Writer Wednesday-Beta Readers

Beta Readers are becoming more popular as authors go Indie and want a reader to look over their work rather than an editor.

As I’m looking at a more traditional publishing model via an agent, I’ve considered looking at Beta Readers as well.

When I digitally published, this wasn’t as much of a concern as there was enough editing done in-house, I worried less about content as there were so many eyes looking at it, and I had really good editors. 🙂

I’ve asked my fellow authors who use beta readers how they go about finding them.   There seem to be a number of ways to do this:

  1.  Post to FB, Twitter, etc and ask for Beta Readers to read your latest book.  I think there are Beta Reader Groups out there.   I plan to post to a Local Steampunk group as I think they might be interested in reading my story. 
  2. Readers you meet randomly – I actually found a reader at a Con last year, and I think she will work out well.  I’d like more beta readers, but one will do for now.
  3. Friends and Family – I’ve heard reason’s not to use friends and family, but my argument would be that you are looking for continuity in your story.  That being said, make sure you pick a friend who is an avid reader.   Also,  if you write Mystery and your sister is a hard-core YA reader, you may want to take that into consideration when reviewing her feedback.  She can likely still provide great character insight, but may not enjoy the read as much as she might a YA read. 

I’ve heard Indie authors who use Beta Readers prior to Editing and some use them after.   Obviously I will use them before hiring an editor.  I’m looking for Beta readers to review for content, character likeability, plot holes to some extent and the like.   I’m looking for an overall critique, not editing.  I believe that should be done by the publisher, as I’ve experienced in the past.  Honestly, if an agent tells me to hire an editor – I will likely skip the agent process all together. 🙂 

Until next Writer Wednesday, be naughty. ~Tina 

P.S. If you are interested in being a Beta Reader for a Steampunk novel, go ahead and comment below. 🙂

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NGWN Masquerade tonight!

Sexy woman wearing carnival mask over holiday dark backgroundMasquerade…

A night of mystery, of romance, of possibilities…

Do you dream of what such a magical night would entail? Then join the Nice Girls Writing Naughty for Masquerade de Naughty, and help us create a night full of fantasies!

At Masquerade de Naughty, readers will vote on each key element in a joint effort to “build our own masquerade”. You choose the look, feel, and intensity of each piece of the fantasy from the authors’ suggested options. While we’re indulging in decadent decisions, meet and chat with the authors behind the masks.

This party comes with mysterious heroes, magical settings, and perfect prizes (for readers of romance!). Our grand prize winner will receive her very own Masquerade: a gift set of masquerade-themed items and books for the ultimate masked indulgence.

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Please join me for some fun!~Tina

Nice Girls Writing Naughty “Charming” Anniversary Event

NGWNCharmedNice Girls Writing Naughty is celebrating their anniversary with a Facebook Page Hop.  You can join in all the fun over there.

Celebrate our Charming Anniversary with us. Here’s your chance to win the GRAND PRIZE of a Brighton Charm Bracelet and 10 charms! Simply collect the charms of each participating author and enter all 10 here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a529915d3/ . The next charm can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/ellasheridanauthor/

 

AuThursday – Margaret Fieland

photo1Please welcome Sci-fi author, Margaret Fieland.  Margaret, do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Unlike many authors, I did NOT always know I wanted to be a writer. On the other hand, I always told myself stories, and I was a huge reader, especially of sci fi and fantasy – I picked the then fairly new Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein for my tenth birthday.

As a writer, poetry was and is my first love. I started writing it in High School and continued on, mostly storing it in notebooks which I piled in the attic. At some point, I started writing more, and eventually wrote a poem I wanted to keep, started wandering around online, and things snowballed from there.

Q:  What books have most influenced your life most?

I’d have to say Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, which I re-read every exam time in college. In order to help myself concentrate on studying, I would make an act with myself not to go to the library. Then I’d start suffering from Book Deprivation and re-read  my copy of The Annotated Alice.

Q:  Why did you decide to write Sci-fi.?

As I said, I’m a huge sci fi fan, but up until 2010 I hadn’t written any at all. That September, I decided to devote NaNo (National Novel Writing Month, which takes place every November) to a sci fi novel. In spite of my friends’ advice to plan out the book in as much detail as possible, I wrote  about a page of plot notes and then devoted the rest of time to world building.

The resultant novel (which I completed, along with 30 poems by a poet I created in the universe of the novel) was pretty much of a mess, but I found out about an intense editing workshop that

was starting in January and signed up for that. I think the whole workshop took six or eight weeks, but I continued to work on the novel through the spring and finally ended up submitting it for publication.  It became Relocated,  the first in the Novels of Aleyne series.

Oh, yeah, and I never intended to write a series. I fell into that, too.

Q:  What is your process for writing a book? For example, are you a plotter or a pantzer? Do you start at page 1 and write your book sequentially or do you skip around? Do you start with your characters or the plot?

First of all, I’m by nature very sequential, to the point that when we still went to video stores for movies, I’d never get to watch the movies at end of the  alphabet because I always started looking at the A’s, that is, until I noticed I’d missed one of the Star Trek movies and started alternating looking backwards from the Z’s; then I only missed the M’s and N’s {grin}.  Left to my own devices, I start writing from the beginning, write the first draft straight through to the end, then stop.  This is not entirely true of some bits of some of the later Aleyne novels, where I ended up writing some of the scenes as homework for online classes.

Anyway,   I usually start with the characters and the initial situation. I plan the beginning, the end, and the major plot points. Sometimes I sketch out the first quarter or third of the novel’s plot in more detail, but in general, I’m planning in more detail a couple of scenes in front of where I’m writing. I generally have a good idea of what will happen (or what I want to happen) but not how. For example, in Rob’s Rebellion, the latest Aleyne novel, I knew how I wanted the conflict between the Federation and the Aleyni to be resolved, but I had no idea how I would pull it off until I was writing the end of the novel.

Q:  Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

The first novel I wrote (it was long ago accepted by a small print house, but has yet to appear) I wrote in response to the death of a friend’s wife and children in a tragic fire. Long after the event, it still haunted me, and I ended up writing a story about a little boy who loses his mother in a fire. I wrote the first draft in a weekend, but at that point I didn’t know much about how to structure and write fiction, and I spent the next year and a half learning. Among other things, I complete the Institute of Children’s Literature course. At that point, I started revising it, and eventually had it accepted for publication.

Q:  What was the most exciting thing that happened to you after you signed your contract – besides receiving your first check as a published author?

Realizing that other people actually wanted to read what I wrote.

Q:  If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

Spending more time playing music. I play the flute and the piccolo, but I don’t have much time to spare for it now.

Q:  What is on tap for the rest of 2016?

I’m working on another Aleyne novel, a prequel to the series this time. Some friends and I are hoping to put together another poetry collection, and I have a fantasy novel I want to get back to. And I’m hoping that my chapter book will finally be published.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My Website:

http://www.margaretfieland.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MargaretFielandAuthor/

Pinterest:

https://www.pinterest.com/margaretfieland/

Join me tomorrow when we preview the trailer for Rob’s Rebellion.

~Tina