A writer confesses

Conundrums Be Darned! Emma Thwack and Whack is On.

Dear Diligent Reader,

Cama Beach

Ahh, for the serenity of a sit on the beach.  But, hark, Beta Readers are calling!

In my last post, I was all about ditching the long-form and beta reader route and hacking into the query and synopsis wilderness alone.  Much has happened in two weeks. 

“But you need your beta readers,” writing colleague A. said after I made my annoucement.  “I want to be a beta reader.  I want to read Emma.  I want to find out what happens to Petra.  You can make your story better with beta readers.  Don’t you want to make your story better?”

Why did writing colleague A have to bring up these vexing arguments? Why did she have to introduce doubt into my Emma game plan?

I mulled some more.

Writing colleague A was prepared to have her novel scanned by an alpha reader, after which she planned to scrap most everything of draft one and build up from just worthy nuggets of character and plot alone.  She was gearing up for a feat of super bravery.  The ultimate writing Olympiad.  I was required to show a least a fraction of her courage.

I changed my tune.  I signed up for the beta read.

Mega pages printed out.

Scrapped the double space, 12 point font, 1/2 in. paragraph indentations.  Fudged to space and 1/2, 11 point font, 0.3 in. graph indents.  Savings per hard copy: nearly 100 pages.  Trips to office supply store for more ink (and 1 inch 3-ring binders for the hard copies) still required.  Oh, excuse me.  Not ink.  Toner.  On the laser jet printer.  Way more economical than the ink printer route.  The ink printer paper jammed itself to death about 2 months ago.  About one month into warranty expiration.  Serious printer death zone.

We decided we were done with finicky, multi-talented, ink printer.  Who cares about the Xmas letter with full color picture reproductions if you can’t get it to feed the paper through? We’ll take the bland, single feature, black script printing laser printer any day.  Plus, laser jet does the thing we most required– the flip–allowing us to print on both sides.  Super important for long docs, such as novels for umpteen beta readers.  Well, not umpteen, but definitely ten.  Definitely double digit zone.

The betas gather on June 14, 6:30 p.m., at College Inn Pub for the Emma thwack and whack.  Wish me fortitude, Readers.




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