I’m so thrilled to have my friend Yvette on my blog today. She is here to celebrate her new release The Hype. Please join me to welcome Yvette and learn more about her new book.
GIVEAWAY: 3 e-book copies of HYPE! Leave a comment below for your chance to win!
Before introducing The Hype, Yvette would like to share with you about Critique Groups.
A writer’s life can feel very isolated, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, a writer writes the story alone, but there are so many steps between the birth of the idea and the published novel. Today, I’d like to share with you the value of critique groups. (Did I hear a few of you groan?)
Many people shy away from critique groups because they don’t want to listen to someone trash the sleepless nights, moments of writer’s block, and hours of typing they invested into the black ink on the page, but one cannot improve his/her craft without having someone scrutinize it. A critique group is so much more than people finding what is wrong with your writing. In fact, my experience has been quite the opposite.
I have been blessed to have two incredible authors join me in a critique group, Patty Perrin and D.L. Finn. We each share one or two chapters with the group and then spend a couple of weeks reading it and sending suggestions on ways to improve the story. That’s right! We don’t trash one another’s work. What’s the point in that? We find typos and grammar errors. We question character behavior and motives. We suggest ways to flush out the imagery or action. It’s about professionalism and passion for writing and reading.
Then, we meet via Zoom and review the notes that were sent to us. I look forward to each and every one of these sessions. We laugh about silly errors (like when we write that a character has his head in his hands, making it seem that his head is detached from his neck). We get into deep conversations about plot lines and ways to deepen the story. We share our frustrations with our writing and give one another suggestions to get through it. And somewhere throughout the conversations, we spark new ideas and reinvigorate our love for writing.
Here is a scene that went through a significant rewrite after my critique group shared that they weren’t sure what I meant by “play chicken.” I thought everyone knew of the chicken pool game, but after our session, I realized I needed to bring the scene to life. The original version looked like this:
We have a great time laughing and sharing our New Year’s resolutions which none of us will probably be able to keep. We attempt to play chicken, but Dee is fierce and wins hands down each time.
After the conversation with my critique group, the scene changed to this:
We attempt to play chicken. Dee sits on Sam’s shoulders, and Roxy settles herself on Gio’s shoulders. Team Dee/Sam and team Roxy/Gio position themselves in the pool’s mid-section. Sam and Gio do their best to keep their balance as Dee and Roxy try to push or pull the other off her partner’s shoulders. The guys hold onto the girls’ legs to try to give them extra balance. Ryan and I observe them try to get the upper hand for our battle.
I lean over to whisper in his ear. “Sam is slowly pushing Gio into the deep end. Look.”
Ryan chuckles. “Sneaky trick. I won’t fall for it.”
Dee gives Roxy a side push, and Gio loses his balance. Roxy shrieks as she realizes she’s going down. Dee thrusts her hands up in the air in triumph. I laugh and climb atop Ryan’s shoulders.
“Don’t get all cocky just yet. You still have to beat me.”
She cocks her head to the side and smirks. “Bring it, girl.”
Roxy and Gio sit on the small underwater bench in the pool’s deep end to witness as I get my butt handed to me. I can talk the talk, but Dee’s a beast at this game. She knows my weakness – tickling. Ryan does his best to keep us on the shallower side to control my jerks away from her tickling attempts, but it’s no use. I can’t stop laughing, even without being tickled. I get a lucky break when Gio’s foot slips, but he regains his balance before I have enough momentum to bring Dee down.
Dee feigns being tired, and I fall for it. I lunge forward to push her to the side. She grabs my wrist, pulls me in, and begins tickling me. I’m done for. She easily pulls me toward her, which pushes Ryan off balance and we both tumble into the water. Dee takes a bow from atop Sam’s shoulders, and we all clap and hail the reigning champion.
This is the value of a critique group. Through their questions and suggestions, it opens writers to view their work in a new light. It provides the writer the opportunity to grow and flourish as a writer. And it brings a more polished, more enjoyable read to the reader.
I’m sure you are familiar with the saying: it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a support system to birth a novel. I am blessed to be surrounded by supportive authors who are willing to lend a hand, whether it is as part of my critique group, as a beta reader, or as a host during a blog tour. So, when you pick up a well-written book to read, know that a lot of time and care has gone into bringing you a pleasurable read.
Cici’s junior year in high school is going to be the best year ever. Popular co-captain of the varsity cheerleading team, she’s dating the starting quarterback. Even her jealous co-captain’s attempts to steal her boyfriend can’t curb her enthusiasm.
When her mom moves in with her fiancé, a handsome, wealthy man, only one small detail threatens Cici’s perfect life. The school’s social pariah is about to become her stepsister, and Cici wants nothing to do with her.
Everything changes when someone Cici cares about throws her life into a tailspin, and the one person Cici couldn’t stand becomes her only ally.
Warning: This story contains scenes of sexual assault.
Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.
Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.
The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I4L2Q40
The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 2) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R0QI51I
The One Betrayed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 3) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0191O1892
The One Revealed (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 4) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NBKJHIO
The One Awakened (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 5) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0781WT73J
The One Chosen – A Diasodz Short Story – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0986Q6P1D
Breathless – A Short Story – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BLVDHQX
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Yvette-M-Calleiro/e/B00I4RJMUU
Social Media Links:
Author Blog: http://yvettemcalleiro.blogspot.com/