Happy Wednesday – exciting news to share – the Mike.Sierra.Echo is draft done and now beta editing is underway! This Spielberg-ian space elevator novel draft is now written and we take a moment to celebrate that.
It’s not easy to write 72,000 words and if I’m being honest there were a lot of days I didn’t want to write. Every time I felt myself ready to hang it up, the little voice inside me said “is this a paragraph, or your epitaph?” Then I started writing again.
Most people will read this quote from Ben Franklin and go ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ – it isn’t until you’re really nose to nose with your pain that you truly appreciate ideas like these. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s brutal. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. The best way out is through, as Robert Frost once said.
So I took a couple of days off to say ‘whew!’ Now it’s on to the next phase of production: Beta Editing. Yes, I’ll be doing some editing / tuning before sending out query letters to the usual list of lit agents. Editing and Beta Reading are necessary adjuncts to the process of writing, and I do them in parallel to make the best use of my time. Step One is reaching out to people to ask if they’ll Beta Read my novel (in progress) and Step Two is taking a moment to read my novel and pick out everything that sucks. That’s what I’m doing now.
Why must you Beta Read / Edit? Although I’d love to say ‘one and done’ with my novel, it always comes back to that original question: Will people want to read it? I’ve yet to find an author who can predict the answer to that question with perfect clarity. We’re all putting our stuff out there and hoping it lands well. The only way to find out if it works is to test it out – I talk more about this in the Creative People Survival Guide. Listening to criticism is hard but we should do it anyway.
In a nutshell – I feel good about finishing a seventy-thousand word project. I’m also a little sad that it’s over and apprehensive about what happens next. Will people want to read it? Lots of butterflies in my stomach – probably a good thing, the world needs more butterflies.
Yes, my Mike.Sierra.Echo draft done and now Beta Editing is underway. Lots to do from here, I’ll keep you posted on what happens next.