Posts Tagged With: writer life

Beta Readers, A Method

Beta readers provide feedback prior to querying or before self-publishing. They often provide invaluable pointers regarding a manuscript, though some might also be slackers. It happens.

Currently, I’m wrapping up additional revisions to my sci-fi novel, Heritage Lost. This has been a long ongoing project that undoubtedly, if you routinely follow my blog, you’ve read about and might be wondering “How long is she going to ticker with it?” Well, after continuing to hit a brick wall in querying process, I dialed back and decided to complete a portion of the writing process that most writers complete: aka the beta reader process.

I skipped over this not because I hadn’t seen any value to the process, but due to some personal hang-ups (I’d been burned once) and my alpha readers had all been extremely positive. However, when I received a string of basic form letter rejections, I decided I needed more eyes on it — specifically reader eyes. My alternative motive was I’m deeply considering self-publishing. It is still my goal to query more agents and a couple of publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts, but I’m also viewing self-publishing as more viable, and I wanted an idea of how my book might be received by a variety of readers.

So I embarked on the beta reading process and gleaned quite a bit from the experience, with some readers confirming some of the concerns I harbored on a few points after my last read-through. I also learned a lot about the beta reading process, and what I’d do differently next time. Continue reading

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Counting Down To GenCon

The weekend is almost here and I can’t wait! This Friday I will be attending another Next Indiana Campfires event, which marries literature, nature and the Indiana Bicentennial. Then on Saturday, I get to go to GenCon in Indianapolis!

I made it to the Next Indiana Campfires event in my home community, which was hosted by the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail, and enjoyed a roughly 5-mile hike around Syracuse Lake, drinking in nature and several piece of poetry from Indiana poets. I also had the good fortune of meeting Indiana’s current poet laureate, Shari Wagner, who was the facilitator for that event.

I enjoyed the event so much that when I saw they were hosting a walk in Prophetstown State Park near my alma mater, I had to sign up. Along the way, I enlisted my brother and sister-in-law to join me — the more the merrier, right? Once again, Wagner will be the facilitator, but I’m hopeful that she will have a brand-new selection of poems to go with the landscape of Prophetstown. Another perk to this particular excursion? Two words: campfire dinner! Yum!

Somehow, we (my brother, sister-in-law and myself) will then be getting up early to head on over to Indy and GenCon. While they hit up the games, I will be attending seven writing seminars: The Pros & Cons of Electronic and Self-publishing; Inside Publishing; The Role of Agents; Representing Unconscious Character Motivation; Structuring Life to Support Creativity; Selling Your Stories to the World; and Maintaining Mystery Without Losing Your Audience. Needless to say, I’m super excited. I had made room for personal development in my writing business plan for 2017, so I am getting a head start, but the opportunity just fell into place. Stay tuned because I plan to share what I learn!

Is anyone else heading to GenCon and planning to attend some of the writer seminars?

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