Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What to do When the Beta Readers are Reading

I’ve got a good handful of readers busily reading DOLEFUL CREATURES right now (I won’t say no to more, however, so let me know if you’re interested).

I’m a little nervous. Fundamentally, I’ve asked my readers to tell me if what I’ve got is worth pursuing, or if I should take up a new hobby, like gardening. I think I’ve got something good going in those 75,000 words. I’ve read enough books in the same genre, aimed toward the same audience, to think maybe I’ve got a chance of entertaining someone.

But the chance is always there: I’ll get it back from readers who write, in big bold letters across the top of the first page: I DON’T GET IT.

So what do you do when the beta readers are reading?

  1. Stay away from the book. I’m not reading it again, or editing it again. It’s just going to sit there. I know it’s got flaws. I don’t need to read it right now and cringe thinking what my readers will think when they get to that awkward bit in the plot.
  2. Work on another project. Little ideas for THE HERMIT OF IAPETUS keep nibbling at me. I’ve been writing them down. It’s probably time to pull the manuscript out for that one.
  3. Prepare for NaNoWriMo 2014. There’s no question I’m going to do it again this year. I’ve done it for the past three years, and had a ball. I’ve got a few ideas in mind for the next book.
  4. Read. I’ve been reading a lot lately, deconstructing books to see how they work. Or how they don’t work for me at least. It’s educational.
  5. Listen to Tom Lehrer. Enough said.

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