Saturday, December 10, 2016
milestone in my writing life seems monumental. Maybe other writers pump their
fists in the air in private, but I share my celebrations, no matter how small,
with my online family.
- Unearth a new
idea for a book? Climb a short tree and yell about it!
- Finish a
chapter? Shout from the rooftops!
- Win a Flash
Fiction contest? Go for the church steeples!
- Write a sentence
that gives me goosebumps? Do a little happy dance inside my head.
- Write a scene
that changes the rest of the story? Scream and wake my husband! *Sorry,
truly I didn’t mean to wake you.
- Finish a novel?
WHAT? I finished a novel and didn't tell you about it? Well, guess what? I
did! Not only did I finish it, once I knew I'd self-edited as much as feasible, I
found two dozen stalwart volunteers to read my first draft and give invaluable
feedback that I considered when I revised.
prolific writer and friend, J.J. White ended his thorough critique with:
My first four books suck worse than anything you’ve ever written in your life
so don’t stop writing.
also wrote, "I don’t think the ending is appropriate for the story,"
so I revised the ending, even though another reader said, "I don't see how
it should have ended any differently."
published friend, H.V. Rhodes, wrote things like: This would be more effective if . . ., his argument here should be along
the lines of . . ., The average guy is going to have an issue with . . . and Why does this particular bridge freak her out? His
comments made me think of ways to improve my narrative.
of my beta readers asked questions:
- Could you
include more of your characters' thought processes?
- Can you condense
chapters 4 and 5 into one?
- What does this
word even mean?
- Will you show us
the motive behind his actions?
- Am I supposed to
like this guy or hate him?
- I feel honored
that you are sharing your literary talent with me.
- I find myself drawn to him even tho’ I am just at the start of
- The story is great and well written. I feel there is a
lot of meat but not too many sides.
- I am savoring every word!
- I had to stop reading. This is too close to home.
- The beginning was great. The ending was abrupt.
- The reader thinks he's just a jerk at this point, but I've
read 80 pages so I know . . .
- The first few chapters were fun because as the reader,
you’re trying to figure out what’s going on.
happens with my book now?
proof readers will comb through my second draft for errors while I research literary agents,
compose my query letter and decide which agents to contact initially. While I
wait, I’ll be writing!
Labels: agent search, author, beta readers, ending, first draft, happy dance, literary agent, milestones, motive, narrative, novel, published, query letter, savoring the read, second draft, social media, writer, writing