Writing and Beta Updates

This post is not going to be particularly profound or insightful. It’s just a drive-by statistics post of where I am in my writing and editing, and some thoughts on my two beta responses from this past weekend.

  • My final two betas completed Paradisa and submitted their thoughts. I’d say 80% of their thoughts fell into consensus with the other betas. I think another 10% was probably critique due to personal taste, and the remaining 10% were unique outlooks that made me take a second glance at my outline. So, pretty standard!
  • While 10% uniqueness seems small, I think 5-20% unique suggestions or outlook is a good target.  Otherwise, the collective feedback would be unmanageable. Having a pool of people with about 80% consensus is very ideal and reliable – for both good things (across-the-board compliments on my action scenes) and the bad (oh boy, did everyone hate Clara!). Sure, there’s some outliers (Clara was Mom’s favorite character 0_o?), but when I have five people telling me “this character sucks!” there is obviously an issue there.
  • For the most part, my betas have told me problem areas that I already knew about, but in pointing out their most noticeable hiccups with the book, I can prioritize which problems are the most serious. Going in, I thought my weak antagonists were the most seriously dreadful part. Turns out, most betas were not too bothered by that, but they were very bothered by some traits of the hero characters.  So rather than telling me how to write my book, I think this just gives me a set of priorities for how to attack revisions. *shrug*
  • I have also completed 2 chapters in Draft Five \o/ Hoping to be finished by September 5th. I’ve set myself a semi-realistic schedule. Then, I may spend the better part of September doing some style edits, because I think this is the version of the story that I’m finally going to keep.  And when I pass it off to strangers in the next beta round, I want my style to be sharper. The rain has sucked my energy, so I’m not as peppy about writing as I need to be, but hopefully it will come easier once I warm up those muscles.

How’s your writing coming, Pressworld?

4 thoughts on “Writing and Beta Updates

  1. It’s good that you’re segmenting your critique into what is subjective vs. what isn’t. I still have trouble doing that, though I tend to disregard what doesn’t comply with my “gut feeling” at the end, anyway.

    • Yeah, I don’t think there’s any critique I’ve actually heeded that didn’t mesh with my gut either *nod* Most of it complied with suspicions I already had about the story. The unique perspectives are fun to hear – it’s what makes this process interesting – but I’ve learned that a consensus is the important part I’m trying to gain.

      As far as the left field stuff, I got a few suggestions that overtly go against the integrity of what I’m doing, so they were an immediate “no way.” But one friend suggested, of my character with the power of persuasion, “I love that she tells Guy to walk into her sword, but it would be even cooler if she told Guy to rip out his still-beating heart!” At first I was like “YES, THAT’S TOTALLY METAL.” But after a couple weeks, it didn’t sit well with me and I was like “nah.” So the gut always wins in the end!

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