest information at the end of this post for your own chance to win a copy of Wicked Good…

***

The Article:
Everybody is a Critic (but I ask for it)

All writers know everybody is a critic but over and over we ask for it. We have no choice since constructive criticism is one of the best tools to becoming a better writer.

For me, the biggest critic of all is myself. I toil over the plot of my novels to make sure the fiction world I am creating is believable. I debate openly with my characters and demand they be the best (or worst) they can be. And when I have a draft that I feel has merit, I jump to the next step of finding people to read it who will give me their honest (and useful) assessment.

The critics in my weekly writing workshop are kind. I appreciate that their criticism is constructive and genuinely designed to not only help make my story better but to make me a better writer. I am a better writer because of them.

But then there are the others , who I know are trying to be helpful. Like my friend who read the first chapter of one of my novels and then returned it to me completely rewritten. Yes, you read that correctly. He rewrote the first chapter. By the way, he is (thankfully) not a writer.

Then there was the person who read my novel, Wicked Good , which I co-authored with my sister. In the novel, Archer – who is a recovering alcoholic – drinks when the going gets really tough. This person asked: “why did you make her an alcoholic? Everyone does that”. “Okay”, I said, “what vice should I give her?” My friend’s response was that I should make her stutter.

While receiving criticism is a very important part of becoming the best writers we can be, I was very nervous when I learned that Kirkus was reviewing Wicked Good . I worried the review was going to be negative. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

Here is part of the review from Kirkus:

KIRKUS Reviews calls Wicked Good

“A funny, frazzled  tale  of  extreme  parenting.”

“Rory Falcon is a bundle of exasperating  eccentricities—perpetual  pacing, mile-­a-­minute  talkativeness,  an  obsession  with  lawn  mowers  and  antique  gas cans, an  incorrigible  refusal  to  follow  instructions  or  tolerate   constraints—combined   with   a   good   heart   that   only   his   adoptive   mother  Archer   can   see. Then Rory and a high school hellion named Trish hare off in a stolen car to find Rory’s birth mother, and Archer embarks on a journey to recover her  son  and  unearth buried  family secrets  that stretch  all  the  way  back  to  the  Salem  Witch  Trials.  In this entertaining dysfunction romp, the   authors   cut   the   pathos   with   tart   humor   and   vivid   characterizations. Hurricane   Rory   is   an   indelible   portrait   of a   high-­functioning autistic kid who’s both   off-­putting and  magnetic; veering between wild, foul-­mouthed tantrums, plangent sweetness and locked-­down obliviousness, he’s as  much a mystery  to  himself as  to  everyone  else.”

Click here to read the entire review: http://www.kirkusreviews.com/bookreviews/indie/joanne-lewis/wicked-good/

The review is amazing. And there were no complaints that Archer didn’t stutter. Thank you, critics. I will continue to seek your constructive criticism to improve my writing and relish the positive reviews as a result.

The Contest:
Have you ever said something that totally stopped conversation? Maybe it was insightful. Maybe it was weird. Maybe it was the thing everyone was thinking but was afraid to say. Rory, the teenage character in Wicked Good, is the master of conversation stoppers—his family calls them “Roryisms”.

WOW! is hosting a “Roryism” contest; the winner will receive a $100 prepaid Visa card and their Roryism will be published in the next book in the Wicked series. Full details can be found on The Muffin.

***

It was a chilly day in Maine when Amy received the call from her sister, Joanne, “Wanna write a book together?” Amy said yes and the journey began.

Amy is the older sister who loves her 2 sons and nephew, dogs, volunteering at the Bangor Humane Society, running, hiking, snowshoeing, surfing the web, her brown poodle Teddy, Lola, writing, reading, cycling, going to bed early, spending time with her friends and family, being outdoors when it’s nice outside and indoors when it’s not, and editing Joanne’s writing. She is a pescatarian and a lawyer in Maine.

Joanne is the younger sister who loves her 3 nephews, her grey poodle Frisco, writing, hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, cooking, traveling, Florence, Italy, anything to do with the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo, spending time with her friends and family, and being edited by Amy. She a vegetarian and a lawyer in Florida.

Two sisters, both attorneys; as sisters, Amy and Joanne have learned to play to each others strengths—an important lesson for any co-authors.

Author Websites: www.amyandjoanne.com and www.wickedgoodthebook.blogspot.com

***

Special thanks also to Robyn at WOW! – Women on Writing – for inviting me to participate in the blog tour.  🙂

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1 comment to Guest Post: Everybody is a Critic (but I ask for it), by Joanne Lewis – and a Contest!

  • All the best with the book! And glad Archer doesn’t stutter! Turning to alcohol makes me more familiar! That was my two pence unsolicited advice…we all love to do that, isn’t it? 🙂

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