Writing, Critiquing, Beta and Launching

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Wow. What a list there.

listThe list may go on.

As I write, I look for those readers/writers for critiquing, and Beta before I send to editor. And then … launch (that does not mean, ‘to the moon, Alice, to the moon!’)

moon

Writing is my job.

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Critiquing is for … critique-ers – i.e. committed folks offering to suggest better sentence structure, grammar, and spelling, big plot holes. Pronouns with each sentence … i.e. I, I, I, or she, she, she … confusing statements, things slowing the plot down.

Beta readers are those committed folks who reads/swap novels to beta (or critique), and look for interest, pacing, plot holes and words like, ‘I would buy this.’ Or … ‘this sucks, start over, dump it,’ etc.

reading dog cartoon

Not the soul-sucking critiques/betas that pulverize the soul of the writer/author. Generally, in one’s genre or close to … or willing to suspend belief enough to read the work (and if you swap with me, I would do the same). But, honest. Above all honest and respectful. I have had the bashers, some with good points; good grief, leave the mean crap out. Not cool.

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Then the launch. Meaning … I am now ready to sell that work. Add the novel to social media. All of the above willing to be part of it. Easy job. Post to your Twitter, Facebook, or whatever your favorite social media site(s).

When I review a book, launched, I hit all my sites. I give stars (honest) on Amazon (no stars if it requires work, at which time I send the author a note … this needs work, want another review?). I am a dedicated critique -er, Beta, and launcher, ARC reader and reviewer. It is what authors & readers do.

If you are interested in a dedicated swap, critique, beta, launch, these are free copies/swaps. I post via email to a group I dedicate, both readers only, writers only, both. And swapping novels. I have two more Betabook spots that are free. On my beta site I send chapters at a time since my current work is still … in the works.

writer reader dedicated

Let me know if you are interested. Send me that email, and I’ll answer and add you to my list of readers etc.,.

c.mahoney.fnp@gmail.com

Experts…

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I love sharing my process. It’s kinda fun. The how-to’s of what I do to plot/pants/polish a manuscript (rewrite…). Takes me forever. But, that is part of ‘my’ process. I’ve shared some of my ideas on process before, but, I am not an expert. Be careful. Why?

monty python

Experts are frequently authors. They’ve done well. Experts are all over the place. I Googled the findings of experts and writers of experts were available. Over … three … million. Yikes!

Just like ‘too many cooks spoil the broth…’ whether webinars, conferences, books, coaches, too many experts can spoil not just your process or plot, first lines… they can halt your progress. You become depressed, drink yourself into oblivion, live on the streets… That maybe overstating your situation, but…

You are now too paralyzed to write for fear of breaking the rules, regulations. Your process is decimated, the manuscript is cooked to death and your love for creative writing is gone. Gone, I tell you, gone. Might as well be a ‘Kill Bill’ extra where volunteers set themselves to die (for real).

kill bill

You’ve buried the manuscript. Taken up skydiving. Without the parachute.

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Pfft. Yes, there are great resources you should avail yourselves of, but watch where you step. You pay for expert classes, books, ad nauseum. The pile of money you spend may well be a poop full of crap. If you find yourself unable to follow your plot today, or your manuscript is simmering for those two weeks, read. This is true advice. Not from me, but a bazillion writers. That many writers who say the brief statement, ‘If you are not reading, you are not writing.’

reading is vital to writing

I mean, read fiction. The genre you love, the genre you don’t. Immerse yourself in books that are clean, spotless, and I don’t mean the edit. I am talking about voice. Your voice. I hate horror. But I love Stephen King’s writing. Flawless. Characters that make a novel scarier. Oh, please, do not watch movies based on the book. You will never get a real voice, inner thoughts, emotions as actions.

Now the destruction begins. Have you killed your darlings? Fixed plot holes? Made characters three dimensional? You are ready for your critique group. They will find more.

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And you are allowed to weep. The important aspect is ‘listen to your critique group’. Sweep, dust, clean the mangled manuscript, and get your beta group. Whatever you do, do not use friends, family as readers. They don’t want to offend you. Allow the attacks. You’ll be stronger for the battle. Again, listen to your beta group.

Everything is subjective, in the eyes of the groups that read your work and in the opinions of the experts. Are you satisfied? Did the changes help?

