Wow, has it been three years since I was at this place? In late Spring 2015, I sent out a beta-reader draft of Life in the ’Cosm. Was I ever frightened! Aw, you never forget your first time, eh? It’s so different now.
Yesterday I submitted the beta-reader draft of its prequel, The Stealth Lovers, to my test readers. I don’t feel scared at all. Mostly proud. Probably because this is my second novel, and I’ve proven to myself once again that I can write no matter how much my disability rages against me. (Fibro is such a diva.) Despite everything, I achieved my goal, and I’m happy-tears glad about it!
So much has happened since I published my first book. I’ve met and befriended some über-talented authors, joined a writers’ group, sold a couple of short stories, learned how to write crisp flash fiction, and finally, I’ve become a freelance editor. I word a lot in my daily life. I enjoying wording very much.
And in an ironic twist of fate, I’ve discovered I really like NaNoWriMo as a motivational tool. Never saw that coming.
I don’t know what other authors do, but in my writing process, the beta-reader draft is much better than a first draft but not as gorgeous as the submittable draft. I like to get feedback before I clean everything up as best as I can. (Btw, editor or not, I needses other editors before publishing!) I know I’ll be fine-tooth-combing the manuscript before Renaissance receives it, so why put in all that effort only to get remarks that might mean a major thing must change? Beta readers are invaluable to me. I dare not even submit a short story without them.
And I know I’ve reached the point where my manuscript and I need to see other people. Truly, I cannot even read the words anymore. Fresh sets of eyes are direly in order. I’m happy with my selection of readers for this round, too. I know if there are notes to come, they’ll be constructive and helpful. (This gang won’t be afraid to give me critique either. That’s vital when selecting beta readers, btw.)
So, that’s where I’m at right now. My manuscript is off my plate until July. I’m really looking forward to just chilling with some novels. I miss reading for leisure!
Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm, a story about a little green guy who’s crushing on the female half of his two-headed colleague. Cait is currently working on a prequel to ’Cosm called The Stealth Lovers, a military space opera. When she’s not writing, she’s editing manuscripts for indie authors and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors are writers who manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She also really likes cake.