Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Back from the Land of Writing...

Last week was very productive in terms of writing. I finally hooked in some sections that had been revised and were just hanging out there. So one step closer to having the first section of the novel "finished" and ready for a full edit.

All that progress was very good thing; especially since I left my flash drive at my parents when I was there this past week--so no writing for me until I get back there this weekend. It is a convenient excuse to be sure. The weather here has been very gray and honestly, I haven't had much inspiration or energy for that matter. I haven't even been "mental writing." So I guess this is what you call a case of the winter doldrums...or winter writer's block. As much as I like frigid weather, I'm actually looking forward to warmer weather and sunny days. Too bad that after a few 65 degree spring days, the thermostat explodes to 100. That's what I get for living in the south.

Even though I haven't been writing this week, I have been plotting my next moves in terms of getting my manuscript ready to go. I've pulled together a list of fifty agents and have ranked them A,B, or C. Sadly, I think there were more A's than B's or C's which defeated that whole exercise.

I also think getting a few betas would be a good next move. I had one who bailed on me after the first six chapters (due to their own writing projects), and I had one for the first 50 pages only (which was extremely illuminating). But finding a dedicated beta reader is always a challenge. Even I haven't exactly been loyal to the one project that I picked up to beta, but that is an entirely different story (or at least that is what I tell myself.) And then I've farmed portions of the manuscript out to friends and family. Friends you may be able to count on for honesty, but family...not so much.

I think having a historical fiction MS makes it even harder to find a good beta. While some folks do like to read historical fiction, they may not always be the most informed about your time period. Which can cause difficulties...especially for writers like me who totally immerse themselves in the period. the words of Tony Soprano, "Whadda ya goin' to do?" *shrugs*

So have you worked with a beta reader in the past? Was it an illuminating experience or a catastrophe?

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