Friday, July 15, 2016

Massive Rewrites? Blame the Beta Reader

I finished the manuscript, asked my daughter to give it a look over, she had some suggestions. I put the book aside and let her comments vegetate in my brain. Sometimes leaving these things in the back of my mind will sprout forth the solution to the plot problems.

The plot itself wasn't that big a deal, but there was something missing? I knew what I wanted to say, but from the reader comments I could see my emphasis was in the wrong place. (I hope that makes sense!)

So this book sat on a shelf for a few months while I occupied my brain with other ramblings of the mind. Then something fell into place and I knew. One morning I flipped on my computer and saw the little icon on my desk top labeled "Body Count" (It's the file where I keep all my WIPS) and knew where the story had to go and exactly what I needed to do to change it.

So, I'm rewriting and rewriting and ...oy! Rewriting. Chapters in, paragraphs out, one major change, and a big change in the ending.

Don't you love your beta reader? That one who points out all your flaws? And to think we ask (beg?) for this treatment. The beta reader comments are like suddenly putting on those prescription glasses you didn't know you needed. The world clears, the horizon is in sight and the sails go up.

I really like this story. Its post apocalypse, a new genre for me, but it had been fighting to come out for a while.  The characters speak to me and someday, I hope they'll speak to the readers.

So? How's your latest rewrite going? 

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Don't really have a beta reader. I have a critique group but it works pretty differently than a beta reader.