Some of you might remember Kenneth Mark Hoover from his guest post helping me roast Jennifer Brozek. This blog entry discusses my time as a first reader for his Haxan weird western series. Hope you enjoy it and please check out the series if you get a chance.
Archive for the ‘Beta Reading and Critique’ Category
Posted in Beta Reading and Critique, Business End, Community Involvement, Face Time, Lessons Learned, Promotion, Reviews, The Practice, Time Management, Website setup, Writing Life, tagged beta reading, critique, Lessons Learned, networking, reading, review, Time Management, writing, writing communities on December 1, 2009 | 15 Comments »
December though is about action. As you saw in my last post, I have some pretty definite goals to reach this month. They are not all I need to accomplish. I also realize that my writing time might be compressed during certain periods of the month. I’ve been planning for this. I want to get it done. I want to meet these goals. If I accomplish these, I will have done more than I planned to get to in my writing for the year. I also need to map out next month and the first half of next year.
This is where November comes back in. In a previous post I mentioned what I was contemplating last month. “November will be about introspection, gratitude, and growth. What are my goals as a writer? What have I accomplished this year? What have I failed to achieve and why? What will I work on next year? How will I get there? What should I continue to do? What should I drop?”
Let’s take these one at a time. My goals as a writer are pretty simple. I want to write quality dark fiction and get it in the hands of readers that will enjoy it. I want to learn, grow and continue as a practicing writer. I want to help others in their writing journey.
This year I’ve become a better review writer. I have promoted the works of others. I finished one story and have seen its rejection. I have mapped out several others. I have made better use of available social networking tools. I’ve made new connections, strengthened old ones, and added to what I hope will one day be my fan base. It is currently one heck of a support system/cheering squad. I built one website for another writer and created my own. I joined a small writing group and have managed to be an active participant. I have continued to beta read for a couple of people outside of the group and am improving my editing skills as I go.
So far, I haven’t finished the stories I wanted to this year. The bottom line is poor time management and lack of commitment to the practice of writing, in this case I mean words on screen/page/ whatever. I’ve been working on this during the last part of the year. Really there is nothing to it but to do it. I see my fiction page, and I lament that there isn’t more there for you, my readers and friends to go chase down. I am not diminishing my one, sold story. I am just frustrated that I haven’t sent more out this year. Maybe next year I will get to gripe about the tons of rejections I’ve gotten. I will be proud of that!
I think the previous entry and what is written above covers what my goals are for the remainder of the year, and as I am trying to set the pace for the coming year, you get a pretty good idea of my goals for the next. If you are on my LJ beta filter, then you will be getting more on this in detail. I will accomplish this by managing my time wisely, setting realistic goals, and honoring my commitment to the practive.
I will continue to work with social networks to broaden my audience and make more connections. I will also explore what I can do with my website to include the featured folks segments next year. I will continue to promote others and remain active in the crit group. I will stick with my beta reading. I will continue to run my writing community, Lobo_Luna on LJ. I will write more reviews and query zines to see if they are interested in them for publication. Most importantly, I will write. I will finish stories. I will redraft them and send them out into the world.
I am not sure what I should drop at this point. I think I’ve already taken steps to minimize the time I waste on the net. I’ve realized that the other aspects of my writing life do play an important role. I just need to be sure the stories are there too.
Ok that is my babble. What about you? What do you feel like sharing about your year? last month? this month? the next year? We can talk lessons learned, goals, or even how your Saturday night plans played out.
Posted in Beta Reading and Critique, Business End, Community Involvement, Promotion, Reviews, The Practice, Writing Life, tagged beta reading, critique, networking, reading, review, writing on November 30, 2009 | 11 Comments »
Over the holiday, I caught up on my critique work. I planned a short story. I read. I am telling you right now, Seanan McGuire’s Rosemary and Rue does not disappoint. I hope to have a review for you guys this week. I have a feeling it will be gone all too quickly.
My goals for this month are simple:
Promote the work of others due heavy December retail traffic. People, buy books. Please!
Finish at least two more reviews.
Crank out three stories.
Complete a second draft for my alien story.
Yeah, I have very high hopes for December. If I get all of this accomplished, it will be a true gift to myself. Care to share your plans for the month of December? Will you be polishing up your NaNoWriMo from November? I want to extend a hearty congratulations to those of you who accomplished your November goals, whatever they might have been.
I love numbers. I especially love round numbers, numbers in multiples of five, even numbers, and esspecially prime numbers. With eleven more visitors, the site will hit 2,000! **Edit: We broke 2K! Thank you guys!**
I’ve been working hard to draw traffic here. I’ve been experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. On one hand, it feels strange drawing folks to the website when I don’t have much in the way of my own fiction to report. However, it feels like I am building a reader base just the same. I love you guys!
