The Monday Fox asked:
How many people read your books before you submit them?
What kind of feedback do you ask for?
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.
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.
how many people read my books/stories before I submit them?
3-4 Me, Myself and I, and just maybe someone else.