And possibly one of the hardest to get *grin* Kerrin Hearfield my blog buddy and longtime friend who has helped me critique The Arrival from the word go has posted a review on her blog. Okay so you make think she’d biased but I don’t care ;p She’s my first review and I love it!! Also anyone who’s survived eight re-writes and still loves the book deserves major kudos. I asked Kerrin a few questions regarding the critiquing process (see below) and then her review is in italics.
Kerrin you were the main critiquer for The Arrival. Is there a big difference between the first draft and final product?
Yes there is. I can see where you have made improvements – dramatically with punctuation and more subtle with character depth and conflict. I know it was hard to cut out a lot of what I suggested, and your final product is awesome – just so readers know, Nicole didn’t use ALL my suggestions, it was mainly to show where as a reader I felt it needed something more, or less.
And what were your first thoughts when you read that first version?
I was really put off at first with the different POV’s, especially from so many characters. But reading through it again, gave me an appreciation of the multiple view points and how they enriched your story! I’ve never seen it done like this before. And it never detracts from the tension or conflict either! There are still mysteries and twists I didn’t see coming, even with all those view points!
You have seen multiple versions of this book, how can you still enjoy it after surviving eight re-writes?
I think mostly it is the richness you have incorporated in the story, through your descriptions, the character voices, and even the plot, to me it is very intriguing!
Do you have a favourite character in the story? Or a favourite scene (warning slight spoilers!)
My fav scene is where Cat and Alek finally scream at each other at the conclusion of their little conflict. I found it funny, but would still love to know what they said to each other 😛
I quite like Citaan – I love how you have described her. But I feel most in line with Cat – the main heroine.
Has critiquing The Arrival helped you in your own writing? Do you recommend critiquing as a form of ‘writer education’?
It has helped me! I can see now where I overuse words, and where there’s need to tone down my descriptions by just using speech to show how my characters feel. I recommend critiquing for showing someone else’s viewpoint and how they write things/situations. It really opens your eyes to your own faults when you find them in someone else’s writing!
Was it difficult to give honest feedback? You’ve known me for years – were you ever nervous about providing feedback?
At first it was very hard. Sending through my first thoughts and corrections. I was so worried I would hurt your feelings (but I am rather sensitive to how others feel – I don’t like hurting anyone!). Once you came back with your reply to them, I was relieved. I really wanted to help you make your story the best it could be, but didn’t want to hurt you to. It is very hard, but honesty is vital.
Do you feel that the underlying theme ‘screw being the damsel in distress’ is up held through the book? Without it being overt?
To tell the truth I never thought of it! But seeing as the girls are all really self-sufficient and once they learn to use and control their powers it is really easy to see that they are the main ‘fighters’ in the story – protecting the world in conjunction with the men, but the girls remain the main contenders.
Nicole has a unique writing voice and style and you will enjoy reading from the viewpoint of many of the characters within the story which brings a richness and fullness to complete your reading experience.
It has rich and descriptive detail, various points of view, conflicts, bloodcurdling battles, magic, fantastical creatures and a subtle layer of sexual tension to keep you going to the very end….where you realise you just HAVE to have the next installment.
Gripping and emotive, this story will leave you begging for more and thinking about it long after you have finished reading.
Go buy it now, experience the magic of Nicole MacDonald!