Searching for an Alpha Reader

I’m halfway through this line edit of- I think we’re onto the 5th draft now- and I’m aware that this may be the one that needs an Alpha Reader. Yep, somebody is finally going to get all the words to read!!

But who to send it to?

Because the person I would send it to is absolutely terrible at getting back in touch and bad at time management, so she’s out of the question.

Then, there’s the family of course. Now, I do love my family but a critical opinion I’m just not going to get from them and just wanting the manuscript to read isn’t what I need right now.

That leaves me in a right little pickle. Who do I give this to for ANY sort of critical feedback?

I’m tempted to post on Facebook Pages such as:
Beta Readers & Critiques
Writer’s Tips and Feedback

There’s also the Goodread Groups:
Beta Reader Group
Beta / Proof Readers Group

But it is just too daunting for strangers to read the synopsis of the novel that I’m having doubts.

I may have to finally get involved in a writing group if I want what I need.

I hope my fellow writers have better success than I am. Let me know how you went about it.

CampNaNoWriMo – Day 6

Camp Nanowrimo Banner, Camp Nanowrimo 2017

Yep, trying my hand at Camp NaNoWriMo for the second time this year. Won it in April with 22,000 words written of a 20k goal.

I passed 10k yesterday morning, while missing the second and third day due to being sick. I’m only reaching for 25k this time around and so I took yesterday off from writing.

The one reason why I gotten so far so quick? My head is in my book twenty-four hours a day.

I go to bed wanting to stay up and keep writing. Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t so in love with my bed and I could stay up and write.

Trying my hardest to get two manuscripts ready for my beta reader. Was hoping to have them done this weekend, but that’s a long shot. Could be manageable if I don’t leave the laptop for the next 48-hours.

Maybe I can get them ready for next week.

Keep Writing Shit Until You Find the Gem

I got talking to one of my closest friend yesterday in a pub, over a pint of Bulmers and a virgin cocktail.

Like all the rest of our meet-ups, our conversation went onto our writing.

We both started writing our main novels around the same time. All the way back in college!

She’d always get motivated after meeting up and then run home and type out load of chapters that she’d send to me to read over. I’d get excited and dying for more and she’d say she was going to work on, she hit a writer’s block…but I never hear anything back.

It’s easily been over a year and from meeting up I found out she still hasn’t made progress.

She says that she hates her writing, that it’s shit. And my answer is that first drafts are always shit or that writers/artists the majority of the time think their work is shit until someone tells them otherwise.

It was interested to see the two sides of the same coin.

I think my writing is shit, always will. But I keep chipping away at it, editing and rewriting scenes and chapters. Yes, I have weeks where I don’t touch it, but it’s always on my mind and I will always go back to it. Somedays I can’t bare to look at while other’s it’s all I stare at for hours-at-a-time.

Writing isn’t just going to happen. That book that you have in your head isn’t going to appear over night. Life is going to get in the way…no matter how hard you try to not let it.

For all my writing friends. Just don’t let yourself get in the way too.

Keep chipping away!

You need to uncover that gem that’s underneath all the shit you keep seeing.

Rejections in the double figures – and not what it’s built up to be.

Writers dream about the day where they can send off to agents and publishers and think up of all the rejection letters that they get back- maybe stick them up and look at them…

It doesn’t happen like that.

The majority of rejection letters aren’t long or informative as we’re made to believe.

Take myself for example:

I’m up to 11 rejections

And not a single one has an ounce of constructive criticism to give to me.

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I just don’t know.

The only thing I’ve gotten from them is to ‘keep sending it out’ and ‘it just isn’t for them’.

In other words:

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That’s it! That is all the feedback I’ve gotten back. No deep insight on what’s wrong with the chapters or what needs improving.

I have absolutely no direction of what to do next- the only thing I can do, is to keep sending them out, and I don’t know whether I should focus on this story or focus on the ten-odd stories that are dying for my attention.

 

The only think I can do now is:

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I can see why most writers are alcoholics.

I love writing, I love watching worlds and characters come to life… but I hate editing.

I’ll write chapters. Then they sit…waiting…for months. It’s so long that I know them off-by-heart, and by the time I go back around to them for their ‘cleaning up’ I can’t do it because I literally cannot take this sledgehammer to the little parts that give my novel life.

It’s like slowly chipping away at pillars, terrified that one wrong move and you’ll watch your own masterpiece crumble to dust before your eyes.

My plan was the edit this whole novel during my winter break from work. To have it semi-readable before I go back, but it’s turned into a mental battle rather than a physical one.

I’m only on chapter 3 and I hate this novel a little bit more the longer I work on it, but I know the longer I work on it, the more likely I am to start liking it again…

I can see why most writers are alcoholics.

I don’t know how I’m going to manage…

It’s about 6:30pm. I’ve been working for the majority of the day [9:00am – 5:00pm] it’s a work-from-home job, but it’s still work and I can’t do whatever I please.

It’s already gotten me into this dilemma. I am slacking on every other aspect of my life.

Walking and exercising are still doing good, just about managing to get out on my 1-walk-per-day so far this week. My writing and reading books are another dilemma all together.

