Saturday, November 20, 2010

Being read

So I've got a beta reader reading my story - a first for me. I've been looking for readers to give me feedback. I'm too close to the story, to the mechanics of it, to each word on the page to see where it doesn't flow well, or if I've used a particular word too often or if it doesn't make any sense! So many people are afraid to give constructive feedback, but writers need to know that the story is readable. If its interesting to someone else, well that's great. If it's good, if it's enthralling to them - icing on the cake. No, it's an amazing, wonderful, darn right cool experience to have someone read your work and they like it enough to keep going. She likes the characters. She gets them the way I intended for them to be understood. What a relief that is! She doesn't hate my style of description. Awesome.

It's a learning process too - damn, that learning thing keeps happening no matter how much I think I already know. No matter how carefully I think I've read the book for grammatical errors, my beta reader is finding more of them. Not a lot, thank goodness. I learned I'm using the word 'because' too often. I already knew I used 'that' too much and incorrectly, but she's finding them too. I love that she is finding mistakes. Sounds weird but it's what I need - really good mistake finders who aren't afraid to say this is no good here! You didn't put a comma there. This name has been used before somewhere so you need to change it.

Speaking of being read, my son's language arts teacher is allowing him to bring the kindle to school so he can read one of the books that's on it. One day, I hope all the books ever written will be available in electronic form, including the 20 pounds of text books my kids have to lug around. I know there's still the controversy and some writers just won't let it happen, but you know, save the trees people.

I'm re-reading, or trying to re-read one of my favorite books, The Sword of the Lamb, by M.K. Wren, book one of the Phoenix Legacy. Been trying to get my daughter to read it but she's got so much reading to do for school, she can't read for fun. She's writing her own book, or actually has written her own book, finished it and is editing it while she's getting started on the second. Not bad for a 17-year-old. Maybe once she's graduated it'll be easier to find time for reading. Maybe not. I'm not finding much time for it either.

Speaking of time...chores are calling.