I am in need of beta readers.
For those of you who don’t know what a beta reader is, it’s someone who reads your draft before you’re ready to submit and offers feedback.
I could force things on my usual fall-backs: my mother, for example, or my ex-boyfriend, my friends from high school. But I’m asking for help because I want to a) give them a break from “here, read this!”, b) give other people the opportunity to see what I’m working on, and c) get new perspectives. (That doesn’t mean that if you’re one of these people and you’re reading this and WANT to be a beta reader that I’ll exclude you. I do love you guys, after all.)
I need about five beta readers to feel like I’m getting adequate feedback (I can go with more to a certain point, and I prefer not to go with less). This is an unpaid position, although if my book gets published my beta readers will all get autographed copies for sure.
I have a few things that I am looking for in a beta reader, and a few things that I’m not asking. Continue reading
The beginning of December always brings what some people call a Nanowrimo hangover. It’s the feeling of “now what” that comes with having completed 50k words in 30 days. At this point, the insanity is over.
So I’ve finished NaNoWriMo. I’m pleased with the way that it turned out, and although I did get my 50K words, I’m still working on the story. It’s turning out so very nicely. I can’t wait for some of the twists that have been trying to show themselves. I’ve just been through a difficult breakup. I feel like I can talk about it now that it’s over and resolved “successfully”. But that was what was so very emotionally draining for the entire second half of November. And in some ways, it was also very motivating for my writing because pushing so hard for word count kept things from being worse than they were. I survived Thanksgiving with a minimum of family drama (my family does not share my political or religious views that I don’t discuss here so there is always drama).
So now it’s time to answer the “now what?”
Now I finish the rest of the story. It’ll probably end up being an 80k-word novel, when all is said and done.
Now I work on a query letter because I really need to get published soon.
Now I learn how to be lonely, and I imagine that all that time and effort I was putting into a struggling relationship might find new expression in writing and reading.
Now I start looking for new ideas, new projects that I can work on when I’m done with this one.
Now, I move forward.
I took a few days off after winning Nanowrimo to enjoy Thanksgiving and having my cousin and her family in town. I’m still feeling pretty pleased with myself for managing to accomplish all 50k words.
One of the admins on the unofficial Nanowrimo facebook group posted a prompt today that got me thinking. ”I want to be the kind of writer…” and we were supposed to fill in the blank. I was surprised by how easily my answer came to me.
- I want to be the kind of writer that can write full-time and pay my bills doing what I love.
- I want to be the kind of writer that treats her fans well because I’ve been treated very well by some of the finest authors in my genre and it’s done wonders for my confidence.
- I want to be the kind of writer that helps other writers.
- I want to be the kind of writer that brings hope to people like me, and enjoyment to all my readers.
- I want to be the kind of writer who makes a difference.
Answering the prompt really didn’t require much thought on my part because over the last two years or so I’ve done a lot of thinking about this very subject. I know what sort of writer I am and want to be, because it’s who I am. Every other job I’ve ever taken, every other hobby I’ve pursued, it all comes back to doing and being THIS in the end. I am and always have been a writer.
Now I just want to be the kind of writer that gets paid.
The query letters are in the works.
Soon. Very soon.
I’m sitting here crying.
Not everyone cries when they manage to complete 50,000 words of writing. And I’m certain that between blogging and other social media, writing, and roleplaying I manage to write 50k on a regular basis. But as I said in my last entry, winning Nanowrimo has a lot of emotional implications for me this year. I haven’t won since 2009. More than that, I haven’t completed anything of any real noteworthiness in the last four years. It’s been a very difficult journey lately, and to finish something this big, that means this much to me, is a big deal. My health forced me to drop out of college, and it has cost me a few jobs since the divorce as well. But it hasn’t stopped me from winning Nanowrimo.
Some people might say, “it’s just fifty thousand words, you don’t get any real prizes for it, and the novel isn’t even finished yet”. Well, no. It’s not finished yet. There are still about fifteen thousand more words of story left. Maybe a little less. But it’s 50k words closer to being finished. Edited. Submitted. Published. I’ve hit a point in my life where writing is becoming truly do-or-die, and being able to stick with Nanowrimo, to be dedicated to writing a significant amount every day, is a huge step on the way to making writing do what I need it to do for me. As far as real prizes, well, who cares? There are some little goodies that winners have access to, like discounts at Createspace and whatnot. But the euphoric sense of accomplishment is prize enough for me, at least tonight. Getting this project published in the next year would be an even bigger prize.
