Follow Friday: @AtomaCon!

Today is a pretty special Follow Friday, because I’m asking you to follow my mom. She runs the AtomaCon blog, which offers frequent updates about our joint sci-fi/media convention! Mom and I co-founded AtomaCon together (and I named it :P), along with an artist named James Christopher Hill, in 2013. So I hope you consider attending our convention in Charleston this November :) It will be our second year, and we’re introducing tabletop gaming, a film festival, and fringe science programming this go around. You can follow the blog via email.

I have had no time to write this week. Part of it is getting used to the new sleep schedule from a “when am I gonna write” point of view. Partly, it’s because I’ve felt like crap in the evenings. I don’t know if I picked up something during my Dallas trip or if my body is rebelling against my new schedule. But I’ve been crashing into bed at 9:30 or 10:00 every night because I’ve felt too nauseated and achy to stay up. On top of that, I’ve made new friends in the local tabletop culture this week, so I gamed last night and will tonight as well.

Alas, the weekend is coming up though. I’m going to refocus on my book and get at least one or two chapters knocked out. Just a bit more effort and I’ll be halfway through this revision!

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?