Saturday, March 23, 2013

Guest Post: Erica Cope & Giveaway of LARK!

Erica Cope, author of Lark, is taking over my blog today and talking about critique partners. I love her and her debut novel so much that I'm also giving away 3 Kindle copies of Lark, so don't forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to read this amazing book!


When Komal asked me to do a guest post for her, my mind sorta just went BLANK.



Nothing but air up there.

I couldn’t come up with anything for the life of me that I thought would be of some interest to ya’ll.
I thought about writing about the inspiration behind my story. But I already posted about it over on my blog so I figured that would be cheating.

Then I thought maybe I’d write about how I handle bad reviews (because you know, everyone gets them sometimes) but that’s been done too.

 (P.S Even though they say NOT to read them, I read them anyway. But I do make sure I always read the positive reviews afterwards to remind myself that there are people out there who DO like my story.)

So then it came to me! I’d do a post about the importance of Critique Partners because this is a topic I have a lot of thoughts on.

Ding ding ding! My brain is working again!

First, I just want to say that I think that Crit Partners are very important, special people. You are trusting them with your book baby so they have to be!

Sometimes as a writer you may think you are conveying what’s in your head on to paper but that doesn’t mean that the reader is “getting” it. I saw the entire kingdom of Álfheimr in my head, but I did not describe it very well in my first draft.

Maybe it was just an amateur move, but surely I’m not the only one who has made that mistake. (Right?) I just assumed the reader could see what I saw (as if they magically had access to my brain or something) and focused more on the flow of the story at first.

Thank goodness for Crit Partners!

One of my Crit Partners was especially good at pointing out when I left out important details. She asked me questions about what things looked like, what they sounded like and what they smelled like. Everything. So I would sit back and picture it all in my head again and then instead of focusing on the “what’s happening” part, I’d focus more on the sensory aspect. Another one helped make my dialogue more realistic (contractions!). The others helped me with the consistency of the story. Everyone who read my story helped me make it better in one way or another.

That is one of the best things about Crit Partners. Not only can they help you develop your story into what you want it to be, but they’re also good for bouncing some ideas off of. Good ones can keep you on track which is especially valuable for Indie Authors.

But on the other hand, when having people read your story before you publish, I think it’s important to remember that just because they suggest something, doesn’t mean you have to change it.

I think it’s important to make sure that you stay true to YOUR characters and YOUR story.

Sometimes people forget that everyone responds differently to different situations. Someone reading your story might offer suggestions on how THEY think your characters would respond to certain situations and while sometimes you may agree, don’t be afraid to say “no”. Because at the end of the day, you know your characters (you invented them!) and you know best.

So moral of the story?

Critique Partners are great, but don’t forget to TRUST YOURSELF too.

Thank you Komal for having me as a guest on your blog!


Erica Cope lives in Missouri with her husband, three kids, two dogs and a partridge in a pear tree. Okay, so maybe not the last part.

You can find more about Erica in the following places:

Twitter - @EricaCope3

For the chance to win one of three Kindle copies of LARK, please enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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