Posts Tagged ‘beta readers’

I’ve been neglectful in my ROW postings lately. I’ve been very busy at work getting ready for new software, which I know is going to be a nightmare. There’s been SO much data entry for things that couldn’t be imported from our old system. Hours and days of mind-numbing data entry.

Anyway, quick update. I typed “The End” on a novella written under my other pen name. Now comes the editing.

I’ve had a story for an anthology finished for a long time under that same pen name. Due to beta readers vehemently disagreeing with each other on major points in that story, I’ve let it percolate for awhile, hoping I can see it with new eyes. The first beta reader really tore it apart, which has never happened to me before. But then three other beta readers completely disagreed with the first one’s assessment. Then two of THOSE three beta readers disagreed on another point. Three beta readers loved my hero, one hated him. One beta reader had a problem with rich/poor class differences in the story, none of the others did. I’m at the point right now that I think I’m going to chuck most of what any of them said and do it my way. Not really. I always consider the advice of beta readers. I just won’t know until I look at it again, which I’m going to have to do soon because the deadline is coming up. I think this is the last anthology I’m going to do. It’s too much stress.

I’ve started writing more on the Soul of a Vampire sequel since I finished my other WIP.

And I have so many books to line edit for clients right now! This is a good thing.

Okay. Done now.


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You know, I used to blog all the time. Fun posts. Interesting posts. Now, it seems all I do is ROW80 updates. Not that those aren’t important! They are. But if that’s all I blog about, then I’m reaching only authors and not non-author readers. I need to change that. I don’t know what happened along the way to make me stop. Probably just too much stuff to do and not enough time. Hopefully, the full time job will slow down a bit in the next week or two.

Now…about that ROW80 update. I haven’t written any words yet, except for edits on my mystery. I just finished that, and I need to get it to beta readers. (I haven’t asked any of them yet.) I had a name picked out for my little town, but unfortunately, Kait found a series by the same name (Pine Hollow). And I want this to be a series about this town. I would LOVE to hear some ideas for a small town name. Throw some at me! Even if you want to be silly and give me goofy names, it will still be fun. 🙂 I should have had this name decided before I started writing, but it just wouldn’t come to me, and I didn’t want my zeal for the story to run out while I was piddling around thinking of a name.

Hopefully, when I get the proofreading jobs done, I can get back to some serious word count on my WIP.

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Here it is the last day of August, and I’m wondering where this year has gone! I’m sitting here already ready for church. I’ve made and ate breakfast with hubby (biscuits and gravy, a treat every couple of weeks), already walked on the treadmill and ready to go! 🙂

Fire Wizard is now with beta readers. I’ve already had one person come back and say they couldn’t put it down so they stayed up late reading it. That’s a good thing, right? The cover is practically done, just a little tweaking needed. I can’t wait! I plan on having a Facebook release party, but this time, I’m not going to do it myself. More about that later.

I spent hours yesterday reading a tutorial on Scrivener. I’m still not sure if I’m going to get it (I have the trial version), but I’m leaning toward it since somebody told me I could convert the file for my print book (with page numbers) as well as ebook formats. It’s only $40, which is a bargain considering all the bells and whistles it comes with. It would be a great tool for those who are serious plotters. But it’s good for pantsers who need to plot just a little.

What’s up with y’all?

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Is September almost here? Wow, where did the summer go? But I’m really looking forward to fall. The cool breezes, the colorful leaves, Halloween.

I’ve been hard at work, reading through Fire Wizard before I send it out to beta readers. Here’s the problem. I’m finding little typos and places where I want to reword stuff. But I’m not finding any major changes that need to be made yet. I know when the love scenes (NOT sex scenes) come up, I’ll need to expand a bit on those. But the actual story up to this point seems pretty tight. I always worry about this because everyone always talks about revisions and rewrites, etc., so I think I’m supposed to do those, too. But I rarely have to do any major overhauls. Which makes me wonder if I just don’t see those things. And, yet, my two MAIN beta readers are VERY good authors, and they don’t usually suggest anything TOO major, either. And I respect their opinions a LOT. Have I just been doing this so long that my first draft is already pretty tight? Is it because I’m an “edit as I go” writer? We are told not to do that, but here’s what I usually do. I don’t edit the chapter I’m working on. But before I start a new chapter, I always go back to the chapter before and make changes that need to be made, while that part of the story is still fresh on my mind. Maybe that’s why the first draft is close to ready. Because I’m already tweaking it while I’m writing it. I just don’t know. Maybe experience plus continual tweaking is the reason. I hope that’s it instead of me just being too clueless to see I need to fix stuff. Again, I trust my beta readers, and they would tell me. And who knows, maybe they WILL find something that needs major overhauling in this one. (I hope not, LOL.) We’ll see. I can’t wait to see what they think.

What about you? Do you just spit out words as fast as you can and THEN do revisions, or do you constantly tweak as you go like I do? (That doesn’t mean I don’t sprint sometimes, but I would go back and fix everything the next day, LOL.) I would love to know if there’s anyone out there like me or if I’m just weird. Really, really weird. LOL

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I’ve missed a couple of updates because there wasn’t much to report. I’ve been out of town, and if you want to see pictures, check out my previous post. Anyway….

I finished edits on Hearts of Evil. Here’s the publishing holdup. My two beta readers strongly disagree on a chapter I inserted close to the beginning after the book was written. One beta thinks I should take it out, the other thinks I should leave it. They both have VERY valid reasons for their opinion. And I just can’t decide. So I’m having a couple of other people take a look and see what they think. I know the ultimate decision is mine, but it’s hard when both beta readers could be right for different reasons. The good thing is, they both really liked the story. 🙂 Another thing that’s holding me up is I want to do a FB release party, but I have to get all the prizes together. Luckily, I have most of what I need since I can’t afford to buy anything else right now, but it’s the putting everything together that will take a little time. I want to thank Ruth Ann Nordin for giving me some good ideas about questions to ask for the release party.