It’s 6:30pm, and these are what I still have to get done for the day…

  • Write
  • Walk
  • Read

My goal was to get to 50,000+ words by the end of this week, it seemed doable at the time as I’m working from home and all that jazz!! But it isn’t, i still have 13,329 words to go before hitting that goal. I know, if I stop freaking out about it and just wait till the weekend, I may be able to crunch out those numbers. Most likely though the stupid thing called life will get in the way and I’ll get to 40k, if I’m lucky.

I am also supposed to have a review posted this Friday for the book 13 Stolen Girls which I started reading on the plane last Friday, but I’m still on chapter 1. I’m going to see how tonight and tomorrow goes, and if it is even feasible to have the review ready for Friday.

The only thing that is going well for me is my exercising regime, I haven’t slacked off on it yet, and it’s probably why I’m forcing myself to keep it up, because it’s the only thing that isn’t going down the drain right now.

It’s now 6:44 and I still have so much more to do for the day… How am I even going to manage to get to bed at this rate?

Getting back into life and writing.

I usually don’t take such a long break from writing, but I just haven’t felt the need to write anything in such a long time. To give an idea- I only wrote 700-odd words last month and this month I’m only at 161 words.

It’s really bad. I’m more focused on getting jobs, interviews, going walking and losing weight. I think I’m also putting off sending my book to more publishers, so if I don’t write I don’t have to think about it.

My days usually start with a morning walk- followed by cleaning the house- then job searching, going out to my dad, coming home and wasting time on the computer and doing random tasks, and then going for my night walk.

Being jobless has made me unmotivated and uninspired and my days just kinda blend into one. So I’ll think ‘oh, it’s too late to try and reach my word goal, I’ll start tomorrow’ or ‘the story is a mess, I won’t look at it’.7542642880_5ddd012599_o

Today is different. This morning, I opened a manuscript that I’m having problems with and I have been working on it for an hour now. I’m not going to waste my day job hunting, but leave all that till tonight before going to bed. I’m also going to do research in a bit to find more agents and publishers to send my other manuscript to. Not another second of my day is going to be wasted doing nothing.

I’m not going to let being jobless get to me today. Today is about making progress and not rolling into a ball at 1pm and wanting the day to be over.

I sent queries to another agent and a publisher last night. Bloody hell they take forever to get written!! I wanted to get more done, but I didn’t. It doesn’t get any easier, you panic, sweat a bit, and try and not to look at the send button while pressing it, as your heart thumps in your chest. Then the sudden stomach clenching fear that its gone, that you wont be able to bring it back, or stop it from reaching its destination.

It’s the same thing every.single.time.

I’m going to my aunt’s today to put up christmas decorations and she’s making dinner. I’m thinking of bringing my laptop with me, because I don’t watch television and can still talk and type at the same time. I had to write an article for a job yesterday as well (woah, yesterday was a productive day).

Self-doubt is creeping in…again.

I’ve been searching on-and-off today for agents and publishing houses to send this manuscript from book 1 to, when self doubt crept in and I have *looks up* four tabs opened of agents. It’s bout to turn midnight and I haven’t sent it to a single person.

This is horrible. I feel sick with doubt and fear. I wish I could get someone else to do it for me.

I wouldn’t be still writing if I thought I was crap, but why can’t I send off this stupid query letter. It was a struggle the first time, I just presumed it would get easier. But oh my god, it doesn’t. 

I know why people go on the self-publishing route now, this is just putting oneself through emotional and mental torture. I can’t wait till I get a rejection letter, I probably wont even flinch at it, and chuck it in the bin and carry on.

I’m calling it a day, after not sending a single e-mail off. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel brave enough to do it, but not today.

Writing of 2014, Plans for 2015

800px-Stipula_fountain_pen.jpg

So, I messed up on my word counting for the year and it’s somewhere around the 40-50k mark right now. It also get’s messy because I edited book one and didn’t keep track on what I did for it. So it may be either a lot more or a lot less. So, I’m just sticking to the 47k I have.

That’s a terrible number. Okay, yes I finally completed the book I’ve been working on for years which is a huge mile-stone, but next year I want everything to be different.

2015 – I’m going to complete 5 novels. I’ve started fixing up my graph and writing notes to myself on where to stop and finish and what dates I want to print off the books for editing. Jan and February are going to be for two of the books I’m working on now, February’s goal is to finish book 2, then the beginning of March I want to finish the other book. Then my mam is going to Australia in March, so I’ll take the peace and quiet to get started on a brand new book and have that completed by May. (I think it’s going to be easier because I have the ideas and chapter outlines for a handful of books already sorted and written out, I just need to find the time to write them).

Then I lose June and July to my sis’ wedding. So I’m just going to take the down-time to write my script and to keep writing novels, but without the word goals, and also editing the completed novels. I want to complete book 4 by September. Then take the winter months to finish off the following book in the series.

That’s the plan, but you know, they never happen as you liked them to. That’s why I’ve given myself those two months of free time, to either take a breather or to catch up with myself.