Today I’ve got jitters and it isn’t from too much green tea. I gave my manuscript to a Beta Reader.
Only one person has ever read the entire manuscript before ~ my daughter. Before you cry Foul!, you should know that just because I’m her mama didn’t stop her from giving me an honest critique of my work. If you want the brutal truth from a reader, she’s your girl. I think she’d make a fabulous editor, but right now her heart is with a bunch of preschoolers. Ah, well.
Still, having a family member read your work is different from having a Beta Reader go over it with red pen in hand.
While I hope she loves the story and thinks it’s amazing and awesome, I also hope she’ll rip it apart and point out where the flaws are in my story. Kill my darlings, please! Why am I such a sadist? Because she’s a true reader, not a writer, not an agent. She’s my target audience and if I can’t charm her, then I’ve got a lot of work to do before I can charm an agent or editor.
It took me a long time to garner the self confidence necessary to hand off my work and hope for criticism. I finally realized platitudes and empty words will not make my book better, nor will they help me as a writer to understand my weaknesses.
And so, with a dash of trepidation and a scoop of humility, I gave my novel to the reader. Geez, even typing that made my tummy flutter with excitement and terror. What if she really hates it? Am I just fooling myself into thinking my fragile ego can handle the disappointment? Time will tell.
Until then, I’ve got more work to do. Now that the MS is off to be critiqued, I need to come up with a query and synopsis. Two words that strike fear into the hearts of even the greatest writers. Not to mention I need a dazzling pitch and log line.
Earlier this week, Myndi Shafer blogged about coming up with a log line for her novels. The comments really got me thinking about my book and the fact that, after 300,000 words, I didn’t have a log line. O.M.G. I have to break down my novel into 25 words or less? Kill me.
Actually, I think I’ve got one, but I want to ruminate on it a bit more before I unveil it. In the meantime, share with us how you came up with your log line! Do you enjoy writing query letters? What about that dreaded synopsis, how did you tackle that little beastie. As I enter into this new phase of the writing world, I’d love it if you share with us your adventures in publishing.