WiPs - What do expect from your reviewers?

After being on vacation at the coast for a week, we are now back home and trying to get back into the "normal" groove of things.  School begins in two days, and somehow the kids are going to have to get back into the normal bedtime and early morning schedules - not sure how that's going to work!

I am happy to share that I did indeed get some work done while we were gone.  I've reached 63,500 something words, and I've come to terms with the fact that my goal of 70,000 just isn't going to be met, because in order to achieve that goal I would have to add too many extra elements. (Which might, in turn, take away from the current story line - and I sure don't want that to happen!) So now, my new goal is 65,000.  Tops.  Hopefully I'll find a way to get there.   *crosses fingers, knocks on wood, and looks around for salt to throw over my shoulders*

With that being said, I think the book is finally at the point where I can look at it and say, "It's almost finished!" and actually, truly mean it this time.  (And that is quite exciting, as many of you writers out there know.)  There are a few kinks I have been trying to work out (one in particular that I have picked apart - why do we do this to ourselves?), and a few I have already been able to fix...but, like Lovemuffin told me late last night, "Sometimes you just gotta call it, and let it go."  

So that is what I am trying to do.  I'm going to let go for a week or so, no matter how hard it is going to be to not pull up my WiP even just for a few minutes, and I'm going to force myself not to read a single paragraph or line of dialogue.  That way when it comes back to me (about to receive second opinion soon - hello again crazy nerves and butterflies in my stomach!) I will be able to apply any feedback I receive with a slightly cleaner slate, at least. 

Speaking of opinions, I've chosen a few questions to ask the lucky (or unlucky I guess, depending on how you look at it) few who are critiquing my WiP, and would love to hear if any of you have specific things you ask your reviewers.  (Questions like, "Were you able to connect with the protagonist throughout the story?", for example.)

I came across this post on Nathan Bransford's extremely useful blog  http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/08/guest-blog-week-critiquing-critiques.html (written by guest blogger Rick Daley, another insightful blogger, and here's his blog - http://openquery.blogspot.com/  **Can someone please teach me to post links an easier way?**)  So I thought I'd share.

 Always sharing my thoughts on the love of life, writing and coffee -

coffeelvnmom (Jessica)


L. Diane Wolfe said...

You're brave! I edit about fifty times before the first test reader sees it. (100 times before shipping off to the editors!)

My challenge is always to make my work shorter - wanna trade?

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

I wish I was like that a little more... maybe I just have everything so "how I want it" in my head that I can't imagine adding to it... who knows, I might be told I need to - and if that happens, then back to the drawing board!!!

As for having it read early on - I would rather get opinions now, instead of when I think everything is just perfect (in my opinion, anyway) and then feel frustrated when things need to be changed.

Sierra Godfrey said...

To post links, there should be a little icon in the blogger post panel: a world with a chain link across it. Just highlight "Nathan's blog" and click that icon and enter the link. Voila!

As for critiquing, want to tradsies? Email me.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Yeah you know Sierra, I like that idea...just need to get a couple more things fixed before that. Great idea!

Anita said...

I liked reading your profile and I wish you the best with your manuscript. I have a manuscript (non-fiction), but since I discovered blogging, I haven't been back to it. It's amazing that I spent five years, off and on, working on it, to put it on hold again. I am a stay-at-home mom of three girls 13, 11, and 9...and I'm 51! My interests are still growing and changing. Don't know exactly where I'm headed, but its kinda fun. You're still very young, so keep working on that book!

Sierra Godfrey said...

Hey Jessica, I thought I saw you asking how to do backgrounds on your blog--I found instructions!

If you didn't, my apologies. I have no memory.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

no, you were right, thanks Sierra! Hopefully if I do that one it won't try to delete my gadgets- because the one I was trying to do wanted to and I didn't want all that work to go down the drain=(