It feels weird to post a wrap-up of a winter’s worth writing, reading, and other creative happenings on the second day of spring. (This is the new “writing monthly update” series I had mentioned last month, btw.) But the truth is, I’ve procrastinated on this post for a couple weeks now, and not due to lack of time. Instead, I’ve been feeling anything but enthusiastic or confident about writing lately.
(Btw, my latest DIY MFA post went live last week. Something funky happened with the blog post announcement, so click here to read the article at DIY MFA.)
The good news is, I’m now taking steps that can hopefully help me regain that confidence and lead to a better, more productive spring. I’ll touch on that, as well as the progress I’ve made so far with The Novella (my new writing project) and the books I’ve read so far this year. Also, since this is the first Creative Corner, any feedback on the content and/or setup will be greatly appreciated. 🙂
Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, which is now in its third draft. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today it’s the tips-oriented post to celebrate 80% completion of Draft #3.
I had trouble thinking of a subject to cover this time. The past three tips-driven Chronicles (word-cutting strategies, planning changes to one’s writing routine, and wrestling writer’s doubt) were inspired by challenges I experienced at different points during Draft #3. Lately, though, no one single “issue” with editing has stood out to me. Yet I’ve started giving serious thought to the next stage: beta-reading.
Yes, that terrifying yet exciting phase of sharing your writing for feedback is the topic of today’s Chronicle. I’ll share lessons and advice based on my past experience with beta-reading for other writers. I’ll also touch on how to decide who might be a good beta-reading candidate, and give you a peek inside my plans for my WIP’s beta-reading stage. So, let’s dive in!
Grub Street has published my new article “How to Offer Constructive Feedback that Writers Will Love” at their blog! This piece discusses the importance of critiquing other writers’ works and suggests possible questions to ask yourself when reviewing / critiquing / beta-reading someone’s manuscript. It also offers advice on more “administrative” areas such as sticking to deadlines, communicating with the author, and balancing tact and honesty in your response. If you’re considering critiquing or beta-reading manuscripts or getting ready to have others read your work, this article can help you prepare for either experience.
Click here to read “How to Offer Constructive Feedback that Writers Will Love.”
And if you missed it previously, click here to read “Hello, My Name Is…: Using Journal-Writing for Character Development,” which Grub Street published in February.
Also, many thanks to Sara Litchfield for letting me beta-read her novel The Night Butterflies and for inspiring this article! Her story offers a unique twist on dystopian science fiction, and I’m really looking forward to seeing (and re-reading) the finished product once it’s out. Click here to visit Sara’s blog / website, Right Ink On The Wall.
Coming Soon: Music Monday Reviews will return next week with my thoughts on Divided We Fall’s full-length debut CD Dreamcrusher.