Something About Writing

GeminiWisdom had a question and I decided to answer it with a post in case there are anyone out there with the same question.

"Did you write all these stories at the same time? Are these novel-length? How did you find beta readers?"

No I did not write all of these stories at the exact same time. I'd be some sort of freak if I did that. Andra came first. Took two months to write, four months to edit. Black Diamond was started next, with Shipwrecked started soon after. Shipwrecked was finished first and then Black Diamond. I like to have two WIP because when I have writers block for one, I can usually work on the other. Of course if I have writers block for both then that whole system just falls apart. :) I do commonly have more than one editing and writing project going at once though. Like now.

Andra is definitely novel length. It started at 100,000 words and currently stands somewhere around 87,000. I'm hoping to get it down to 80,000 before querying continues. Some agents will hold a long length on a debut novel against a writer (but long debuts like Twilight show that, like always, things are not always set in stone). Black Diamond is more of a novella at 35,000 words. If I don't do a rewrite, then heavy revisions will hopefully bring it up to at least 40k. Shipwrecked is 50k which is a decent size novel.

As for where I find beta readers, most--actually all except for Andra's first reader--came from a writer's forum. Critique groups are also very helpful. I recently joined one and Andra has improved so much since then. A good beta reader is honest and helpful. They should be able to objectively read the work and offer suggestions to improve it. "It's good" is not an acceptable answer unless followed by a critique. There's always something wrong. You find typos and issues in published novels all the time. Novels that have been polished countless times by the writer and editor. We're all human and we all make mistakes.

Up and coming is that Bolt review and also a review for Uglies and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Well, maybe that last one will take awhile. I'm still on cloud nine after reading the finale and it's going to be a while before I can come down enough to write a review that isn't entirely comprised of "it's awesome! It's the next Harry Potter to me!" Seriously, I said things like that while I was reading it. THE LAST OLYMPIAN ROCKS!

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