Wednesday, December 4, 2013

#IWSG When Life Interrupts Your Writing

Purpose of IWSG : to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds
To join IWSG visit Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh here

November is dead.  Long live December.

I can’t even begin to express how happy I am that November is over.  My day job and family drama have been a huge time suck this November. I expect some work crisis to crop up every now and then, but to couple that with my husband having a major falling out with his parents...It's just been a nightmare. (If you don't know I work for my in-laws. Yep, that makes for an awkward work day) And then my parents are having issues with my younger sister....

 So my grand plan to have my book edited and ready for beta readers by December 1st has failed miserably. I'm eager to finish and move on to my next project, but I can't eke out the time. When I do open my laptop I stare blankly at the screen, unmotivated. L

I have managed to get out ‘part one’, the first 14 chapters, edited and ready to read.  I'm looking forward to the feedback.  I've had readers throughout my process, and the feedback has been good from the people who participated in what I like to call “Gina’s Read-Along Book”.   My writing friends who've read chapters as I produced them, raw and filled with grammar errors, are the main reason I've made it to the other end of this process.  But this is the first time I’ll have someone read my work, start to finish.

It’s a little unnerving. This is the first full length novel I've written. Short stories and pieces for anthologies are so much easier to get feedback on.  I want people to be honest, but I also realize that asking someone to be a beta reader is a big commitments. I've come up with some guidelines.  A few things I’m looking for from my reads:
  1. Consistency.- I’m interested in VOICE consistency. I want to know that the voice stays strong throughout the novel.
  2. Where Would You Stop Reading? - I’m hoping no one comes to this, BUT if there IS a spot where you went: “Nope, I’m done!” Let me know where, and why.
  3. Parts you skipped: If there’s any part in the novel where you just skipped or skimmed b/c you felt the information was boring or repetitive please mark that.
  4. Plot holes. If you notice a plot issue let me know. I made some major changes at the end of the novel and had to edit the changes in the entire book. If things don’t sound right or people’s names (or jobs) change suddenly...

I’m hoping that people are honest. I don’t need my ego boosted. I've been writing long enough to have a thick skin. What I need is helpful feedback (even if it’s not what I want to hear). But like any author, I hope my readers like my book.  Now I just need to finish the last half and wait to hear what everyone has to say.  

I'll be posting the first chapter of the book on my blog. If you're interested in beta reading, shoot me an email. I'm always looking for a few good readers.


  1. I like that you're asking your betas to tell you when they stop reading or skip. I find that's something folks are reluctant to share for fear of sounding rude or "un-writerly", but it's a very important occurrence. I need 100% honesty from my betas for the relationship to work as intended. :)

    1. It's important to be encouraging and supportive, and I'm not saying that I haven't cried over my keyboard when I've gotten a bad review/critique but your right. I need the bad with the good.

      I think what makes a good writer is the ability to accept the criticism and incorporate the useful advice. It's just as bad to change things based on ever piece of advice as it is to change nothing.

  2. Sorry November was so bad. December has got to be better. I'm looking forward to seeing how your chapter one goes.

    1. well if you're really interested, I have it posted on a google doc...