Wednesday Woo: Beta Readers

Mom has read your book, heaped praise upon your head for its cleverness, and depth of human emotion, then proceeded to tell everyone she knows that it is the best thing she’s ever read. Congrats.

But unless your mother is an editor at Doubleday, your book still needs some help. Help in the form of beta readers, especially those willing to risk bruising your ego to assist you in putting out a quality product.

What constitutes a quality product is subjective, even the most poorly written work’s premise can still be a good story. This is a compilation of views on what a bad book is or isn’t–The Top 40 Bad Books.

Let’s assume you’re looking to produce something to be proud of. You’ve done all you can by ensuring it is your very best work to date, and have put in the grueling hours of revisions and edits. It is now time to let someone else give you their two cents.

I’m serious about you needing to care about the product you’re sending out into the world. It represents you. It says something about who you are as writer and a person. As a reader, I have no respect for writers who ask me to shell out my hard earned money for something they didn’t deem worthy enough to seek help with.

Sure, there are a few writers able to edit their own work, just as there are beta readers whose skills are on par with a professional content editor, but they are few and far between.

Stop resisting doing the right thing for expediency. Get your beta readers lined up and let them fire away. How to Find A Beta Reader

Beta Reader Guidelines

Self-publishing is far too easy. It means anyone can do it regardless of quality, regardless of the consumer, regardless of how this reflects on other self-published authors. Vanity publishing serves only ego, not the craft of writing, or the business of being an author.

Here’s a test. Would you be embarrassed to send your book to a traditional publisher, or a literary agent? Then stop right there. Save up every penny you can, put off publishing for a year, even two, get yourself a professional content editor and polish that work till it shines. Only then, when it is worthy of it’s price tag, release it into the world amid as much fanfare as you can muster knowing you’ve done the best job you possible could, for yourself, your fellow authors, your readers and the self-publishing industry as a whole.

15 Ways to Find a Beta Reader

How to Tackle Those Critique Notes

Beta Readers on deviant Art

6 Tips for Picking Your Beta Readers

Wednesday Woo: Structure

Whether you are in the plotting stage, or revision phase many of us are searching for ideas on how to structure our stories. I don’t think there is one way, or a right way to address structure other than it has to move the reader through your story so that they are compelled to keep reading.

You needn’t stringently follow prescribed structures but there are tradition among genre to adhere to certain formulas so particular attention should be paid as to whether your story is good enough to break those norms. And you need to have a grasp on the expectation of your readers. Being well read in the genre you are writing for helps with that.

Here’s a little cheat sheet on the questions you should be asking yourself about how your novel is structured. Dummies Guide to Writing a Novel: The Structure of Your Novel.

The structure of a story depends on who is telling the story, what type of story it is, and whether it is character or plot driven. This Writer’s Digest post can help you think about choosing a structure.

I think beginning writers sometimes fear being hemmed in by rules but these guides are meant to help you manage the unwieldiness of a novel not curtail your creative process. Think of structure guidelines as the framework that supports your creativity.

This is a basic look at structure that can serve the needs of both first time and seasoned writers. Daily Writing Tips: How to Structure a Story.

A couple more of my favorite takes on structure:

Chuck Wendig: 25 Things You Should Know About Structure

Kristen Lamb: Structure Part 1-Anatomy of a Bestselling Novel–Structure Matters

A few specific to genre:

Memoir

Romance

Sci-Fi

Wednesday Woo: Research

Happy Hump Day!

I use Evernote and find it a quick and easy way to keep track of information-way more convenient than bookmarking everything.

http://thewritelife.com/5-clever-hacks-for-researching-that-will-help-you-write-better-stories-needs-link-to-twitter-lists/

I have trouble with over-researching too.

http://www.josephfinder.com/writers/tips/research-a-writers-best-friend-and-a-writers-worst-enemy

Unless you’ve written research papers, you might not have ever had to utilized archives. Here’s what they are and how to use them.

http://www2.archivists.org/usingarchives

Wednesday Woo: Useful Links

Hi WriNos,

In a concerted effort to be more productive I’ve decided to do a post on Wednesdays thinking I might be able to remember Write WriNoShore WordPress Website Woo (stands for winning others over).

I’ll keep it short, only a few links to those article/posts or essays I found especially helpful or inspirational.

So here’s the Woo for the week.

http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/5-scientifically-proven-ways-to-work-smarter-not-harder-tues.html

http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/writing-the-perfect-scene/

I’m given Paolo Nutini an extra hoo to go with that woo. Swoon worthy.