Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’ Along

Note: I’m taking a break from my usual article format to do regular posts to update you on recent events. I may continue to do things this way for a while because I’m finding it more relaxing.

Man, the past few days have been busy. Corona’s face lift is done and while I wait for developments on The Three Safeties, Vessel, and Parallax to move along, I thought I would take some time to have a chat with you all.

I like where things are going with this new direction I’m taking. Sure, there was some cost involved, but that’s the price we pay to play in the sandbox so I have no regrets on that score. The current situation has been a wake-up call to me that I was growing complacent with my development as a writer and must be open to new techniques and experiences in order to improve my abilities. Old School Habits are hard to break and even harder to leave behind when they don’t serve their original purposes.

In for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose.

Since, I’ve crossed the first boundary (paying for a cover designer), I’ve decided to open myself up the prospect of finding a professional editor and someone to assist me in promoting my work. I’m taking things slow due to limited resources, but I am open to the idea. I still think Beta Readers and Critique Groups are somewhat of a waste of time because I don’t create based on consensus or committee, but that attitude may fall by the wayside yet.

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12 thoughts on “Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’ Along

  1. My beta readers are invaluable to me – and they’re mostly free! I find their advice very inspirational rather than stifling, actually, when they’re good betas. Heck, I call Austin my muse because I always talk out my book problems with him when I’m stuck, and he always has some beautifully simple response that fixes the issue. Another pair of eyes can be really, really good at speeding the creative process along. I do believe that I would come to the same conclusions myself inevitably, so I don’t feel like I’m creating based on consensus, but it speeds things up by months.

    So if you’re thinking of getting into that, reach out to your friends/family first. You will initially assume that you should use strangers, or some random writing group around town – after all, your friends will sugarcoat the truth, right? Well, I’ve tried it both ways and got equal objectivity out of both strangers and friends, but my friends were WAY more reliable when it came to returning feedback. Most strangers flaked out on me and never actually read my book. But my friends who beta’d for me continued to keep tabs on my progress, and are always there for me to bounce 2 AM ideas off of. You will have some people who are just cheerleaders (my mother is a terrible beta, because all she says is “it’s great!”) but then you’ll have friends who sink their hands in and talk to you for five hours about it. The fact that they care about YOU is very important, because it means they care about your work. A good beta is hard to find, but it’s absolutely magical when you find someone who is as passionate about, and who understands your work as well as you do.

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    • You make some good points there. I guess I’m so used to working alone that it’s difficult to conceive of allowing others into the Inner Sanctum…hehe.

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      • It was definitely scary to put my unpolished work out there for the first time. But I knew it was time when I hit a wall and I knew the story had issues but I didn’t have anything left to change.

        That’s not to say I always need help though. Usually I don’t have my short fiction beta’d. If I feel like everything has come out to the best of my ability, no need. But I do see betas as an extra chisel to help you shape your fiction into the shape YOU want it, if you’re unhappy with something and need an idea for where to carve next 😛

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