Writing to a Deadline Part 8: “Calling in the Beta Reading Army”

If you’re just hopping into the insanity that is my writing life, check out my previous “Writing to a Deadline” posts or this won’t make sense.

I was happily surprised when I sat down to edit, that I had very few things to change.  Mostly typographical errors and little things like switching sentence structure to make it flow better.

The one scene that I purposely wrote as “tell” took a little time to work out, but it’s finally done.

So, I took a deep breath, and called in a Beta-reading army.  Crossed genres and ages.  These are all people I have a fairly high trust factor with:

Two are currently mercilessly ripping apart my novel and making great comments

One is a college professor who teaches creative writing (She has never read my work)

One is a Romance/ Middle-Grade soon to be publisher author who hasn’t read my work (she’s there for that kissy stuff I’ve never done before)

A memoir writer, who also has not read my work

A High Fantasy writer (my writing buddy for the past year or so—-who’s sick of reading my work) (ONLY KIDDING!)

My first ten pages will also be reviewed by three people in a critique group who I’ve never met before.

It’s kind of like submitting to a publisher, but you know these people will get back to you.

Funny, I was more nervous about this beta-read than I was about my novel.  Probably because I feel deep down, that the story is pretty solid.  After dissecting the Gold Mine Manuscript for seven months, I think I know what NOT TO DO.  The question is… did I write what I THINK I wrote.

I also have that deadline looming over my head.  And I don’t want to wait until the last minute… just in case the publisher decides to close for submissions early.  It’s enough to make you a nervous wreck.  Will I have time to make all the changes they might suggest? (If I agree with the suggestions, of course)

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10 responses to “Writing to a Deadline Part 8: “Calling in the Beta Reading Army”

  1. That’s very brave of you! I’m sure they’ll say nice things, tempered with ‘but’ (or if they’re very tactful, ‘and’). I’d like a critical group myself actually. How did you set one up, so to speak?

  2. Beta readers are critical for success! Hopefully you will get good concrete comments that will help you fine tune the final manuscript!

  3. I’m sure they’ll love your work. 🙂

  4. My fingers are crossed for you Jennifer, but I know it will all work out. Can I ask where you find your beta readers? I have only one and although she’s great and has good command of the english language, she’s not a writer and I don’t think she digs as much as she should. Been trying for some time to find one or two more people but so far, I only got one response from someone will to do it for a fee, which I can’t afford.

    Anyways, sorry to take over your comments with my problems…I really enjoy reading your posts and know that your submission is going to kick ass! 🙂

    • I’ve found a few here on my website just by stating I was looking. I have several that I picked up on Nathan Brandsford’s website. There is a forum of people looking for critique partners. Normally, the “payment” is my critiquing their manuscripts in return. These people (God Bless Them) are doing these as a favor. If you cannot find the nathat forum, let me know and I will send you a link.

  5. “The question is… did I write what I THINK I wrote.” –This is always the question in my mind. Did I actually convey what I think/hope I did? Please, please, please…(sound of me hoping). 🙂

  6. Thanks for the shout, Jennifer. 😉 Great post series.