I’m engaged in a project this year to promote my backlist more. (*cough* AT ALL *cough*) So today I’m featuring EXACT WARM UNHOLY. This story originally appeared in THE DEVIL’S DOORBELL anthology and it’s one of my favorites. I adored writing this troubled, but super smart heroine. So much smexy in this one.
Tonight my name is Mary…
Or is it? Sometimes she’s Tiffany or Syd or Bobbi. But whatever face she wears, she returns to the same bar, to find a new man and seduce him, safe in the knowledge that no one will recognize her. Until one man does.
“And I was … Stunned by the originality of the concept of this story. Stunned by the emotions it made me experience in such a short expanse of time. Stunned by the beauty of the romance in it that ran parallel to the overwhelming sadness throughout. I mean, seriously. If you don’t fall in love with Peter, you have a heart of stone.”
~ Kristen Ashley on Goodreads
This week at the SFF Seven, we’re giving tips on How to Become a Better Beta Reader or Critique Partner. As with many skills, this is one that is acquired over time, through extensive practice and lots of trial and error. In fact, learning to become a better reader for others, with useful feedback to give, is largely a case of figuring out what NOT to do. So that’s what I’m offering today.
- Don’t tell the other writer how to change their work. Focus on what isn’t working for you and, if you can, do your best to articulate why it’s not working. But resist the temptation to suggest rewrites or any kind of specific plan. Those kinds of feedback move it into the realm of how you would write it, not them.
- Don’t get emotionally involved. So you hate the protagonist? Maybe you hate the premise? Doesn’t matter. Separate your personal reactions from legitimate reader ones. If you can’t step away from your personal buttons being pushed, then recuse yourself from reading.
- Don’t argue with the writer. It’s their work. They get the final say. Give them your honest feedback and let it go.