Five pages vs. the full manuscript
Revision update: Going well. I’ve been getting up early and doing about a chapter a day.
Being the only one to know the full story of my book has been driving me crazy. I think it’s good. I’m excited about it. But there’s always that little voice in the back of head telling me that I might have lost my mind. Don’t you love that little voice? Jerk!
My critique group has been reading the book, five pages every two weeks, but that’s slow going. So, I got my husband to read the full manuscript late Sunday.
There’s a huge benefit to getting people you trust to read your full manuscript. Critique groups are fabulous, but the same people don’t make it every week and a lot is forgotten over two weeks. So, in a critique group alone, you might miss great continuity notes that can only really be picked out if someone reads the whole thing. My husband pointed out descrepencies in different chapters, a few things that didn’t make perfect sense. These chapters had been read by my critique group, but without knowing what’s in the older chapters, they would never have found these problems. Also, his findings were things that made sense to me in my head because I knew backstory that wasn’t in the manuscript–another good reason to have someone else read the book.
Your spouse or significant other isn’t usually the best person for this job. Mine is a very good writer himself and will be brutally honest with me, although I do encourage him to tell me the good stuff too. 🙂 But our partners in life are often the easiest to convince to spend a few hours or so reading our work, even if they might be too lenient on us.
But writers are helpers, and we know we are all in the same boat together. Reach out to fellow writers, in your critique group or other group, and ask them if they’ll be willing to read your manuscript, offering to do the same for theirs. It definitely helps to have that second or third eye and to have it on the whole book instead of just five pages every couple of weeks.
Do you have someone who reads your work? How did you find them?