Well, That Was Fun
SOME GREAT COMMENTS…
Both on the post about Beta Readers and privately. Thanks, everyone.
I had forgotten how going after a sacred belief of beginning writers can really cause waves. Some were very happy about my opinion, calling them freeing. And some, in private letters, worked to justify their need for their very special beta readers.
None of the later actually had the courage to do so in public. And I said nothing to them but “Good luck to you…” in my responses to them. What else can I say?
No one really commented at all about my not even having a first reader when I started out. Nina Kiriki Hoffman helped me with the first three or four stories, but after that, the story per week went to editors without even a first reader. And many of them sold.
And they were all first draft on an electric typewriter. Two-fingered typing.
Climbing over the fear of not being perfect and just trusting your own art is difficult. It really is the key to starting to learn how to be a long-term professional writer.
Think about it… If you have no courage when you have nothing to lose, you sure won’t do well when you actually have a following years later. Of course, you keep pounding your stories into mush with beta readers and rewriting, you never will have a following, so nothing to worry about there.
And now for the stuff about the cool bundle both Kris and I are in with a bunch of other great sf writers.
The initial titles in the The Aliens Among Us (minimum $5 to purchase) are:
- Fiction River: No Humans Allowed edited by John Helfers
- Fade to Gold by Stefon Mears
- Backli’s Ford by Marcelle Dube
- Undermountain by Eric Kent Edstrom
If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular titles, plus six more!
- The End of the World by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- Starburst by Dean Wesley Smith
- Scifi Motherlode by Robert Jeschonek
- Rita Longknife – Enemy Unknown by Mike Shepherd
- Assemblers of Infinity by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason
- Imposters by Blaze Ward
Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to AbleGamers!
I am super proud to be a part of this bundle and having a chance to work with Allyson Longuiera to put it together. Take a look. I don’t think you can find a better group of science fiction novels at this price.
Only four people (now maybe five) have signed up for the short story challenge so far. I expanded it and the novel challenge to eight writers, so still room in both.
If interested in signing up, just write me. They are going to be great fun. Here are the details once again.
SHORT STORY Challenge:
— Write thirty short stories in 60 days. You can take the full time or you can write them in a month. Up to you.
— I will charge $600 to be your first reader. If you try the challenge, you get two online workshops of your choice, a $600 value. (In essence, I will read for free if you do the challenge.)
— If you feel the challenge is not working for you, I will offer you an off-ramp at various points and you can take it and get the two online workshops. So you can try this risk free.
— Write three novels between October 1st and January 15th. You can take the full time or you can write them quicker. Up to you.
— I will charge $600 to be your first reader. If you give this a try, you get two online workshops of your choice, a $600 value. (In essence, I will read for free if you do the challenge.)
— Novels can be any length over 30,000 words and at least half of the first one must be written during the time of the challenge.
— If you feel the challenge is not working for you, I will offer you an off-ramp and you can take it and get the two online workshops. I also will give you two online workshops if a life event comes up and you can’t finish.
October Online Workshops
Still haven’t decided if we will fill Workshop #48 yet. More than likely not at this point.
Information about the workshops and signing up at:
October Workshops Available
Class #37… Oct 3rd … Writing into the Dark
Class #38… Oct 3rd … Endings
Class #39… Oct 3rd … Point of View
Class #40… Oct 3rd … Writing Mysteries
Class #41… Oct 3rd … Speed
Class #42… Oct 3rd … Teams in Fiction
Class #43… Oct 4th … Depth in Writing
Class #44… Oct 4th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #45… Oct 4th … Character Development
Class #46… Oct 4th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #47… Oct 4th … Advanced Depth
Class #48… Oct 4th … (TBA)
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Ashley R Pollard
Man, you certainly lay down the challenge.
Here’s the one I’m grappling with. I have written three novels. The first rejected by a publisher for not being straight-forward enough. The second finished after the Beta reader grist mill, and being proof red by a friend who is a writer. The third I’m finishing off, rewriting: as in scenes being added because I’d dropped a sub-plot, and realized I could up the tension with another POV.
I’m looking at my options for the future, and one thing I need is to up the number of words I’m writing. Money is tight, so I’m weighing up my options as I can only spend it once.
BTW: I commented on a previous blog of yours here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/yakfzrf6
If you want to check me out.
Ashley, you want to up your word count? First, kill the Beta Readers, second, write clean first draft and when you get to the last word you are done. Stop thinking that you have enough information and knowledge about writing to “critical voice fix” your novels later. Write them clean, first draft, not sloppy, and get them out to readers to buy and move on and keep learning. Trust me, ups your word count in stunning amounts because you aren’t doing all the stuff you detailed out (like adding a subplot??)
Yup, I know, impossible for you to imagine because it goes against all myths the English teachers and other beginning writers taught you. But honestly, you want to write more, start writing clean, one draft stories and novels.
Ashley R Pollard
This quote nailed my experience with a writers group, “Especially one day when the group totally hated one story. Totally. They tore it apart and almost had me convinced it was complete garbage. If the story hadn’t already been in the mail, I never would have mailed it.”
Which was set me down the road to re-writing.
I’m saving up some money and will email you when I have enough.
You don’t need any money. Don’t need workshops, or courses, or even any books, really (get them from the library). Dean already gave you advice, for free. Now you need to put it into action. Trust your creative voice. Save your money for covers, or other expenses.