I’ve reached the halfway mark on my edits of SH. I’m hoping to have this manuscript ready before the agencies go on leave for the holidays. I want to at least, have my first choices looking it over. Editing is both a complicated and a joyful process for me. Complicated: because there’s the fixes and blending the new parts in just right. Joyful: because I know that the finished project will be the best that it can be.
I can’t say enough about how much the beta readers helped me in this process. Catching little as well as bigger mistakes, calling me on things when they seem overdone or not plausible, and encouraging me to not give up. It is a tremendous help to any writer to have this kind of feedback. Although just anybody reading your story won’t work: you want to look for someone honest and constructive in their criticism not someone who will tear your work-in-progress apart and condemn you as a writer.
Trust me, I’ve had both kind of beta readers. I love the ones that are tough but tell me when I’m doing something wrong or it’s too farfetched. Those that are in it for the tear-down destroy your confidence and cause a setback on your growth as a writer.
So as I cruise along on edits, I’m holding on to the fact that I have had good people take a look at the manuscript and challenged me to make it better. So where are you on your stories? Do you use beta readers? How well do you listen to what they have to say and implement it into your work? Look at it as this, beta readers are your fist on-lookers before you get to the agent. The agent’s, no doubt, going to have more suggestions and then the editor when you reach that stage. Best to get used to doing the edits and paying attention to the details that need smoothed out. You’ll make your work shine that way. Good luck on your own.