I keep copies of what I have cut, one never knows when that scene will be pertinent to the next novel. A bit OCD I suppose, I keep every copy from a daily write in a file. Because the previous scenes/language/character might have been better than what you pen right now. Yeah, Sherlock. Keep it safe.

oops sherlock

So there you have it. Again, my process. Listen, or listen not. It has meaning for me, perhaps not for you. But for cryin’ out loud, do not … do not run to everyone who calls themselves an expert.

Don’t drink the poison, and please, don’t sign this.

airhead anon

 

 

 

Cool Surprise!

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Giving a shout out to WritersDetective Q&A on Facebook (and Twitter). Received through their email a surprise mention to the group regarding forensic science, and I certainly hope to live up to the status!

I also finished a novel that has nothing (or very little) to do with romance or faith– a gritty (violence and colorful language) military and medical (kinda gory) based on a true happening.

So, if you have any fun and interesting questions for me, find me at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorClaire1/ or here and I will research what I don’t know, or give you info on what I do know.

This is what I picture the finished product to look like (the book not the disaster…)

 

AIR

Uh oh.

dictator

Have you heard this news yet?

Have you heard word one from North Korea? I didn’t, a relative gave me the information.

HOLY CRAP. This could be the disaster of disasters, bigger than Fukushima and Chernobyl combined.

As North Korea’s esteemed dictator began using Mt. Mantap (mantrap?), it’s weakened to the point of collapse, killing 200. UM, was said dictator in the mountain or near enough to get radiation sickness to the point of death? Why no word from him for over a week?

Now, not only China fears the affects, but this could easily affect HALF THE WORLD.

Not to mention our oceans. Fish (including the salmon that travel into the fresh waters), dolphins, bottom dwellers, sharks, name something. Including our birds that feed on them. And those of us, especially the West Coast … who are blithely unaware of the danger and continue to eat already affected by Fukushima waters.

Japan, appropriately, freaking out.

Where are the news outlets? Talking politics, as usual.

I’m an author, not a scientist or politician. I am not in favor of running after politics on my blog. But. This. Is. Important.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punggye-ri_Nuclear_Test_Site_tunnel_collapse – where you can find the news starting to report it.

We need heroes. I start with Animal Mother (okay so he’s older and this isn’t FMJ), not diplomacy.

adam baldwin last ship

kim and o

 

 

Follow this Guy – Dale Amidei

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I mentioned yesterday how impressive The Bonus Pool was by Dale Amidei, and I was only halfway through. Well, I finished it around 1 a.m. or so, and it really is that good.

His writing is enough to make many of us, especially newbies, stumble, stop, and wonder just what the heck are we thinking, trying to write? Phttp. Bears repeating. It is that good. Kinda envious here. No, that’s not right. Freakin’ envious.

I think all of my fingernails are much shorter. <Looks> Yep.

Modern day espionage meets Boone, a woman searching. Add intrigue, angst, assassins, and a lot of characters well written, faith, and folly.

The thread doesn’t fall apart. The plot is insanely realistic. Pretty sure Dale was a spy in his lifetime…

I am glad I have both copies in paperback. Why? ‘Cause these are worth reading again, especially during the zombie apocalypse. Or maybe, just tomorrow.

Dale is an Indie author. Give him a worthy review, because if they had stars higher than five, I’d hit the top.

Great writing. Kinda hatin’ on ya, Dale. PHTTP.

 

Great Reading!

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I had the pleasure of reading Dale Amidei’s Absinth and Chocolate not long ago, watching as Boone spiraled downward in her personal life. Now, I am reading (halfway through) her journey from the trappings of the world, her grief and redemption — I am not done, but I have no doubt that this intricate plot will be as exciting as Absinth and Chocolate.
Boone is changing. Lin, her charge, has been the only one able to disarm and reach those emotions. This view of Boone is quite different. I don’t like giving away  plots… as you know.
If you delve into Boone’s world, start with Absinthe and Chocolate. Watch as she, in both novels, navigates the labyrinth of global conflict and emotional angst.
You will not be disappointed.

I had the pleasure of reading Dale Amidei’s Absinth and Chocolate not long ago, watching as Boone spiraled downward in her personal life. Now, I am reading (halfway through) her journey from the trappings of the world, her grief and redemption — I am not done, but I have no doubt that this intricate plot will be as exciting as Absinth and Chocolate.
Boone is changing. Lin, her charge, has been the only one able to disarm and reach those emotions. This view of Boone is quite different. I don’t like giving away  plots… as you know.
If you delve into Boone’s world, start with Absinthe and Chocolate. Watch as she, in both novels, navigates the labyrinth of global conflict and emotional angst.
You will not be disappointed.