Kindly critical friends

I’ve mentioned so many times how my book group has become more than just people coming together to read books, we are now great friends, and the only slight hiccup is that we sometimes run the risk of just enjoying each others company and almost forget about the books! At other times, different times from now,  we meet up and have get togethers or go on little trips just to enjoy each others company. Now that we cannot meet up at all for anything, we Zoom, and today we met to discuss our monthly book via our computer screens.

The book we were discussing today, I’m very proud and honoured to say was my own latest novel, Winterdyke. It was so generous to give over one of our get together to offer opinion on what I’d written and i really appreciated it. I was a little nervous of course, although everyone had said they enjoyed my book and had made very kind comments. With our meeting today, those comments were repeated, as well as more detailed thoughts on the book.

I was really grateful that as well as praise, there were criticisms, too, thoughtful and constructive and above all really helpful. I know I write too much in the early drafts and I do go thorough with a great pair of virtual shears to excise all the extra flannel – but in some cases I didn’t sharpen those blades enough and should probably have deleted more. This is a very valuable lesson,  I know I mention the same thing too frequently, and again when I was editing, I went through and trimmed back some of the repeats, but I should have trimmed back more! Some of the criticisms, though valid, i can’t do anything about – but it was interesting all the same that some characters weren’t liked, some aspects of the characters were annoying or irritating and therefore a distraction. I recognised there were a few storylines which were a little confusing, or weren’t clearly resolved (I thought they were but to a reader they weren’t or were muddled) There were other comments too, and i can’t tell you how helpful they all are!

So thank you dear friends, thank you so much! I look forward to the next “meeting” when the pressure will be off me, and we will be discussing “The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divide Us”  by Nick Hayes. I’ve already started reading it and it’s a thoroughly beautiful book and difficult to put down!!

Here is a link to Winterdyke and I would very much appreciate your comments, and especially if you left a review on Amazon for me:


  1. Sue Johnson

    You are a talented writer Lois with amazing creativity and ability to hold the plot and several sub plots simultaneously! I enjoy your books and I have seen the progression in your writing over the last few years. Any criticisms from me are made with love and admiration and in a spirit of friendship. I am full of admiration for you xxx

    Liked by 2 people

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