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‘Critiquing: How No Leads to Yes’ – By Sheena Snow (Guest Post + Giveaway)

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by Sheena Snow

The most valuable ‘critique’ I get from my critique partners is when they start asking questions about 1)why my characters are acting a specific way or 2)where my plot is going.

This may seem odd, especially if that’s not how your critique group functions but it is so imperative in so many different ways. It doesn’t matter if your pant-ster. It doesn’t matter of your plotter. At one point in time all writers struggle with the ‘this isn’t working’ or ‘I don’t really know where I’m going next’ issue when writing a book. And believe it or not, it’s the ability to answer NO to their questions that helps me more forward to create amazingness with my writing.

Although it probably seems like the weirdest advice ever given, try it couple times. See if it works. The ability to say ‘no’ to a character choice or plot twist is the most effective way, for me, to get my mind jogging down the different paths in order to find the secret path to bestseller land, well… maybe not that, but it’s a happy-jumping-and-down-Sheena-land.

The most beautiful concept about the word ‘no’ is knowing that in my head, for one reason or another, the character would not act that way in the story—or that I don’t want the plot heading down that road. And if I don’t want it to happen, it forces me to ask myself, why? Why don’t I want this to happen?

Why you don’t want a character to act a certain way is so much stronger that wanting a character to act a certain way. For me, it forces me to dig deeper to the roots of each character. What is about this character or situation that doesn’t sit well with me? If it seems wrong for the character to choose that path, why does it seem wrong? What is about the character, as the writer, that I do not understand? And often, as I let my mind wander, trying to figure out how to fit the puzzle pieces together, I figure it out. I have the ahhhh-ha-moment and I find the reason my gut said no in the first place.

Without my critique partners, my book, SPARKED (The Metal Bones Series Book 1) wouldn’t have been the same. I thank them so much for encouraging me to dig deeper and for asking the right questions. Super Big Shout Out to my amazing critique partners: Vicky, Kim, Rosie, Kristen, & Katheryn! I <3 you guys!!



Sparked by Sheena Snow


sparked sheena snowSparked (Metal Bones Series  Book One)

Genre: YA, sci-fi

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Date of Publication: Dec 16, 2015

Number of pages: 317

Cover Artist: Christy Caughie


They weren’t supposed to have feelings.


Metal will Clash

In a not-too-distance future, robots composed of metal for bones, electric cords for veins, and synthetics for skin are now available. For purchase. Eighteen-year-old Vienna Avery’s home is going to change forever, now that her mom purchased an Italian Chef Robot to cook and reside in their house.


Secrets will Unfold

The government claimed robots were indifferent, unthinking pieces of metal and elastic—assistance for the help of humans. Vienna never believed much of what the government said. The pieces didn’t always fit. And now Vienna knows why, because she’s uncovered the government’s secret: that robots have emotions, sucking Vienna into the underground world of feeling, thinking, and sovereign robots.


Sparks will Fly

Alec Cypher is everything a robot is not supposed to be: deep, dark, and dangerously human. And for some reason, he wants to save Vienna from the government’s prying, vindictive eyes. Going forward, Vienna will have to learn to trust robots and battle the growing feelings she never thought possible . . . feelings for the green-eyed, soul-searching robot named Alec.


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About the author

sheena snowSheena Snow, contrary to her name, lives in South Florida and has only seen snow once. But she would love for it to land on her eyelashes and sparkle in her hair. She loves painting, candle making, orchid shows, tattoo conventions, hockey games and library book sales! After college she landed a full time job but kept serving pizza on the weekends and writing stories about characters she wished really existed, characters who never gave up no matter the obstacles life threw at them. At the age of twenty-six, she sold her first book and bought her very first puppy, a wonderful Yorkie named Aladdin.

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