The benefits of beta-reading

I’m really happy to be immersed in my first beta-read. I’ve been looking for someone to swap manuscripts with for a few months but hadn’t found anything that was right for me. (Ie, that I could stomach reading all the way through.) Until I found E’s first chapter on the forums in Absolute Write. My first thought as I began reading was ‘I wish I’d thought of this!’

Could there be any better recommendation?

My second thought was that she could write. I was in the hands of someone confidently telling her story. She made it look easy. I’m still pretty stoked she has agreed to read my work because I know she will give me some much-needed help.

I immediately liked her two main characters and this afternoon they had me in tears. I’m desperate for them to get together, desperate for them to remain devoted friends – they’ve even got me reflecting on issues in my own life. Good work, E!

When I began reading the first chapters I balked a little. This is so much better than my MS….Why did I even bother writing a YA fantasy? my critic began. I haven’t built my world enough, I thought. I don’t know it well enough.

And so it seems that reading E’s MS has already given me some clarification. I need to do more world building (began yesterday, ‘check’), I still need to rewrite the areas where I madly drafted and have yet to flesh out into scenes. I need to face up to where I have gotten stuck and not worked hard enough at getting unstuck.

And I also need to keep making connections out there in cyber-space where more and more writers are coming together to help one another create great stories.

What’s your online hang-out?

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