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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sending It Out To the Beta Readers: Step Four of Revising

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It took me two months to fix the minor problems in my novel. Two whole months! Which is a lot longer than I wanted it to take. I think my biggest problem was procrastination. I don't know why I procrastinated, though. Reading through my entire WIP (again) wasn't that big of a deal. But it is sort of overwhelming, so maybe that's why?

Well it doesn't matter now, because I've finished! Woo hoo! It's just a matter of typing everything into Scrivener (the program I use specifically for my novel), which could take another two months. But hopefully not, because I am determined for it not to. However determination can only got you so far, before the thrill starts to fizzle out and you loose momentum. That's how it is for me, anyway.

Now, about step four, I'm pretty sure I've discussed beta-readers before, so I'll just do a brief summary of what they are.  Beta-readers are basically editors. Except they don't get paid for what they do. (That's what makes them so amazing and awesome. ;) With that said, anyone can be a beta-reader, as long as they enjoy critiquing other people's work and are good at it. I just happen to enjoy critiquing, so I like to swap stories with other people and edit their work while they edit mine. It's really a good system.

But this might just be the step I am most afraid of in the revision process. Imagine, sending your carefully crafted masterpiece out into the world only to have it slaughtered into a million pieces. Terrifying, I know. I haven't met anyone who deals with criticism well, so we all know my reaction to this slaughtering- I get defensive. I deny that I ever said that, and that "no, it's not stupid, you just can't see my reasoning behind it because you're too dumb". And all that is totally untrue. The fact is, when it comes to getting my novel (that I've worked on for almost a year and a half, mind you) critiqued, I can't accept that I did something wrong. It registers with failure in my brain immediately. I know I haven't failed, but it sure feels like it when reading those edits for the first time.

This is where a little trick that's been used by millions of authors around the globe comes in: forget about the critiques for a couple days. Don't do anything related to your novel. Go walking, running, biking, or shopping. Read books for fun. Bake. Anything but work on your novel. When you come back to it in a few days you should have a much clearer head and be able to see what your beta-readers are talking about.

So, here I come step four! And now I'm that much closer to finishing my novel and sharing it with you guys. Yay!  :D


  1. Glad you're getting so close to finishing! That's exciting =)
    I could imagine having people critique your work is a little scary... but I bet it's great!

    1. It is great! And exciting. And I can't wait to finish! I'm so close, yet so far away.

  2. Swiftie229/13/2013

    I really can't wait to read your novel! I bet it's awesome; considering how much work you're putting into it. :)

    1. Awww! Thanks so much! :')


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