• M. York

'Supposably' and Beta Readers

Friends. Every misspoken word does not need to become a word in and of itself. I run into more people who don't know that 'apart' and 'a part' are different than would genuinely and unironically use 'supposably.' As much as I love evolution of language and new words (I did not know 'snuck' wasn't officially a word until sometime in my mid-teens), this is going a little too far.

And I've written all that with a straight face, knowing my tiny temper tantrum won't do anything to change things and I'll forget about it in a day or three. Because it, over all, does not matter. So let's get off that topic and I'll get a bit less grumpy.

So I've made great strides with Derelict Paradise. For the first time since Of Reapers and Ravens I've been able to put in a few scenes in the early book (so far) that would be 'frivolous' to the plot-only 'cut the fat' style I'd adopted since. Unfortunately, being more aware and adding more scenes means I likely won't be able to release Derelict Paradise until April. If that changes, I'll be sure to update y'all, though.

It's a denser idea, I think, than the lighter idea of a detective agency, though I fear I didn't give the gravity to The Diviner that it deserves. Hopefully I can fix that later. I guess I can give y'all a little bit more of a peek behind the curtain here.

The struggle I'm having with Derelict Paradise is I feel I want opinions on it. Unfortunately, this stems from a bigger personal issue that includes lack of self-confidence, but with writing it is constructive. Getting another set of eyes on a story gives better perspective. I could be blind to an issue entirely obvious to everyone else. This would be caught, in a trade publishing setting by editors (theoretically, though not always). But you know what you need to get editors when you don't have a publisher other than yourself?

I got just a bit over enough for rent in my bank account. I don't have the thousands of dollars I'd need to get the amount and level of editing I want.

So what's a poor author lady to do? Well, typically that's where you get a beta reader. What's a beta reader? Generally, a beta reader is a fellow writer, a good friend, an acquaintance, really more someone who doesn't think exactly like you but whose opinion you trust. They read your book once you've finished it as best you can and essentially do the editing. Usually if it's a fellow writer you'd return the favor, but regardless of who it is, you thank them in the acknowledgements and send them a signed paperback.

But I have this problem. I'm pretty bad at making secure attachments to people and I don't trust people easily. Since writing can be so personal, I get nervous sending unpublished stuff to people. Well, only if it's something beyond the intro. Read my shitty intros all you want. So this means I have a trouble finding a beta reader. I've sent snippets to a friend or two, but that's about it.

There's nothing that can be done, by the way, about this problem. I'll eventually find a beta reader, I'm sure.

Those were my stressors this past week. I look forward to writing the rest of Derelict Paradise, but I'm hoping it's ultimately a fun ride for y'all. So have a great week! I'll have more updates next week!

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