Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WiP Wednesday: First Day of Kindergarten

My WiP is out for its first beta read with my old critique group friend, Florence. (A beta reader is a person, usually a friend or a critique group member, who is willing to read and critique your novel. You usually trade services with each other.)

I feel a little bit like I just sent my baby to her first day of kindergarten.

Antsy, antsy, antsy!

I'm ping-ponging between "She's going to love it," "No, she's going to hate it," and "It probably wasn't ready to be read! Ahhh!"

The thing about Florence, though, is that she's a plot genius. Believe me, I've read her novels and she has given me such good advice in the past. With my last book, she recommended that I cut out a certain character. I didn't want to part with him, though. I thought he brought out a soft, sweet side to my main character that other characters didn't. So, I left him in.

When I got a request for a full for that book, and then the subsequent rejection, the agent in question said she felt the plot was too convoluted and mentioned THAT CHARACTER in particular as a reason why she couldn't tell where the story was going.

Lesson learned.

So, this time I'm going to take Florence's advice very, very, very seriously. I'm glad she's reading it at this early stage, too, so hopefully I can fix some of those bigger plot problems before I leave for the SCBWI conference (one month away and counting!).

In the meantime, I'm not bored. I'm reading another writing friend's WiP and it's fun, fun, fun. Not to mention that it keeps my mind off mine (which is a very good thing).

How about you? Are you currently reading any friend's work? Developing anything new? Eyeballs deep in revisions? Staying busy?


  1. Well, Amy, I can honestly say my WIP is about as far along as you are:)

    I'm also reading a draft of a friend's manuscript (almost finished, Myrna!) - and also ping-ponging between "They're gonna love it" and "They're gonna hate it!" (Ping-ponging is a great word, by the way.)

  2. Waiting to hear back on proposals! Twiddling thumbs and of course writing while a twiddle.

  3. It's so great to have a friend who can read your work and offer help! I work with a critique group and really appreciate their feedback and advice. Right now I am in the thick of revisions, and contemplating my other WIP as it languishes in the corner. ; ) Here's hoping Florence comes back with some fabulous notes. Good luck! (PS - Are you talking about the LA SCBWI conference? I am going too!)

  4. You won my contest name a contest contest!! Congratulations!