X is for … X-roads

Dilemma, dilemma, dilemma – when will my book be done?

I’m at the crossroads, trying to get my book in shape and ready for release, but there always seems to be ‘one more edit’ or ‘one last glitch to check’ or ‘one final proofread needed.’

I’ve got to the point where I know more about the plot and story line of my fictional characters than real life family and colleagues.

It’s a sure sign that it’s time to move on.

Just looking at the last few edits I made begs the question: Did I improve it, or did I just change it? If I’m not adding value at this point, or making it more interesting or richer or even more readable, then surely it’s time to stop. Am I simply delaying the inevitable? Quite possibly.

It’s time to put Courting Danger to the test, let the betas to have their say. I can put it aside for a while and come back to it in a couple of weeks. Armed with their feedback – good and bad – I can read it again with fresh(er) eyes.

The last thing I’ll do is to read it backwards. Yeah, that’s right – not word for word, but a chapter at a time.

Then I can do no more: Time’s up. There’s a deadline to be met.

Courting Danger will be ready in time. It will be. I made that promise to myself.

Farewell crossroads – I have a real path to follow.

Q is for … Quiet time

I knew I’d get stuck on Q. Happens every time, and yeah I know X & Z are still to come and I can’t take a pass on those too.

So, I’m having some quiet time – reading for pleasure, maybe squeezing in the odd chapter or two of a beta read I’m working through, I might even write up a book review too. But, nothing today is related to my theme directly – but reading is important. As is some downtime. I’ve learnt to take my time when it comes to writing or revising my stories. I’ll still meet my deadlines, but some days are just not meant to be writing days.

So, hope you all get some breathing space too.

And I promise not to pull the same stunt on X & Z 🙂

B is for … Book Reviews & Beta Reading

 BAs a keen reader and  ‘best friends’ with Amazon’s One-Click, I purchase books on a regular basis, usually in multiples of three (don’t ask me why, but as the saying goes: ‘things always happen in threes’) Anyway, as a result I constantly get emails asking me to rate my experience with the books I’ve bought.

So, rather  than just add my review to Amazon, I decided to create a blog for that very purpose. Then I found Goodreads and ended up adding reviews there too. More recently I’ve discovered NetGalley and am reviewing books as a ‘professional reader’ (I love that expression!) Hence, my ‘book reviewer’ life began.

However, not content with reviewing the finished articles, I realised that to be a better writer myself, I needed feedback on my own efforts. Somehow, this backfired (or rather, I chickened out!) as I volunteered to beta read for other writers instead. The idea was that I would learn how other writers put together  their stories and, in doing so, would improve my own storytelling skills.

What transpired, however, was the revelation that I am incapable of merely beta-reading. Whilst I can highlight inconsistencies with plot lines or query character traits, I am compelled to also point out spelling and grammar issues, which means I wind up proofreading and even editing to some extent. I am unable to let such things pass me by without commenting. Yet, the writers for whom I do ‘beta-read’ are chuffed to pieces with my extra offerings, as these come to light usually well before they hire a paid editor! If only I could be as productive and helpful with my own writing! Ah well, one day ….perhaps 🙂

Beta Reading Again!

A while ago, a fellow author friend published his first book, The Cloudstone Key.cloudstone key book cover

He is now close to publishing the second book in The Rithhek Cage Trilogy and has asked me to beta read for him again.

Having read his first book both in beta form and in its final published version, I can’t wait to get started on the next one.

The Peregrine Prophecy by Darren T Patrick is a chunkier book, around 90k words this time – that’s twice the size of the first book.

Continuing where The Cloudstone Key left off, it follows the plight of young Karsen as he sets out to complete his mission and deliver the Ennae.

If you haven’t joined this adventure yet, I urge you to check it out here on Amazon. 

Lucky old me gets to read the sequel this week and I’ll keep you posted with a review when Darren is ready to publish.

You just gotta love beta reading – it has some great perks!