Thursday, April 5, 2012


I would like to welcome author Sue Lawson to Novels On The Run and thank her for taking the time to write this wonderful guest post.

Hi Michelle. Thank you for hosting the Forget Me Not Blog Tour. It’s terrific to visit ‘Novels On The Run’, and I love your question! 

The importance of critique partners you can trust.

Author critique partners vs family member/friends 

Writing can be a lonely business, as the bulk of it is done on my own at the computer. If you’re not careful, you can become isolated and out of touch. I’m incredibly lucky as I’m surrounded by people who support, encourage and help develop my writing and are always there if I need an ear.  

As much as I love my friends and extended family, I don’t tend to discuss my work, especially while I am writing, unless I am quizzing them about something that falls within their area of expertise. For example when I needed advice about a hospital or medical scene, I talk to my sister who is a nurse, or if it’s an artistic inquiry, I seek out my girlfriend who is an artist.  

When it comes to the nuts and bolts of writing – character, plot, grammar etc, I turn to my husband, my critique group and my editors. 

My husband is a journo and former editor of a newspaper, so his skill is immense and invaluable. While I am writing, he’s a patient and invaluable ear when I carry on about plot issues and bits I am excited. This talking process helps me clarify what I am trying to say. I used to pick my daughter’s brain too, but she’s doing VCE and has enough on her plate without me going on about what a character or another has done.  My husband is also the first to read my draft and picks up mistakes, holes and ‘issues’ I’ve missed. This helps make sure my drafts are as clean as possible when I send them to my editor. 
While my husband and my daughter are an incredible support, I don’t rely on them totally. I’m very lucky to have wonderful friends who are also talented writers. We listen, laugh and discuss our work, critiquing, supporting, rebuilding and problem solving. My books wouldn’t anything like they are if it wasn’t for these three friends. And clearly from the photo, we play as well! 

My final most trusted advice comes from my incredible editors. I trust my editor and publisher implicitly and welcome their feedback. Their goal, like mine, is to make the book the very best it can be. My editors have a way of finding within the story and me things I didn’t think I could do. 

For me, the key to receiving feedback is to trust the person who offers it and to remember, especially when the feedback is tough, that it is an invaluable gift that only serves to make my story better, and at the same time develop my skills as a writer.

Thankyou Sue!!!
Here is my review of FORGET ME NOT

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