Monday, November 16

Question

So my dear lovely friends, I have a question for you. As most of you know, I am crazy busy with school work. You also know that I want critique partners and beta readers, but I don't have time to devote to reading/editing their stories. This puts me in a bit of a sticky spot. I want some advice/opinions,* but I can't get any.

That is, until Wendy from Where Ladybugs Roar offered to read my story "free of charge."** This generous offer got the gears in my head moving. I wondered if any of my other blog-friends would be willing to read my story, and give a critique (whatever type they have time for) knowing that I can't return the favour? I also wondered how exactly I would go about offering up my story for people to read. Because, quite frankly, I don't want just anyone to read my story. I think I need to feel comfortable with the person for them to read it (like Wendy).

So this is where you guys come in. Would you be willing to read the first 50 (give or take) pages of my work-in-progress and critique it, knowing I can't return the favour? And how do you suggest I go about picking who would read it (I don't want to hurt feelings but I want--need-- to be comfortable with the person)?

Once I have some feedback from you guys, I'll announce what I decide in a post.
Hope everything is going well for you!



*My two editors right now are my mum and my boyfriend Chris. They are both exceedingly helpful-- trust me, they don't let things slide by. However, I would like some more opinions, especially writer opinions.*

**Isn't this just awesome of her? I couldn't believe it when I saw what she offered. I got all giddy and excited. Thank you Wendy! You ROCK!**

17 comments:

  1. I would happily read 50 pages and send feedback for you, and wouldn't expect anything in return. (My WIP isn't ready for a read thru quite yet, so I can only give at the moment anyway.)

    Of course, it's scary to send pages to someone you don't properly know, but I think the comfort is part gut-level, a womanly type instinct.

    For instance, I feel a kinship with you since we have the same last name. Silly, but true.

    If you choose to do so, email me at ambertiddmurphy@gmail.com.

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  2. I'd be happy to read your pages, even though I don't write historical. (Read it sometimes, but the future is more my writerly thing than the past.) Of course, when you have free time in the future, feel free to ask for anything of mine you'd like to read.

    Usually what I do when I'm looking for people to read for me is just what you did. I hit up the people I know, and I post a request on my blog. If I get a good sense of the person who says they'd like to read for me - either through their comments or their blog - we talk in email, and I send out a chapter. Then I let the chapter crits tell me if they're a person I can work with. If I don't know the person from Adam, I politely decline via email.

    Hope that helps. I'm not quite awake yet.

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  3. Diana and I had this conversation recently. Neither of us really arrived at an answer on how to "get" betas and still get betas that are right for you.

    You're so sweet. Thanks for the twenty mentions. *hugs* I'm lucky enough to have found a lot of betas already, and so I really feel for those that don't have as easy of a time finding the right people.

    You know--best advice I can give--once you're done, go to LULU and print out a copy of your book. You can keep it totally private so it's similar to just running to kinko's and getting it printed out and bound. Then, you can pass it around to people that aren't as likely to read a book on the computer. Also, you would not believe how many typos scream at you once you've got them on a page in front of you. It typically costs me about $7 or $8 a book plus shipping. Before you ever query, this is a seriously helpful step. Plus, you can find betas so much easier. Just give them permission to ink the heck out of the book.

    Oh... and the other good reason to do this. You can slap a copyright notice on your title page and you've got your work copyrighted for good.

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  4. ^ Wendy I was also going to suggest Lulu! Love that site. :) Natalie, I really would love to read your 50 pages but I am currently knee-deep in NaNo. However if you are willing to wait until next month or even January when the holidays are all over, I'd still be happy to do so! If you feel comfortable asking me, that is. If you aren't, I am TOTALLY okay with it. Having strangers read your work is a terrifying (but necessary) idea. Good luck!!

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  5. It really comes down to trying someone. If you don't like the way they've critiqued then you won't give it back to them. And it depends on what you want. Do you want line edits or more general feedback.

    Good luck with your search. BTW I live near Calgary.

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  6. What kind of crit are you looking for? If you're looking for a line by line editorial type thing...I'll be honest, I'm so NOT your girl. After a while of that I can't tell a comma from a semi-colon. Eventually, I start to question the whole "grammar rules" thing in general and decide to make up my own just to get it bloody well over with.

    However, if you're looking for more story and content feedback, I'd be happy to have a look if you'd like. I do understand that you have to feel comfortable w/ a crit partner...after all, you're handing them your baby and you want to make sure that it's going be treated w/ love and respect. So, no worries if you don't think I'm a good match. :) Good luck!

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  7. I would willingly read your current project, I always love reading when my friends write something, so reading what you have written would be a lot of fun!
    I think you are right about being cautios in regards to who to give your writing to, because there are a lot of dishonest people out there that could steal your ideas.
    I believe that the best way of getting to know the bloggers that long to read your pages is by reading their blogs, or having an e-mail conversation... That way you'll get to see how they really are, and if they are the kind of person you would like to trust your literary baby to. =)

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  8. Thank you guys for your wonderful suggestions and lovely offers.

    I'm going to sit on the idea for a little while (not too long, though). I'll let everyone know what I decide in a later post.

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  9. I think it's good to be cautious about who you select to read your WIP. It's not easy to share your work with someone you've never met and know it's in good hands. Think about it for awhile. If you believe I'm the right person, I'd be happy to read your 50 pages.

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  10. ill read it if you want but im cool if you dont need me too

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  11. Jen- Thank you hun =]

    Bailey- That's okay, I was looking more for writers to read it. But thanks.

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  12. I'm here for you anytime Nattie! I'm always willing to scrounge stories for mistakes. It makes my life a little happier :) And I lovvvve your writing (good old HP days!) so it would be glorious to look your story over! Tis your choice, of course!

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  13. Courty- Thank you hun =] Long time no see! Thought you might have abandoned me =P Aww thank you! You're such a sweetie =]

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  14. Absolutely not! I've been keeping up with this, just slacking on the comments! I'll try to be better my dear! Hope everything is alright!

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  15. School is gooood. We go on Thanksgiving break this Tuesday so I'm really excited! Just trying to catch up on all my work and not slack too much hehe. Looks like school is keeping you busy! Lots and lots of papers!

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  16. Court- That's cool. We dont get a fall break of any kind. It sucks. So I'm taking one anyway, LOL! Ugh yes, school is keeping me up until the wee hours. And you know me, I'm freakishly ahead in things and I'm even swamped, so I don't know how the procrastinators are doing it...

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