Monday, November 1, 2010

Beta Readers and WiP Update

So, my beta readers have been, well, beta reading. Woo-hoo.

Initially, they had a short deadline, on the rough draft, because I was going to enter a contest. Well, in the meantime, I decided not to enter the contest.


Well, my cozy mystery, rough draft, came in at about 65,000 words. The word count for cozy mysteries is between 60,000 and 70,000 words. Yep, I was right there in the middle and ended up with about 286 pages.

Fine! Dandy!

Oh, wait, the contest only wants 220 pages which meant I would have to eliminate 60 pages.

Well, when I mentioned this to my beta readers there was a collective: Noooooooooo!

Well, talk about a consensus on that subject.

Okay, I'd pretty much decided the same thing, but I did pose the question just to be on the safe side.

Yes, as I go through the edit process, I'll eliminate pages. I just don't see where I can eliminate 60 pages. In fact, one of my readers made the following comment: every page is pertinent and fun!

So, the idea of entering the contest, well, bit the dust. I really wanted to enter the contest.

But . . . to do so would have meant eliminating far too many pages that, at least in my opinion, would hurt the integrity of the novel.

So, my focus now is creating the best manuscript possible so I can query after the first of the year. I've written the query - needs work, I'll be emailing Elana at some point - and plan on working on the synopsis as well over the course of the next couple of months.

Lastly - my beta readers rock. They don't always agree with each other, and sometimes they do:
  • one was distracted by a subplot, while another one loved the subplot.
  • three agreed that I needed to begin on Page 8, and one said that my initial beginning was fine.
  • they all wanted more!


On that note, done for blogging . . . at least for today. Ha!



Elana Johnson said...

I agree that beta readers are all awesome. Glad you've got good ones! Can't wait for your email. :)

Domey Malasarn said...

The fact that they wanted more is the best sign ever! I'm glad you gave up the contest if it was going to compromise your writing. I used to go the other way, always manipulating my stories to fit guidelines. That never worked out. Im' much more content with my writing these days, and I don't mind turning down some opportunities.

Scott said...

Elana - the query I wrote is the query I'd love to send . . . but would probably get me backlisted.

Domey - this is one of those times where I relied heavily on my instinct. I really wanted to enter the contest. I still want to enter, but I know I'm better off not diminishing the integrity of the story to fit into the contest guidelines. But, since this publisher does the contest every year, there's always next year.


Robyn Campbell said...

NO! I did NOT run out of ideas! HMPH!!!!

Oh and it isn't go titans. IT'S GO DOLPHINS! YAY PHINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and about your post. The fact that they want more, is a very good thing. Glad you have great betas. Me too. :) And if three betas agree on something, you'd better study how to fix it or make it more clear. :)

It sounds like a good read. (Don't mention to anyone that I complimented you.) HEHE