Beta readers – administrative post!

I have a question…

I’m wondering who uses beta readers to help in their writing process? If you do, where do you find them? What works for you and what is most helpful in the exchange with a beta reader? Is anyone interested in becoming one? Having one? Interested in exchange of beta reading services?

Okay, so that wasn’t true. I actually have many questions…

Alternatively (or in addition): is anyone involved in a writing circle/group that has been very helpful? Or would you be interested in creating one? Have room for one more in your group?

I would love to know what works for you! And if you have interest in combining our resources in some way, please let me know. I would be very happy to explore ideas about this. I tend to write fiction, mostly flash or short stories, but am open to beta readers (and to beta reading) of most genres and types of creative writing.

Happy writing and happy Friday!

 

 

Cool things to keep

There are times – hours, days, months if you’re lucky – when things seem to gel, and serendipity hovers one step ahead of you. Those times are precious. The past month has not been one of those.

However, I did want to share what I have found to be a really cool idea – it works well for me, and it may work well for others, too. Let me preface this by disclosing that I edit obsessively. It really is pathological. And one piece of advice that has been really helpful as I’ve fretted and despaired the loss of words, thoughts, angles, and concepts – has been ‘Don’t get attached to any particular sentence’ (I wish I could remember where I heard that first, and now I can’t find the exact quote). It’s been both painful and liberating to heed this advice. And I think I’ve hit upon a compromise that works: when I feel that for the sake of cohesion a certain sentence or paragraph or attribute needs to disappear, I copy and paste that part into a ‘Cool things to keep’ file, and let it sit (or fester). Then, if I decide to put it back in, it’s intact. If not, it can (and has) germinate into another story idea. It works well! I’ve now written a few new things after perusing this file.

It’s been a process to accept the need to cut while editing. It undoubtedly improves the final product, but man – is it ever torturous sometimes. I am one of those people who start with an image or a word, or – yes – a particular sentence – and build a whole story around that one idea. Having to cut the initial image or word or sentence that started the story is horrifying, quite frankly. And yet, it has sometimes cut the string that lets it fly in a better direction – or, er, out the window to disappear forever. Whichever.

Oh well, back to work. My collection of rejection letters needs some tending. Happy writing.