Author! Author! Reader! Reader!

The Monday Fox asked:
How many people read your books before you submit them?
What kind of feedback do you ask for?

My answer?

Not enough of the right people get to see my books.
I have had few friends and family interested in my work. Of those, they have been supportive.

Too supportive.

Constant praise is not encouraging, as much as they think so and want it to be. I need constructive critiquing, as I have done for others.

Is this passage clear?
Can you tell who is talking?
Did I repeat myself?
Did I add a section and put it in the wrong place?
Or did I forget to re-insert a scene?
Did I keep part of what I meant to say in my head, and it never go to paper?
Did I over-describe?
Did I under-describe?

I would love to have someone on whom I could rely to simply answer these honestly, or to tell me when I have gotten off-track

 I have those who insist that they want to help, but they are soul-crushers:

I had that idea first.
That isn’t what really happened.
You should write it in complete chronological order.
That isn’t the way I would have written it.
What made you think of this?
Is this how your mind works?
You know about food, tell everybody about all the food where the story is placed.
You should make this story more spiritual.
You should make this one less spiritual.
People will think that is about me.

The ‘writers’ that I have met locally are, well, the less said the better. Their work is poor, and often crude, (in the worst sense), so there is no unloading my heart to them.

I have beta-read for others, but I haven’t found anyone who needs me and can be in a reciprocal relationship. I was glad to help, and only asked one once to look over a story. She  came through, but now I need to concentrate on my work. Unless we can do a give and take now, I just don’t have the time.

I’ve had success with getting published when reading on my own. I read things over and over. I need to get back to going with my gut, as it were. When I try to please, like add or cut to accommodate word count, I know that it isn’t great and I have gotten (rightfully) rejected.

A few of us here have one good and well-accomplished author for a friend who also feels the need to handle her own editing.
I think the trick is not only to follow one’s  inner voice, but to put the work away for a while.

My own ‘fresh eyes’, as it were.

Maybe one day someone with a good eye and the time will help me, but until then,

 how many people read my books/stories  before I submit them?
3-4 Me, Myself and I, and just maybe someone else.



About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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6 Responses to Author! Author! Reader! Reader!

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    I certainly understand the feeling one has when a reader starts asking questions about me, as the writer… rather than react to the plot and characters that I’ve produced. It throws off the entire point of having them read the piece.
    My favorite aunt did that when my dad showed her some of my poems. Instead of reacting to the poetry, she tried to second-guess what was going on with ME. Needless to say, there was no point in sharing any more of my creative writing with her. [Though she remained my favorite aunt for the rest of her life.]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny that you should mention a favorite aunt.When I entered my first competition and actually took a minor prize, my sister, behind my back, read my works to the aunt closest to me.
      We had a precarious relationship; she could be kind and then unkind to me. She was the family oddball. I was shocked to find out that she, of all people, really liked my pieces, in fact, she, herself, was nearly shocked, although she always said that I was the smartest one.
      You never know.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    On Monday, I mentioned that I belong to several online author support groups. It does take some time, but eventually I found a few authors who write in my genre who were willing to read my things and give me valuable feedback. I didn’t always agree with everything they said, but I usually found it was a plus to have a few extra sets of eyes to read it. Like finding a life partner, you have to “kiss a lot of frogs” as it were. But if going with your gut gives you more success, then go with that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t found people, willing to be reciprocal, Patty. I do their work, then they get ‘busy’. Since My writing is kind of all over the place, it’s hard to pin down a genre to concentrate on. Too many I have tried to speak with are ‘formulators’, but I guess that I could look. Most of the problem has been that that takes time, and time is what is killing my work.


  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I often put my manuscript away for a while, usually after I finish it, and then I go back and reread it. I have great readers to help me, but they still sometimes fall into the over praising or over critical trap. In the end I do usually trust myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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