Now on to my other project. I sat down and wrote the first chapter of Fire Wizard last night. I don’t know why I always have this fear when I start a book. I’ve done this a dozen or more times, but I’m always scared to death when I start. Well, I didn’t used to be, but I’ve felt that way for the last two or three projects. I need to get over this silliness!

I hope to get in about 5,000 words per week now that I’ve actually started on the book. I hope you all are doing this with less fear than I am!

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I FINALLY finished the first read through of Hearts of Evil. Yes, I have a title! I added a scene between the prologue and the current first chapter. If the beta readers think the scene adds to the story, it will become the first chapter. I found a few errors, but not as many as I thought. I sent the story to two of my beta readers today. I had already sent a non-edited copy to another one. I have one more to send it to. My two major beta readers are very thorough and always have a lot of suggestions for edits. I hope they will be gentle. LOL. I have a few concerns about this story, and I hope the betas can help me address those concerns. I have no cover art yet, but Anya is working on that.

There is a lot going on with my husband right now, and I’ve purposely withheld a lot of it for a couple of reasons. 1) It’s the holidays, and I just didn’t want to bring anyone down with all of this. I also tried to forget a lot of it, and I managed to enjoy Christmas with family and friends. 2) I don’t want anyone to think I’m whining or trying to get sympathy. When I’m ready to share, I’ll do it because I feel close to all of you and WANT to share. But after the holidays. We are going to enjoy these holidays all the way through the New Year.

Next year, I’m going to set deadlines for myself. I let myself get very lax with my writing this year, and because of that, it took me a whole year to get my latest book done. I’m used to publishing more than that, so this didn’t feel good to me. I’m going to be stricter with myself in 2014, but I’m going to make sure I allow for possible setbacks that might be beyond my control.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas (if you celebrate it) and let’s all have a fun New Year’s Eve.

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My tentative date for e-publishing Soul of a Vampire is Thursday, October 4. That’s one week from today. Notice I said “tentative”. It seems like something happens most of the time when an author sets a particular date for publishing. There are some issues pointed out by beta readers that I need to tend to. I have to decide which suggestions I want to take and which ones I disagree with. I usually agree with most of them. The funny thing is, my two main beta readers didn’t have issues with the same things. (This doesn’t count simple typos, which they both might have caught.) There was only one sentence in the entire manuscript that they BOTH thought should be changed…and they each changed them slightly differently. There was a phrase they thought should be put in a different part of the sentence, but they put them in different places! What I DO know is that both of their sentences sounded better than mine did. LOL The point I’m trying to make in such a long-winded way is how important it is to have more than one beta reader.

I’ll probably do a giveaway with free ebooks and swag not long after SoaV is published. It depends on when the “swag” is ready. LOL. ALSO…I’m planning a Halloween giveaway mid to late October featuring my book, The Gnome, and the grand prize is totally cute. At least I think so. 🙂

That’s all for now. Most of you have been awfully silent the last few days. Where are my people? LOL

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I’m back from the ladies’ retreat. Although I had fun, I had a much better time with Anya last weekend. Too many people together for a long period of time wears me out, and there were 23 of us. And I didn’t like the person to bathroom ratio. But still, fun was had. And the game room! The cool thing was the arcade game. It had all the old ones. Centipede, Galaga, Space Invaders. (Some of you are too young to remember those!) There was a pool table, foosball, and air hockey. And a big screen TV. 🙂

I’m putting off looking at what the beta readers marked in my manuscript. LOL. One of them that liked it a lot said there were still some issues I needed to address. I’m just too tired right now. I was awakened at 3:00 this morning by someone falling off the top of a bunk bed (she’s fine), and I couldn’t get back to sleep. Then there was the 3 hour drive home for church.

My cats are still doing fine since their surgeries. I still can’t believe how fast they bounce back. After two days, they acted like nothing had happened.

I’m now certified in First Aid. I took a four hour class last Wednesday.

That’s all for now.

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There’s not much new to report. One beta reader is finished (and she loves my story!), and one is halfway finished. I haven’t worked on getting Vampires’ Curse ready for print since I was at the cabin. The frustration of the page numbers just overwhelmed me, so I’m still trying to decide whether or not to add the extra pages to make the chapters all start on the right side. Most people who commented on my blog post said they didn’t care where a chapter started.

All in all, I’m happy with where I am with my goals for this round. Except for exercise goals. Those are the ones that always suffer.

On an unrelated note, my cats are fine after their surgeries, just lying around a little more. Oz had this huge hernia removed, so he was a little worse than if he had just had the neutering. They both slept with me last night. 😉

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The Gnome is finally available on Smashwords. The Gnome

Writing and editing this book has been a long and trying process. It was out of my normal genre, but I did it anyway. LOL. One of the things I worried about the most was how I would do on the action scenes. And the funny thing is, one of my beta readers said those were the parts she thought I excelled in. Go figure. I’m still really worried about how this book will be received. My two “author” beta readers both said they were always waiting to see what would happen next, so hopefully I can keep at least some people entertained. An “avid reader” beta reader really liked it, too. My other beta reader…I’m not too sure about. She really doesn’t like horror at all, but agreed to read this one since she’s read the rest of my books. She’s still waiting on the Christian romance I’m going to publish under a different name. That’s the kind of thing she likes. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve already revealed the cover, so I won’t put a huge picture in this post. Hopefully, Amazon will have it on their site tomorrow (they’re a lot faster than they used to be), and who knows about B & N. Now, it’s on to writing more on my WIP!

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