Friday, October 30, 2015

2 Win a Copy of Paper Hearts - A New Writing Guide Series from Beth Revis

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome New York Times Bestselling Author Beth Revis to the blog today. Beth is here to share some exciting news -- she's celebrating the release of the first book in her three-volume series of writing advice. Paper Hearts includes hard-earned insight into writing, publishing, and marketing. Not only is Beth sharing a giveaway with our readers today, but she's got some good advice on working with and as a critique partner.

DON'T MISS OUT ON THE GIVEAWAY AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST! And remember all orders of Paper Hearts made before November 15 from Malaprops will come with a special gift--more details below! 

Paper Hearts by Beth Revis

You can win a journal with this cover!
I wrote Paper Hearts for the writer I used to be. The questions I used to have plagued me when I was starting this career path. How do I get to the end? What's the proper way to structure a novel--is there even a proper way? How do I make my book stand out from all the other ones on sub?

Now, fifteen years, eleven unpublished books, three New York Times bestsellers, one self published book, and countless hours working on craft and working with other professionals, I think I finally have the answers that I needed way back then.

Unfortunately, I can't travel back in time.

But what I can do is try to help others. I've been compiling articles on the things I've learned about writing, publishing, and marketing for years, first informally on blog posts, then more collectively on Wattpad. After hitting 100000 reads, I realized that I should take Paper Hearts more seriously...and that I had not one book, but three.

Fully revised and expanded, the Paper Hearts series will feature three volumes, one each on writing, publishing, and marketing. Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice will be out on November 1, with the other two following in December and January.

Preorder it now from: Independent Bookstore ~ Amazon ~ BN ~  Kobo ~ Smashwords


Your enemy is the blank page. When it comes to writing, there's no wrong way to get words on paper. But it's not always easy to make the ink flow. Paper Hearts: Some Writing Advice won't make writing any simpler, but it may help spark your imagination and get your hands back on the keyboard.

Practical Advice Meets Real Experience

With information that takes you from common mistakes in grammar to detailed charts on story structure, Paper Hearts describes:
  • How to Develop Character, Plot, and World
  • What Common Advice You Should Ignore
  • What Advice Actually Helps
  • How to Develop a Novel
  • The Basics of Grammar, Style, and Tone 
  • Four Practical Methods of Charting Story Structure
  • How to Get Critiques and Revise Your Novel
  • How to Deal with Failure
  • And much more!

BONUS! More than 25 "What to do if" scenarios to help writers navigate problems in writing from a New York Times Bestselling author who's written more than 2 million words of fiction.


Remember: if you pre-order the print copy from my local indie bookstore, Malaprops, you'll also get a chapbook of the best writing advice from 12 beloved and bestselling YA authors included in your order for free!



When you’re working with critique partners, remember: it’s a relationship. It’s give and take. You read someone else’s manuscript and they read yours. 
A lot of times, people are primarily focused on getting their own notes back. You want to find out what to do to fix your manuscript. All you care about is getting your notes back. 
That is not how this works. A critique partner requires the give and take. First, it’s rude to expect free editing from a writing buddy without giving anything in return. But also? You will learn just as much by giving notes than getting them. Maybe more. 
It’s just a fact: We don’t see our own common flaws. We don’t understand what it’s like to identify problems in our own work until we see them in others. 
Don’t just seek critiques. Give them. Give the most constructive criticism you can. Study the manuscripts of others to see where they failed and where they succeeded. You will unconsciously absorb what makes a manuscript work and not, and you’ll see better how to avoid and fix those flaws in the future. 


  1. You develop your own skills as you critique others—you become better at spotting your own mistakes as you make them. It’s far easier to understand why something doesn’t work in a manuscript than when you see someone else making the mistake rather than yourself.
  2. It helps you understand your own critique. Things like “the pacing is slow,” “the characterization is weak,” are vague and hard to truly understand until you find it for yourself.
  3. It puts you in “critique mode.” Writers are creative people. But critical analysis of our own work is an entirely different skill set from writing. Critiquing others helps you build the skills to critique yourself. 
  4. It helps you see the common mistakes within manuscripts. I highly recommend that you go to sites that offer contests to critique the opening of a first scene, a query, etc. Read 20 people’s first scenes in a row. You’ll see the common mistakes that you will want to avoid to stand out. (“Miss Snark’s First Victim” and this blog commonly hold such contests, often with a prize of an agent read for the top person.
  5. You get better at critiquing. Critiquing doesn’t go away when you’re published—it just becomes more professional as you start working with more professional writers. Don’t be a newb. Get your practice in now. 
  6. It helps you forge connections with your peers. The publishing world is actually very small. Make friends now. I met most of my critique partners before I was published, and they’ve been great friends and peers as we all moved up the publishing ladder.

In short, being a critique partner who both gets and gives critiques will make you a more professional writer who is capable of writing better works.



About the Author: Beth Revis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe trilogy, as well as The Body Electric, Paper Hearts, and the forthcoming A World Without You. She lives in the Appalachian mountains with her boys: one husband, one son, and two very large dogs. 

You can find out more on Facebook, Twitter, or online. If you never want to miss a thing and also get exclusive insider opportunities, sign up for her newsletter here.


  1. Thanks for the great giveaway and awesome reasons on why giving critiques is so important! :)

  2. Do you have any tips on where to find a good critique partner?


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