April 16, 2012

A Good First Reader

I’m at the editorial stage of a book and I’m spending my days asking myself questions and re-reading scenes to make sure they all serve my story. Also, I asked two good friends of mine to give the manuscript a read and they both gave me excellent insights and asked really good questions. One thing to think about when you’re editing your own work is who would be the right person to read it to help you move forward. You need a reader who is kind, but not too kind, one who is smart but not so sure of themselves that they try to rewrite the novel for you. You need someone to ask good questions, someone who makes you consider the work in a new light and who energizes you, rather than making you feel like you’re ready to give up and never ever ever look at the project again.  A good editor will do all of these things, and if you’re lucky they’ll still be your friend afterwards.  Thanks, Leona Theis and Jen Budney for helping me with this draft.

This week, try and figure out who would be a good reader for your writing. Are you in a writing group or is your partner the best person to ask? We all need good readers to help us move from first draft to polished manuscript. Who is yours?