My first project for December is to get a good query letter together. I’m not stopping here, not resting on my laurels.
So I’m sitting here crying, because I finished something that actually means something for the first time in years, something that is a huge step to greater and grander things.
I’m also sitting here eating pumpkin cheesecake in the bookstore cafe. It is my reward to myself for a job well-done.
Victory is delicious.
I have good NaNoWriMo news. I just hit 45k. This puts me ahead of the par for today (43.3k). Not only that, but it was a 9k day yesterday catching up. I will have won Nanowrimo for the first time since 2009 very soon.
I have some serious momentum built up behind me right now and it is possible that I will hit 50k before midnight. And if not midnight, then it is doable before I go to sleep for sure. And even if I should happen to get tired and a little brain-fried, by latest I think sometime tomorrow I will hit that 50k mark.
There are so many thoughts running through my head right now about what this all means to me. But I don’t want to count my eggs before they hatch, so I’ll save them for the post I will inevitably make when I do hit that 50k mark.
For those who want to follow the last 5k words of my progress, I’ve been keeping a running commentary on Facebook, and to a lesser extent Twitter (which you can see on the right-hand side of my blog, too).
50K isn’t going to be the end of the book, though. Which means I may just see how big a margin I can give myself by the 30th on that win. :)
I’m about 3k words behind as of writing here this morning. Right now, the fact that I am behind and need to catch up is one of the few things in my life that makes any sense to me, so it’s a good thing to focus on. The best news is that I have all day to catch up, and that time includes a nice, quiet write-in at the local library.
I know I haven’t said much here in a few days. Right now I am going through the worst flare-up of fibromyalgia that I have ever had, and dealing with a lot of emotional pain going on in my personal life. I’ve been trying to conserve my spoons (see spoon theory), and so a lot of things (like blogging) have fallen by the wayside. I’m slowly starting to feel better and getting back into the routines I’ve been trying to make for myself. Would still like to curl up in a ball for a week and then try to deal with everything, but that would be too much like admitting defeat, I think, and I don’t have that luxury.
So wish me luck in getting through the next ten days. Both my mental and physical health are trying to turn against me right now and I refuse to let it happen without a fight.
Had an odd Friday/Saturday that consisted of a bad fibromyalgia flare-up and my not remembering much or being able to think very well. This is known as fibro fog, and it’s almost worse than the constant pain. The pain has also very much been present, as well as the dratted sensory hypersensitivity that makes it all worse. Needless to say, it had NOT been a very productive weekend so far. It’s hard to sit and type for any amount of time in that condition. I managed maybe a total of 200 words on Friday and Saturday.
Today I woke up and took a look at my word count to find that I was exactly 4k words behind of the 16,667 I need to be at by the end of today. And although I am still very much foggy and in pain, there’s this little part of me that refused to bow down to the tyranny of the fibro. I’m still not caught up yet but I’m getting there.
One of the biggest challenges I’m facing in the writing itself at this point is that the last few hundred words I’ve written have revealed to me that the way I had my magic system, and the way the magic system actually is in this world, are very different things indeed. Now, I’m content to keep the new way, because it’s better and it’s awesome. But it’s requiring a shift in thought and a shift in outlining because it changes the entire course of things. I’ve not had much brainpower for paradigm shifts these past few days, so instead of flowing the way the previous 12k words had, now it feels like every word is being extracted like a stubborn tooth without anesthesia.
I’m tempted to scrap the idea, delete the last few hundred words, and use it in a different book. It’s got merit, but I’m not sure that it belongs in the story that I already had going. However, I feel like I could maybe build an entire different world around a magic system like that. I’m going to need SOMETHING to work on after I’ve finished this series, after all. So I guess I have a decision to make today… and might need to spend more time writing than anticipated to catch up.
Thank goodness I am just awesome enough to pull it off, right?