How to Handle Negative Criticism by Francina Simone – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Francina will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

How to handle negative criticism

This is a topic I’ve touched on in a video, but one I think deserves to be repeated and even shared amongst all types of artist, especially writers. There will always be negative criticisms about our work. There will always be people who don’t read it and condemn it, people who read it and hate it, and people who seemed to have read a completely different book than what you wrote. Here is the key to handling all that negative criticism.

1. Categorize Them

Not all criticism is equal. There are the subjective critics, meaning no matter how many times you write your book over these people will always hate it because it’s just not something they like. Imagine someone forcing you to eat something that makes you gag. No matter how many different ways they present it on the plate you are going to hate it. And there are the objective critics, these people probably like the type of stories you write, but they are having fundamental problems with the writing.
Keep the objective critiques and burn the subjective ones.

2. Understand Them

Try to understand what the objective critics have to say about your work. Really take a moment to ask yourself, “Is their analysis true?” Often I’ve read reviews or even received reviews were the reviewer makes a claim about a story that isn’t always true. Sometimes it’s a problem of light reading or simply misunderstanding a passage (reader error). More often than not, it’s writer error. Take the time to study the problem they have and look over your manuscript for the root cause.

3. Separate Yourself From Your Work

Ultimately the problem with negative criticism is it bothers us. It’s natural. We spend so much time and effort pouring ourselves into our work, and making something completely ours—no wonder negative criticism sets us on edge. But, it’s important that when you are done, you separate yourself from your work. View it as you would a friends manuscript or a book you just took off the self, pull out your red pen, and make no apologies and no excuses.

This is the hardest part of the process believe me. I still have moments of insecurities where I think everyone will hate my work. In fact, because I have a Youtube channel where I talk about writing, I’ve raised people’s expectations, and the bar grows higher everyday. That is enough pressure to pack it up and go home, but I don’t because of one simple thing. I am not my work. My work is something that will grow and continue to get better, an example of my skill, not my person. So take a deep breath and keep writing. Good luck!

mediakit_bookcover_thekeepersvowAll Katie Watts wants is to pass her junior-year, at Hamilton Private, with as little effort as possible—devoting time to knitting hats, breeding gerbils, becoming a movie critic, or even just sleeping. No wonder she isn’t ready for a world with vampires, werewolves, and nightmares.

Her life is shattered to pieces when Tristan gets stabbed in her front yard. She has no idea where he came from and worse, he hears her thoughts—and when she can’t take anymore, she starts to hear his. No one is who she thought they were. Her father is keeping secrets and when she searches for the truth, she ends up homeless.

As the truth claws its way to the surface, Katie and Tristan grow closer together and they find themselves connected in more ways than she can believe. But is honesty worth more than the peace blissful, ignorance brings? Especially if it sparks a chain of events that will end the lives of millions? Can she live with the truth that begins with her dead mother and ends with The Keeper’s Vow?

Enjoy an Excerpt

A Mother’s Gift

Could he really read her mind, or was it just a coincidence?

His eyes flashed in her direction.

Not a coincidence.

“Do Will and Lucy know you can read their minds?” she said as he slowed down enough for her to drink and walk at the same time.

“I can’t read their minds,” he said.

“But you can read mine?”

“Yeah,” he said.

“Anyone else’s?”

“Nope,” he said.

“How is that possible? Why is that possible?” she said.

His face was still expressionless. “Gift from your mom.” He stared straight ahead.

Katie knew that wasn’t possible. Her mom died giving birth to her. Not exactly enough time to send gifts—let alone some jacked up ability to read her only daughter’s mind.

“You still believe everything your dad told you? Nothing about yesterday made you question a few things?” he said, making an abrupt left turn.

“What’s that supposed to mean? What do you know about my mom?” It was strange saying that word. Mom. It was something she didn’t have but had always wanted—like a cat, E-Z Bake Oven, a sixty-piece oil pastel set. Something she’d grown out of and would never have. A mom.

Tristan held her gaze for a few steps, then stared ahead for a whole block before making another left turn. He didn’t say anything else.

About the Author: Francina Simone is a writer of Epic Urban Fantasies brimming with Magic and Moral Ambiguity.

From the time Francina Simone entered kindergarten, she loved to read and share words with her friends. When she was in the fifth-grade, she was scared to read aloud and so the teacher concluded she wasn’t very good at reading—Francina read anyway.

Francina left her middle school book club behind for the daunting and exciting life as a high school freshmen. She was quickly told Young Adult books were childish and she should concern herself with finer literature—Francina read them anyway.

Francina waved good-bye to her high school life and strutted into University with her YA books and graphic paper to take notes. She witnessed the birth of a YA trend where publishers flocked to sell their stories to teens…stories that were underdeveloped and glaring with structural issues. The message she heard as a consumer was simple—common belief is YA readers aren’t good enough readers to discern quality stories or they are too childish to tell the difference.

Francina dropped her degree in chemistry and decided enough was enough—and set out to write the quality* stories her fellow readers deserved.

After her formative years she moved to Japan, with her best-friend and husband, land of some of the worlds best story-tellers and creators of unique manga. There she worked on her stories and the quest to understand what authenticity* in story means.

Now she lives in Boise with her husband, son, cat, and Catahoula. She spends most of her time battling the terrible-twos and puppy-dom. But when things are quiet—you can hear frantically typing away; her mind far away with her characters in their quest to make the right decisions in a world brimming with magic and moral ambiguity.

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Buy the book at Amazon.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. This is all excellent advice. I especially liked your point about separating yourself from your work. It isn’t an easy thing to do, but it is an important one.

  3. James Robert says:

    Happy Monday! We’ll make it a good one even if it is Monday. Thanks for the opportunity to win this giveaway.

  4. Lisa Brown says:

    congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  5. Sherry S. says:

    I enjoyed the excerpt.

  6. Marcy Meyer says:

    Enjoyed reading this post. Great advice for negative criticism. Thanks for the giveaway chance.

  7. clojo9372 says:

    Another author on a GFP tour touched on how to deal with reviews, and I think both yours and hers were important for all readers and reviewers to read. Although we might not like everything we read there is no reason to tear down an author or their work. In my opinion criticism is supposed to help artists get better at their craft not make them feel like their art isn’t good at all! Thank you for this awesome guest post! I wish you continued good luck on your tour. 🙂

  8. What books have most influenced your life?

  9. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

  10. Rita Wray says:

    Sounds like a great read.

  11. I really enjoyed reading the entire post, thank you!

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