Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baby Got Back





And by back, I don't mean a big ole booty that jiggles when you walk. Though I do have one of those too.









Nope. I mean, one sturdy, iron steel back bone. Because it's what you must have in this writing world right?



I'm getting mine nice and chiseled for next week, because I'm going to send my manuscript FOR THE FIRST TIME to a group of beta buddies.
Edit: Okay, scratch the "very first time" bit. I just realized that I have had a beta buddy before with the very first manuscript I ever wrote. Jordan McCollum (who is going to have her debut novel out in 2013!) She was one who thrashed me...in a good way, she was very kind through it all. But it was the most helpful thing I think I've had on my writing road thus far. I will be ever grateful for her:)
For those of you just starting out on your writing journey, a beta is basically a reader with fresh eyes. They haven't critiqued your work line by line, like your critter group. They haven't read any of it really. They're there to pick up on plot holes, pacing, the real nitty-gritty kind of stuff. The stuff that makes a book a page turner vs a dusty old thing forgotten on a book shelf.

So yeah.

Gulp.

I'm four days away from sending my baby out into the world. Am I scared? Heck yeah! But you know what? I'm more excited than anything else, because I'm ready to get the thrashings I need in order to make my book the best that it can be. I can't believe I've finally made it to this point. It feels sooooo good!

So what about you? Are you tough as nails when you send your blood, sweat and tears out into the world? Or are you so protective over it, that one negative slash to your pages will send you in a downward spiral? Maybe your somewhere in between? I'd love to know how the beta process works for you all.

22 comments:

Joanne said...

I'm always interested in reader feedback on my work. It often starts a dialogue where valid points are made, and if nothing else, it's worthwhile to see just how someone else connects to the story. Good luck with your Beta read!

Kelley said...

I'm pretty good when it comes to sending my work out. I know it's not perfect, some places probably not even close. And I truly appreciate the feedback. (As long as it's constructive :))

Good for you! And good luck with your betas!

J. A. Bennett said...

I think you'll find it to be an amazing growing experience. Good Luck!

Emily R. King said...

I'm learning that being tough as nails is hard to do, but best for the writer. I want writers to succeed, so sometimes that means picking on every little thing. Most of the time I critique something the writer was already worried about or not sure how to fix. Beta's hold a mirror up and point out the wrinkles so the writer can smooth them away. That being said, I critique lovingly. : )
I look forward to reading your book!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't worry - it will be all right! I have two beta readers and three critique partners and none of them have done me in yet.

Jordan McCollum said...

Aw, *hugs!* After that experience, I think you can take anything that people will dish out!

Loree Huebner said...

I have three words to take to heart in this situation:

Listen - Learn - Work (or rework)

Best wishes. You'll do great!

Connie B. Dowell said...

Good luck! Take a hard look at what your beta readers have to say and then make your own decisions. Don't be afraid of criticism and try to learn from it, but at the same time remember you are the author; it's your book. If there's a critique or suggestion that you feel isn't right for your story, trust your judgement. Most of all, don't overthink it. You'll probably recognize almost instinctively which of the suggestions are spot on and which ones aren't right for you.

Jasmine Walt said...

Working without feedback would be impossible for me. I'm so blind to my own faults that I know if I don't let others look at my work it'll be shot down as soon as I try to send it out to an agent.

Angela Brown said...

I won't say I've got a chiseled steel back held firm in place with a bone corset, but I've been run over the coals a few times so I can handle getting the hard news :-)

Elana Johnson said...

Yay, congrats on getting to the point where you need a beta reader! That's exciting.

And yeah. So many people critique and give me direction on my work, that I'm used to it. I'm not nervous or worried. I'm just scared I might not be able to fix what I need to.

Jaye Robin Brown said...

I think it helps to get your happy on about critiquing. Nobody's out to get you and even if you don't jive with everything said, every crit partner adds in some way, even if it's just catching a comma here and there.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I've only done the CP thing so far. I haven't reached the beta phase, but I'm excited. Although after my first CP finished the whole thing and had comments on the ending, it does make me nervous that the changes I've made aren't enough and each new person to finish won't like the end. Sigh. Oh well. That is what new readers are for. I am looking forward to having the big picture looked at.

Arlee Bird said...

That's pretty exciting. I wish you well with the book.
I haven't finished anything to be beta read yet.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Leigh Covington said...

Good for you Deana! That is great! I haven't officially got to this step yet, although I have done a little. It didn't take me long to develop thick skin. I truly love an honest critique. Sometimes I'm bummed or frustrated for a few, but I get it over - realize the value of the comments and work through it! :) GOOD LUCK with your betas!

alexia said...

Yes, you've got to have a thick spine in this industry! I'm sure you'll get lots of great feedback.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Good luck! I've got skin like an armadillo these days LOL:) That's fantastic that you're ready to ship it off for feedback!!

Christa said...

I love great beta readers. Good luck. It is hard but it is really the BEST thing you can do for yourself.

M Pax said...

Oh yes, a sturdy backbone is a requirement for a writer. The best to you on the feedback. It's a great step. No matter what they say, it's a growing experience.

Meredith said...

I've learned not to take constructive criticism personally. All of my betas and CPs want me to succeed, and I'm so grateful for that!

jamieayres said...

Yay for feedback! In my humble opinion, it's always welcome & needed at every stage! So it sounds like you are almost ready to query? Check out my blog for that agent contest (finally got my 100 followers) & please pass on if you know of anyone who'd be interested:):)

Fairday Morrow said...

Best of luck with your beta buddies! I am always excited and nervous when I send my work out into the world. I have come to love all feeedback because it helps me to grow as a writer and because my ultimate goal is to have the best book I can write. :)

~Jess
http://thesecretdmsfilesoffairdaymorrow.blogspot.com