Monday, September 19, 2011

The Beta Question

Last week I finished my latest rewrite of Waiting for April.  YAY!  For those of you who have only recently tuned in, I had to completely rewrite the first half of the novel, as well as the end, and give my female MC a complete personality overhaul.  Not an easy task. 
After six months in the writing cave, it felt so good to finally have something to send off to my betas, who have been very patient with me (especially Livia Dane, who has been waiting for months for me to get these latest revisions to her!  Sorry!). 
It actually feels like I’m getting somewhere now.  That terrifying/exciting query process is one step closer, and will hopefully begin next month.
But unlike my very first draft, which I sent out to so many people to read (mainly friends, a couple of members of my family, and one beta who also writes), this rewritten version will only go to three betas (who are also writers).  Two are reading it now, and I’ll make changes to it based on their suggestions before sending it to my third beta.
This does make me wonder, though, how many beta readers does it take to screw in a light bulb do you send your manuscript to?  How many opinions does it take for you to know you’re truly ready to hunt for an agent? 


  1. Yay for send-off!

    I have three readers whom I like to work with. I use beta feedback to find weak spots, points of confusion and to give me an indication as to whether I'm on the right track. I usually ask them to read twice, once after I've done some editing and again after I've revised based on comments. I might submit the story the day after I finish revisions (not recommended), or tinker with it for months if I don't yet feel that it's where I want it to be.

    I think you get a good idea as to whether you're ready to query after you've adjusted (or not) based on feedback, and are just staring at the screen, inserting and removing commas into the same sentence.

  2. Haha! I hope to be simply staring at the screen, inserting and removing commas, very soon! And I'm pretty darn excited about that prospect. :D