Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Honesty Is Not a Lonely Word and #writemotivation update

The month in the #writemotivation world, the imminently cool, KT Hanna, decided to do a critique/beta match up for all of us participating. It's an interesting idea and I've seen several other groups doing things like it. Basically, everyone writes up what they need and then people pick the person (or people) that matches what they need. It's awesome and I am really looking forward to the match up. For those who don't know: a critique partner is someone who digs deep into your story and points out the nitpicky stuff. A beta reader is someone who just reads it and says, this worked or that didn't work so well. A beta reader is more surface stuff whereas a critique partner is more in depth.

So, what does this have to do with honesty? Well, a lot. In any relationship honesty is one of the foundations of success. If you aren't able to be honest, you don't have a relationship. This is true for all relationships. Honesty breeds trust and if you trust someone, good things happen. This is Relationships 101 and not Rocket Science.

In a critique partner/beta reader relationship, honesty and trust are also so very important. In these types of relationships, you are trusting them to be honest enough to tell you if something doesn't work. These things can make, or break, your chances at getting noticed by a publisher. Or, if you are going the self-publishing route, keep from having people dedicate entire blogs to pointing out all of your mistakes. If you don't believe that this happens, just check out the 50 Shades of Suck website. It's sole purpose is to make fun of the Fifty Shades trilogy.

Luckily, I have been blessed with several good beta readers and critiquers (is that even a word?). One of them is my 10 year old son. He reads each chapter as it leaves the printer. As my son, I don't always believe him when he tells me that what I'm writing is more interesting than Rick Riordan. He and I have talked about that and he has told me, in no uncertain terms, that if it sucked, he would tell me. I guess I'll have to trust him. :D

Anyway, he just read chapter 16. He looked up at me and said, "If you had gone into more detail with this last scene, I would have thrown it at you and told you that you went to far." I just stared at him. Up to this point, I had not heard anything like that. It was actually good to hear. Chapter 16 had some intense content in it and I was worried it would be too much. Good to know that I did it just right.

#writemotivation goals

  1. Finish WIP: About to start Chapter 17 of 24. With only two weeks left, I'm still not confident that I will make it, but I will be really close. 7 chapters is a lot to do, for me, but with school being done, I won't have any other writing distractions.
  2. Blog once a week: YES!
  3. Cheer on my #writemotivation peeps: Yup!
'Till Next time (sorry no random pic!)


  1. You're doing awesome!! And I love that your son is one of your beta readers. Children can be ridiculously honest and blunt - which is a good thing - and this makes me want to have one of my nieces read my writing now. I don't know why I never thought of it before :} Embarrassed to show them my work I suppose ;)

    Well done!! 17 of 24 is amazing. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks!
      Yeah, if you are writing for MG or YA, it's a good idea to have some as your beta readers. If they don't like it, you know there is a problem. :D

      Good luck with your writing! :D

  2. I've read and reviewed books for a while now. However, the majority of them are traditional pubbed. However, I have run into several self/indie pubbed books that were really bad and I gave them my HONEST review. I've run into authors having issues with my honesty. And I thought I was rather tactful (at least in everything after my first brutal attack) and I truly wanted to be helpful. But, alas, you will always find those who are not open to honesty, those only wanting a boost to their ego and find as many fanboys/fangirls/yesmen as they can. So, the key here is: if you want to better your writing, find a partner who is not afraid to tell you when it sucks, but also not afraid to tell you what works too. It has to be an equal balance or it's just bashing...or too much praise...depending on what side of the critique you are getting.

    And remember for #1: Just do this:
    Chapter 17
    Chapter 18
    Chapter 19
    Chapter 20
    Chapter 21
    Chapter 22
    Chapter 23
    Chapter 24

    You can always fill in the in betweens later :P

    1. LOL! I've already done that...I now need to fill in the blanks. :D

      I understand the whole people not wanting honesty. A lot of people like that out there. I tell people to let me know when it isn't working and to be honest. So far, people have.

  3. the best thing i've ever done for my writing was join a critique group. i was randomly thrown together with the best bunch of women from my local SCBWI group and we have been through the trenches with each other for about five years. we were so lucky. we have definitely earned that trust where we can say "this part is totally not working" but usually it's still said in a very nice way.
    Good luck with your goals. you can do it!

    1. Thanks, Val. Yeah, I've got a good group of people around me with more that I hope to include in the future. I love feedback and getting a different perspective. :D

  4. You're so close, and that's so awesome! Good luck in the last couple weeks :D