Monday, October 25, 2010

Manic Monday--Revisions

So far so good. I've gotten amazing feedback/suggestions from my first BETA reader (who has read and critiqued my chapters as I completed them and also did the entire ms when I was done). I'm not finding the revision process too hard. I've cut out a good 3-3.5k in scenes that were good, but didn't really do anything in terms of moving the plot along. It was hard to let some of them go, but in the end, it's a better story without it and the pace is better.

I'm now awaiting the critique of my final chapters from BETA #2 and then I will send the entire ms through to that one and strum my fingers while I wait for that critique. Then it will be sent off to BETA #3 and then to my final BETA reader #4 (I think I'll stop there. Who knows, maybe I'll get one more). I think it is so insane for anyone to not use a beta reader or for anyone to believe that their work is so exceptional that they simply don't need one. The advice and feedback and support I have received from BETA readers has been INVALUABLE. I know I've been very lucky in getting the BETA readers I did. I've heard of people having horrible experiences with theirs. I think the key is to research them and get to "know" them carefully.

So how did I get my BETA readers??? With major cojones. Yep, I cheated. Well, I don't know if it's cheating so much as frowned upon, but hey, what can I say? I'm a friggin' New Yorker raised in Hell's Kitchen. Having balls comes with the territory (even if you're a girl :-))

I belong to this amazing site that seriously changed my life in terms of my writing. Absolute Write is the name, Reality Check is the game. If you are serious about writing and improving in your craft (no matter the genre, there's something there for everyone) you must join this site or one like it. The support and available knowledge is unlike anything I've seen. AND IT'S FREE. It's almost ridiculous that it's free, but I'll shut my mouth now before anyone gets any ideas :-)

Anywhoo...I spent a good amount of time in the SYW forum (Share Your Work). Reading people's critiques. It's amazing how much you learn from reading someone's shared piece and then reading the critiques that people give. I got brave one day and tried my own critiquing and some people actually started to appreciate my advice (or my 1 cent as I like to say). After months of watching and reading people critique, and then needing someone to critique my ms, I pm'd a couple of different people and asked them if they'd be willing to BETA read for me. I thought to myself, what's the worse that could happen? They'll say no. Luckily, none of them did and I've actually become GREAT friends with a couple of them.

Back to revisions...I think the reason I'm not finding it too difficult is because I trust my BETA readers whole heartedly (and my own writer's instincts too, of course). I know they are really looking out for me and my work and so when they make a suggestion, I KNOW it's to improve my story whether it be pacing, character development, tension building or whatever.

So that's where I'm at in the revision process. Thought I would dread it, but I actually find it enjoyable.


  1. Go Mel!! Beta readers are fantastic. I use my hubby because he's 10 brutal betas rolled into one. By the time he was finished with me my agent didn't have any changes! You're right, the advice is invaluable. Hope your revisions stay easy!

  2. Yeah! Absolute write is really awesome. And multiple betas are awesome! I have yet to find more than one, but I think I might use your advice and pm people. :D

  3. Glad your revisions are going well, and that you have such great betas!

  4. Yay for your betas! Btw, what's your AW name, Mel? I'll look for you there (I'm OctoberRain).

  5. Thanks for the comments guys :-)

    Jennifer, I'm MellyMel with an avatar of Aragorn and the caption, For Frodo!. Ha. Didn't realize you were there.

  6. Awesome post, Mel. I love my BETAS too!!

  7. Hi Melanie - I've found so many great blogs today. Just joined yours, as well. Good luck with the rest of the revisions. I gotta say, I love rewriting. So much fun.

    Happy Writing :-)


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