My day will be interesting. I have been down for the count with a cold all week. I’ve gone to work (no high fevers, just low-grade stuff managed by meds – tons of antibacterial hand sanitizer used at desk- no I’m not the outbreak office jerk I swear) and posted my review for the week. I did one story crit. I even managed to get my first guest blog post out there! Yet, I’ve been light on posty traffic. I haven’t been reading for beta, crit, or review. I definitely haven’t been writing. I have been planning what is next though.
Today I find myself alone at home. This is rare. I drove my husband in to work. We stopped and ate breakfast together and got a chance to see the sky just as the sun started throwing pinks and purples into the blue. I am up early, and instead of heading back to bed, I plan to make good use of my day. My cough is being chased away by meds. My head finally is no longer threatening to explode. Today might be the perfect day to catch up.
I plan to finish reading the first three chapters for a good friend of mine. I’ve read this novel during an earlier draft and loved it. I can’t wait to see it published. Next, I have three horror short stories to critique. These are all long over due. After that, it should be time to see my husband for lunch. How nice to be in town as he works right up the road! I am usually working a city away. When I get home, I plan to clean up a bit then get cracking on a story or two.
What are your plans for Saturday?
Please head over to my guest post on Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s LiveJournal. You may remember I posted my review of her work, The Halfling’s Court: A Bad-Ass Faerie Tale recently. This is my first appearance as a guest blogger and would love your support! Go ahead. Toss a question my way over there!
I was lucky enough to critique this novella before it went to press. I will be writing up a review of it Monday. In short, I loved it. It was a fun read. I didn’t have a chance today as I spent the entire afternoon at the doctor’s with my son, diagnosis flu of the non-piggy variety.
And here’s the back ad copy:
Better Get Your Bad-Ass On!
THE RUMBLE OF A HARLEY…
THE GLEAM OF BLACK LEATHER…
THE SHINE OF POLISHED CHROME…
THE FREEDOM OF THE OPEN ROAD….
Motorcycles meet magic and mayhem as Lance Cosain, the halfling leader of The Wild Hunt MC, protects his turf and his people from attacks ordered by Dair na Scath, the high king of the fae.
Holding his own against rogue fae, redcaps, and the gremlins of the road, all Lance wants to do is settle down with his lady. Instead he goes toe-to-toe with the high king’s champion over an ancient dagger and the claim to a throne.
Who will triumph? The king of the road or the king of the realm?
Either way, the Hunt is on!
Based on the stories “At the Crossroads” and “Within the Guardian Bell” from the award-winning Bad-Ass Faeries Anthology series.
How do you choose the people that will be beta reading/critiquing for you?
I recently sent a story out to several people that I thought would work well in this capacity. When I got the responses back, I knew a few new things. First, I circulated the story to too many people. Call this a newbie mistake. I think I was just happy to have a finished project. Second, I wasted the time of a couple of folks that really should be writing their own stuff. They are leagues ahead of me in terms of experience and talent. I did appreciate their kind consideration though. Third, I identified a great proofreader/line editor. Fourth, I figured out who will always just say that it is great or fine no matter what. Now I need to narrow it down a bit for the next round.
What do you do with the feedback?
I have the story shelved at the moment. I also have all of the input I received from others with it. I did make all of the line edit corrects before stowing it. I will review thei feedback and then look at the story with new eyes in a couple of weeks.
What do you do when you are the beta reader/critiquer?
I am still new at this. I am learning what to leave alone as it is the style of the writer and what to comment/suggest corrections for.
What about you guys?
Posted in Beta Reading and Critique, Business End, Community Involvement, Face Time, Lessons Learned, Promotion, The Practice, Time Management, Writing Life, tagged beta reading, critique, Lessons Learned, Time Management, writing, writing communities on October 2, 2009 | 4 Comments »
I am also starting to figure out what are the best uses of my time. I think that is something we all struggle with. I now have a schedule for the stories that I want to churn out between now and sometime in April. I have a collection of work to critique/beta read. I have books to read for review, for education myself in the craft and the classics, and for pure entertainment. I also have my alien story to go back and redraft. I am listing what I have on my plate as a note to myself more than anything. These are the balls I am currently choosing to juggle. It is all about choice and priority.
At the same time, I want to continue to support my friends and fellow writers. I love boosting the signal on good news.
I moderate a writing community that is mostly self-sustaining at this point. After my recent experiences with my alien story, I am planning a series on lessons learned for a new writer. I will post topics of discussion there and in other writing communities that I hold membership. I think others might like to comiserate.
Perhaps my lessons learned the hard way, might help others avoid the same pitfalls. Maybe they will just give everyone a good laugh. This will be a good way for me to get more involved. I feel like I have been somewhat absent lately in that respect.
This weekend I have some unexpected writing time coming up. I definitely plan to make the best of it.