Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Beta Readers

I finally have a first draft of my latest novel! I've done a couple of read throughs and made minor revisions. Now it's time for the beta readers, each of which brings different expertise to the process.
  1. Jeannine Norris - Jeannine is a picture book author, (TONIGHT YOU ARE MY BABY). Because Jeannine writes short, she's great at spotting awkward sentences, overused descriptions, and passages which need clarifying.
  2. Diana Sharp - Dr. Sharp is a reading researcher and creator of The Reading Machine, an iPhone/iPod touch/iPad app for beginning or dyslexic readers. My current protagonist has a reading disability and Dr. Sharp will lend her expertise to make sure I handle the disability in a realistic way.
  3. Cynthia Chapman Willis - Cindy is a novelist, (DOG GONE and BUCK FEVER). She's great at pointing out what's lacking in my manuscript: passages that need more description, characters that need fleshing out, and plot points that don't hang together.
All of my beta readers bring "fresh eyes" to my work. They'll uncover problems that I'd never see on my own.

I've been letting my life slide to finish this novel. It's time to take a couple of weeks and just breathe.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Groove Train

I'm on a writing "groove train." Within a couple of weeks, (God willing and the creek don't rise), I should have a draft of my latest novel.

Every writer's process is different. I was reminded of that this morning while reading my friend, Cynthia Chapman Willis' blog. Cindy has been revising by trimming her novel, (she compares it to a good haircut). I'll be revising by adding to mine, like working in a dollop of mousse to give it a little extra volume.

During revision, I'll see places that need more description, passages that should be drawn out, time gaps that should be filled. I don't understand how Cindy writes long, and she doesn't get how I write short, but in the end we'll both have completed novels.

Tell me about the process that works for you. Does your writing need plumping up or thinning out?