I hate giving writers advice.

I’ve admired Marsha Canham’s historical romances for years and years and consider her ability to blend research with character development and fascinating plots to be truly outstanding.

Marsha Canham's Blog

That goes for all writers. New writers, experienced writers, weekend writers. I tend to be blunt when asked to do a critique. I look at the work as if it was my own—which is probably mistake #1—and criticize accordingly. On the other hand, I’ve been through the grist mill, suffered editors with bad attitudes, editors who wanted me to change my books to what ‘they’ would have written, and enough rejections to fill a thick file folder. But that was my trial by fire. Each and every one of those rejections, those criticisms and comments made me take a harsher look at my writing. They more or less forced me to improve my craft, to read more outside genre to see what I could do differently to avoid those dreaded words: predictable and stereotypical.


Romance novels surely must suffer the most from those two words. There can only be…

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  1. Recently a good friend asked me to read her fiancé’s novel he’s planning to self-publish… which IS as awful an experience as it sounds.

    And I realized that every single complaint I had about his writing was all my personal favorite stuff—hyperbole, crazy tangents, lack of focus…

  2. Sandi · April 14, 2013

    Hi, Victoria! 🙂 Always a pleasure.

    Self-publishing is an ordeal, to be sure. I started it in 2001 and went through 2009/10. Did a few books that way.

    It is a really different thing to see your “favorite stuff” in conversation (or blogging! lol) showing up in a book. What works in one medium doesn’t always work in another. In a blog post, it’s entertaining. In a book, we expect there to be more discipline. lol

    I wish your friend’s fiancé all the best! And I hope he’s planning on hiring a professional editor. It’s never a bad idea. 😉

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