When Sarah and I first started working on our novels, the prospect of sending our work off to our first readers was daunting. Downright terrifying. For some reason, despite writing to be read, I was afraid of people reading our work. And, I don’t know what exactly I thought would happen.
Maybe I was worried about our writing not being up-to-scratch. Or that the truth would come crashing down on us: We aren’t good enough to be authors. But, whatever I was worried about never came to fruition. And now I can say with conviction that beta-readers (or any readers) are invaluable.
One can edit and edit and edit, and read their own work over and over. But it’s not until one of your beta-readers get their eyes on your work that the real magic starts to happen.
This past week, I started working on feedback provided by our beta-readers for our novel The Price of Pandemonium. Already, the comments are constructive, and are helping us craft a much better story.
An objective pair of eyes pick up on things our own eyes miss. They put the situations into perspective. They ask us questions: How likely is that to happen? Isn’t that too much of a coincidence? What happened to Levi’s gun? Wasn’t there a dog wandering around before? All these things are easily overlooked when you’ve read your own story so many times.
Now that our third novel, Darkness, Set Us Free is undergoing the editing process, I’m getting excited about passing it on to our beta-readers in the near future. I can’t wait to see what they think, and find ways to make it even better.
Do you ever get nervous about other people reading your work? Let me know in comments below.
The past two weeks have flown by, even though we are still stuck in lockdown. On Tuesday this week, New Zealand moved to alert level 3, which basically means we’re still in lockdown but can get takeaway food. And, after jumping through several hoops, I get to go back to work next week. This is good news, because it means LabLife will be back! Even better news, I get to leave the house and go somewhere that’s not the supermarket (although work is still strictly socially-distanced with only a few people in my ‘work bubble’). But it does give me some hope that a return to normal life is on the horizon. Even if that horizon is months away.