One thing of the many things I love about writing is how the sun sets on one project and rises on a new one. Even if it's just a new stage of the project you're working on. Yesterday I finished the second draft of the book that I started to rewrite at the beginning of 2014! It feels incredibly good to finally let those characters that have been such a huge part of my waking, dreaming, and writing life for the last three years rest for a while. I’m so much happier with the story than I was at the end of last year – what a transformation. I’m also happy because now I can turn my attention more fully to the other projects that I’ve been thinking about while writing The Whirlwind’s Prophecy. I’ve also started to look more in depth at the next part of the process, procuring a cleaner edit and critical read by outside eyes that aren’t as attached to the book as I am.
Ah feedback. This is the scariest and most necessary part isn’t it? There are literally dozens of articles on the web about the merits/drawbacks of working with professional editors, writing groups, or beta readers. And similar to the traditional/self-publishing debates, there doesn’t seem to be a right of wrong way to accomplish getting feedback to improve your story. Writers have to do what’s best for them.
I’ve decided to go the route of asking help from what Stephen King’s refers to as the Ideal Reader – that person that you picture reading your book as you’re writing it, the person you most want to like it. And after this, it would be awesome to have the experience of working with an editor. I’ll be reading more about how to choose an editor in the next little while.
But even though I’m choosing this approach for The Whirlwind’s Prophecy, I’m also interested in trying to share my stories more spontaneously and minus the crazy fear that accompanies sending your writing out into the world. I’m awestruck when I hear stories about people working with writing groups or beta reading drafts of other people’s manuscripts – hell, I still get nervous pressing ‘Publish’ on this blog. But being a part of a more interactive storytelling community is appealing on so many levels and something I am going to try with my new projects. I know it will help me grow as a writer and really, that’s all the reason I need to move past the fear. That being said, I have absolutely no idea how to go about doing this. Some authors have been wildly successful at engaging readers in early drafts of their work. Others talk about different writing sites that they’ve used to post stories, meet other authors and review one another’s work. I haven’t looked into any of these yet, but over the next few weeks I will be.
Until then, for the last six months or more, I’ve wanted to write a story that my younger nieces and nephews could read. I have an idea that I think might work, as both a project for them and a piece of work that I could start to share. I hope to begin that today, which means next week, I’ll have an update on some completely new and unchartered (at least for me) writing territory.