Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Beta Readers!

I'm going to indulge the writer-me and tell a little bit about my journey. My middle grade novel first draft is complete. I guess I should call it a first draft. But in reality I have combed over the entire 225 pages at least 7 or eight times. Re-configuring things, moving scenes to and fro, turning narrative portions into dialogue and just generally obsessing.

What's weird about this process is that one day I can read the whole manuscript in one sitting and go, "That was amazing! Some agent/editor is going to LOVE this. Maybe? Right?" And then the very next day, I can read a few pages and go, "That is so ridiculously bad I can't believe I even call myself a writer!" It is a lonely, head-spinning way to spend your days.

That is until you get to the beta reader phase. What is a beta reader you ask? A beta reader is the first humanoid, other than yourself, who gets to read your stuff. And boy, is it weird to serve yourself up on a platter. Just like that. Here I am. All my best thoughts, efforts, words strung together as sentences, sentences strung together as scenes, scenes strung together as chapters and chapters strung together as if a cohesive plot really lives in those pages. I love to world build and create something out of nothing, but what if its a heap of dung beetle stew?

So that's where I am.

My manuscript is out there- with Beta #1 and Beta #2, who shall remain nameless. I am eternally grateful that they exist on this planet simultaneous to my existence because handing over my book felt ok and safe, but I'm waiting on pins and needles to get the book back!


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