Writing Lessons

The ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award) results for Round 2 have been announced. Readers of this blog may remember that last month I was excited to announce that my novel ‘Red Sky’ passed through Round 1. Sadly it did not pass Round 2. It is of course, very disappointing, but as part of the ‘award’ of passing Round 1, I received two reviews on the first few chapters.

My initial thoughts: “Ouch.”

While the reviewers had some valid points, which I can appreciate now I’ve had a few days to think about them, the comments of one reviewer really stung. It felt she/he had nothing positive to say, with the one exception – that I had no spelling/grammar mistakes. (And I must give out a great big thanks to my beta readers for helping with this! Kelly, Aislinn, LaVerne, Becky (did I miss anyone?) You all did such a fantastic job, and I really appreciate your hard work!).

The second reviewer has more positives to say – she/he liked the main character – Morgan, and felt the novel was paced well. She/he also called it a fun and jaunty twist on a pirate adventure tale.

While in places the reviewers clashed in their opinions, their comments have given me plenty of guidance on how to improve my novel. Their feedback is invaluable – and best of all, it was free.

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