Special Guest Crit: Janice Hardy

Janice Hardy’s, super-duper author of the middle grade fantasy Healing Wars series, crit auction is NOW CLOSED. Don’t bid, don’t donate unless I tell you!

This book is awesome, PS. If you haven

ABOUT JANICE: Janice Hardy is the author of The Shifter, Blue Fire, and the upcoming Darkfall. She is represented by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency and also runs The Other Side of the Story, an excellent blog focusing on craft and specific examples of it (with zombies, yay!).

From her website bio:

I’m a voracious reader, which used to get me into a lot of trouble in school. Eventually, I figured out writing stories in class made it look like I was doing actual work, so my teachers left me alone. Since then, writing has worked out way better than algebra ever did. I now write young adult fiction and no one ever tells me to cut it out and pay attention anymore. For my debut fantasy novel, The Shifter, I tapped into my dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. I live in Georgia with my husband, three cats and one nervous freshwater eel.


  1. Comment on THIS BLOG POST with your bid. Bidding starts at $1! Yay.
  2. You may, of course, bid more than once.
  3. Once the auction closes, if you are the highest bidder, donate your winning bid to the mycharitywater campaign page by April 9th at 11:59PM, EST.
  4. If the bid is not donated by then, I’ll contact the second highest bidder to donate, and so-on.
  5. Once the donation is made, I’ll contact you for the file.

More information on Janice’s critting style and what she’s learned from critting after the jump.

Describe your critting style.

I love to dig into a piece and really examine it. I like to do line comments to show where I felt or thought something, and also do a summary of my thoughts, what worked for me, what didn’t, what was strong, where it could be stronger, areas the writer might consider working on to improve the piece. I offer suggestions on plot or possible scenes if I see something that I feel could be developed to make the book stronger. I keep an eye out for missed opportunities — things that really spark something as I read but might be be developed much in the manuscript. I throw out a lot of information I hope the writer can use to improve their work.

How has critting helped you grow as an author?

I’ve learned just as much critiquing as I have being critiqued. Looking at someone else’s work gives me distance to see the writing objectively, which helps me see problems in my own work. It forces you to think about what you do and why it’s working, why you like one thing over another. Understand the mechanics under the story helps me write better stories.

What’s the best thing you learned from a critter or critting?

That one word change can affect the meaning of an entire scene. POV clicked for me after a critiquer asked about the word “a” vs “the” in a crit. “A boat” implied the POV didn’t knew the boat was there, “the boat” implied she did, and that made a difference in the scene. Just blew me away and I suddenly got POV.

And the worst advice you’ve ever received?

Never use adverbs. I wrote some horrible passages trying to avoid them.

Does the word “crit” ever make you giggle?

Not yet, though it might now!

Bid away! HAVE FUN. 😀 Send any questions to katharine_brauer @ yahoo.com or give me a tweet (@katbrauer).