writing help

Beta Reader….What’s that?

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

When writing, our stories go through several changes before it makes its way into the hands of our readers.  We as authors, write, revise and edit.  Then we send it to the editor who does the same thing.  We do this to ensure that the story that makes it out to the readers is the best one that we can make.  But there’s one more level that sometimes doesn’t get used – Beta readers.

I can see some of you tilting your heads.  Let me clarify.  A beta reader is someone who reads over your WIP by chapter, page count, or word count.  They provide feed back that you as the writer may not see.  I know I’m bad about not fully explaining everything.  Betas can help you catch that.

How do I get a beta reader?

There are services that charge you to read your work samples.  But one of easiest things to do is to ask your friends, family, or fellow writer friends.  Ask them if they would help you by reading your WIP and giving constructive feed back.

How do they do that?

The easiest way to help them help you is to a) tell them what you want them to look for or b) give them a survey that they can fill out.  You can find beta reader surveys all over the internet but they can be lengthy.  A good survey should be (in my opinion) no more than 10 questions.  I also like to provide a section where they can tell me what they liked or didn’t like about the chapter.

How can I thank these people who are doing work for free?

This is important.  The people who agree to be betas for you are taking time out of their day to read you WIP.  One way to thank them is to give them a shout out in the acknowledgement section of your book.  You can also send them a free signed copy of your book for their efforts, because hey, they put in work too.  And if they’re writers as well offer to beta for them in return in a you scratched my back so I’ll scratch yours.

How many should I have?

Two to three is a good number.  But if all you get is one then don’t worry over it.  But too many betas can mean a headache for you.  The more betas you have the more notes you have to go through the more suggestions you have to contemplate.

I’m too shy to ask people.  What if they hate it?  What if I’m bothering them?

Hey I get it.  I hate asking people things for these very reasons.  I always feel awkward and bothersome.  But you ask your friends for favors all the time for other things right?  This is nothing different.  Just make sure that you pick the most reliable of your friends. One that will be with you for the long haul.  And make sure that you choose the one that will be honest with you.  Avoid yes men.  For your writer friends….they might turn you down but it’s no big deal.  They’ll usually surprised that you asked and they’ll appreciate that you thought of them.  If they say yes they can help point out some areas where your writing is weaker and provide tips to help.

 

Asking for help can be terrifying but in the end taking the plunge and getting yourself a few beta readers can only help to improve your story.  Plus you don’t have to do what they suggest because it’s their opinion.  But its always good to get a second set of eyes on your work.

Well that’s all I have for today.

See ya next time!

 

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book reviews

Book Review: My Favorite Harry Potter Book.

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Today’s review is going to be a bit different.  In honor of the Crimes of Grindelwald hitting theaters this weekend I thought it would be nice to review the Harry Potter books.  Instead of reviewing the whole series, because honestly I would be up here forever, I’ll just do my favorite.  So let’s go!

 

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

 

Rating:

5 Cups

 

General Overview:

This is Harry’s third year at Hogwarts and the world starts to expand.  We learn that there’s a criminal on loose who has Harry in his sights.  We get more creatures and new places to visit.  We get introduced to a few new characters that we’ll instantly fall in love with.  And did I mention that there’s time travel too! 

 

My Thoughts:

I didn’t want to go into too much details because there are people who haven’t read the books or seen the movies.  I do try to remain mostly spoiler free.  I’ll admit that I was a little late to the Harry Potter party.  I didn’t start to read the books until the movies came out.  It seemed interesting so I read the first ones.  I liked the first two but it was this book that made me a potterhead.  I love this book.  The movie not so much.  I love the mystery and that we get to see more of the wizarding world.  I feel Harry’s pain he learns some truth about the worst day of his life and a bit more about his parents. I can’t gush about this book enough without giving away spoilers.  Go read these books!

 

Reread factor:

The only thing that is stopping me from rereading Harry Potter right now is the towering pile of books that I have yet to read once.  My husband told me I can’t buy anymore new books until I read the ones I have…sobs….but he’s right.  But as soon as I make a dent in that to read pile of mine, Hogwarts here I come!

 

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See ya next time!

Greetings My Peeps!

NaNoWriMo: is it worth it?

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

For years I’ve heard and seen people talk about NaNoWriMo, which stands for National November Writing Month.  The basic premise of this event is for you to pump out a 50k word story in 30 days.  I’ve never worried about it because that seemed like an awful amount of work that I wasn’t sure if I was ready to tackle.  But this year I decided to give it a go.  I mean what’s the worse that can happen?  My writing has been pretty much non-existent lately so I’m hoping that this will help kick my butt into gear and get me back into the habit or writing a little bit each day.  

So here’s what I’ve learned so far.

Setting up is pretty easy.  It’s free!  The daily goal is 1667 words a day.  But there a ton of resources to help you.  There are forums for any and all topics to help you if you get stuck.  They also have this nifty thing called Word Sprints which is basically a timer that you set and try to punch out as many words as you can within that time frame.  When racing against the clock, you don’t have time to worry over every single word.  Using sprints is a great way to really hit the word count.  You can also join up with your region and gain access to write ins around you.  Write ins are exactly what they sound like.  People participating in NaNoWriMo meet up and write together.  It’s a great way to meet your fellow writers.  The region I’m in has their own open chat room where you can join in on word sprints or ask questions and get help in real time.

It’s only four days into it but I’m going pretty strong.  I just attended my 1st write in it was nice to meet writers near me.  At the end of the month I’ll check back in with you guys and let you know what pros and cons I discovered during this process.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo?  Comment below and share your tags!  We can pair up and do this challenge together!

 

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See ya next time!

 

book reviews

Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Yea! So here’s how this works. I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

 

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

Rating:

4 Cups

 

General Overview:

Claire Randal survived the World Wars to only be trust into the past during a holiday with her husband.  Using only her wits and medical knowledge, she does the best to survive in past all while trying to get back to her husband.  But it’s not easy being a 20th century woman in the past and she soon finds herself torn between two worlds, two lifetimes, and two men who love her.

 

My Thoughts:

I have mixed feelings about this book.  It’s great story telling and really grips you and doesn’t let go.  However, towards the end I really felt like the author was just throwing in shit for the sake of messing with characters and the reader.  I ‘ve never read the others but always hear great things from them.  I do like the show but again, haven’t made it past the first season.  I will say this…every woman needs a Jaime.  This book is a mix of fantasy and historical fiction.  I know that there’s elements of science fiction that come into play with later books but I haven’t gotten there yet.  So really,this book has a bit of everything for everyone.

 

Reread factor:

I keep coming back to this book time and time again.  I love it and often imagine what I would do if I was Claire’s position.  I know that my aunt rereads the series all the time.  This is definitely one to keep if you love it.

 

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See ya next time!