6 tips for using beta readers

Monique Hall

Before I had finished the third draft of my manuscript, I kept it from view in much the same way a vampire would shy away from the sun. Whenever someone would walk into the room, there would be a lot of hissing and flailing of arms attempting to protect the work in its infancy.

There came a time though, when I knew I needed fresh eyes on it. I knew the book wasn’t perfect, far from it. But I was at my wit’s end at figuring out how to make it so and, quite frankly, I was sick of looking at it.

Handing my manuscript over to my beta readers was not as daunting as I expected. I’ll admit, the first time I hit ‘send’ there were a few deep breaths and a bit of nail biting, but then it was a matter of sitting back and waiting for the feedback.

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If…

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Novel Fridays: Opening the Drawer

Tate Street

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Greetings, novelists! I hope you’ve had productive weeks.

As February comes to an end, we find ourselves three months out from the conclusion of NaNoWriMo. Now, it’s quite possible that you’re still working on your NaNo project–November 30 was simply a milestone for you and nothing more. Or, wherever you were in your manuscript when December rolled around, you decided to take a hiatus. You might still be on that hiatus.

After all, going back to a draft is something of a strange process. And it’s something we all have to in the course of writing novels. Effective revision is incredibly difficult without some distance from your work and the best way to create that distance is simply to put it away and think about something else for a while. Eventually, however, you’ll need to open that drawer again.

Hopefully returning to your draft feels like this. Ideally, returning to your novel feels like this.

Rereading your draft

In On Writing

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