Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday's Wonders--beta readers

I'm in the final throws of getting my first novel ready to query, and it's been quite a journey. I've sent my first few chapters around to some of my writer friends and my writing group, and what do you know? They've come back at me with some fabulous advice. I'm tweaking and polishing, and it's making my work so much better. They see things that I couldn't because I was too close. They point out things they love. (Yea!) They point out things that don't make sense. (Something to fix.) They point out things that make them laugh. (Yippee! I love making people laugh.)

They are giving of their time and knowhow to help me be better when they don't have to. I'm not paying them. There's the chance that I will one day be able to thank them on an acknowledgements page, and with their help it's more likely than without it. Still. It's a longshot. I've read and critiqued things for some of them but not all. There is the understanding that I will read things for them in exchange, and I will. I look forward to it, but that may be a ways off for some of them. And yet they are so generous with me that I'm amazed.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you!

Y'all are wonders.


12 comments:

Davin Malasarn said...

That's so great that you have valued readers, Lois! They have been infinitely helpful to me, and I can't believe how much they are willing to endure! Some of my writing partners have read 5 or more drafts of my novel. I owe them so much. Good luck!

Tamika: said...

Congratulations Lois! I'm pushing to reach that mark at the beginning of this year.

Looking forward to hearing about your query phase.

scott g.f.bailey said...

Lois, good readers are more valuable than gold! Like Davin, I've got a few people who've read multiple drafts and have always been willing to read more revisions.

Good luck with rewrites! Good luck with queries! When do we learn what your book's about?

Crimey said...

Agreed. Beta readers are invaluable. In a writing group, the novel is given out in pieces, but there's nothing like having a reader go through the whole thing in a short period of time. Hopefully at some point, I'll find some beta readers of my own for my second novel.

Tess said...

You were so helpful in your beta work for me - and it is a priviledge to repay that favor. The best part is how easy (and fun) this novel is to read -- not like 'work' at all :D

PJ Hoover said...

Beta readers rock. How exciting for you!

Lady Glamis said...

So great to have wonderful readers! I've read your first three chapters and loved them. Hop on chat soon. :)

Patti said...

Having others read my book was hard, but so worth it. It's made my writing better. Don't worry I'll be sending more in the new year.

Silicon Valley Diva said...

Congrats on making it this far! WTG!!! You are so fortunate to have such great readers.

Keep us posted and wishing you all the best :-)

sanjeet said...

Congratulations Lois! I'm pushing to reach that mark at the beginning of this year.
Work from home India

52 Faces said...

Hi Lois!

This year I'm hellbent on getting proficient, reliable beta readers. How did you get yours?

I surfed over from Natalie's blog :)

lotusgirl said...

The writing readers I've found through blogging. I tried an online critique organization, but it didn't really work for me. I didn't like their site. It was hard to maneuver.

As I have gotten to know people online and seen similar interests (or made friends), I've offered to read for them and asked if they would be willing to read for me. I'm now in an online crit group. It's just something that takes time. I've been blogging for about a year and a half.

The other readers I have are family. They are more for helping with flow and interest. They are more my target audience reader. I write YA, and I have a boatload of nieces and most of them are big readers. It's nice to get to try things out on them. Gentle but honest readers.