The new school term has started and the house is quiet. Ah, the mixed emotions that come with this time of year as I balance out the absence of my wonderful kids with the peace and quiet I need to write. And write I have, finally getting back into the flow after a summer of jerky progress.
My manuscript is about to be sent out to another clutch of beta readers (to whom I am deeply grateful), with all the usual attendant misgivings on my part. I have found it helps if you attach a sheet of helpful hints for the poor souls who have to perform the impossible task of supplying you with the necessary feedback, good, bad and ugly, without smashing your fragile writer’s heart into a zillion pieces. I provide post-it-notes, pens, rubber bands and paper clips: anything to make the process easier for your betas. I also try to discuss feedback on completion of the manuscript as I find the critiques are far more insightful, and therefore more useful, whilst the beta readers are still caught in the story. Don’t leave it a week! Do it immediately! And, of course, thank them for their time and intellectual imput with tea and cake – this is the law.
Thankfully, the feedback has been positive so far, I am, however, taking the plunge and including a beta reader who is most definitely outside my target audience. I am braced for the worst.
So forgive my hit and miss blogging of late, and deepest apologies if I’ve been lax in answering any messages; not only am I powering on with my next book, but I’m also attending to all those snippy little rewrites.