I had a revelation this week. Rather, a revelation was given to me by someone else. I have devised a plan to both motivate myself towards the end of Manuscript: Beta and get a headstart on the review process with my beta readers and editor — all in one fell swoop!
Last weekend, a friend (who is also my editor) suggested that I send my second draft to beta readers a few chapters at a time as I finish up the full draft…
Why the hell did I not think of this three months ago???
She’s brilliant, which is why she’s my editor.
Oh, speaking of, I’ve agreed to terms with my proofreader/editor. She’s a friend and not a professional editor by trade, but is supremely qualified nonetheless (she teaches English). So of course I’m more comfortable working with her than someone I don’t know.
So I sent off the first three chapters earlier this week. I’m giving my readers two weeks to read and digest, at least starting out. We’ll adjust once I figure out their pace.
My beta readers have also expanded a bit. Aside from my four original alpha readers (who are amazing), I’ll be getting feedback from another friend who reads more fantasy than anyone else I know — will my novel stack up to the likes of Rothfuss and Sanderson???
Unlikely. But if this reader enjoys my story, I’ll know I’m on the right track.
My sixth reader will be Present Wife! She has been my sounding board throughout this entire process, so she knows the narrative and many of the gritty details. What she has not yet experienced, however, is my actual writing. She has a fine taste in books, so I am naturally anxious to know if she can actually stand my narrative prose. She’s had to listen to me babble about this world for four years now, so I think she is well prepared.
Actual Writing Update
Writing has been easier the last two weeks. Knowing that my beta readers can now tuck into my novel as I’m wrapping up has relieved a ton of pressure — which I have mostly placed upon myself.
I’ve gotten over my (self-imposed) stress of finishing my beta as soon as possible. if anything, beginning another round of read-throughs and revisions has reminded me that even once I am finished with the beta, there is still a lot more work to be done. My weekly goals still stand, however.