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Best Friends and Beta Readers

Soliciting input on my writing has always been hard for me. I tend to have a very clear direction for how I want things to play out, and it's tough when that vision doesn't match up with a reader's. But at the same time, it isn't easy as an author to figure out if enough of the internal world you've built in your head has made it onto the page. To this end, beta readers are vitally important to the editing process.

I haven't found as many readers as I should. To date, Acorn has been read by my husband, my mother, my sister, and a very good friend. I've sent it to another dozen or so friends or friends of family, but let's be honest, it's asking a lot for someone to devote eight hours or more to reading and critiquing a completely untested book. Not to mention that there are a lot of bad self-published books floating around out there. It makes sense that people wouldn't just take my word for it that mine is worth their time.

Thankfully, despite my relatively small group of readers, I have received an abundance of thoughtful and helpful feedback. My husband, J, really focused in on making sure the story was consistent with its own internal world as well as with the real world. He pointed out several places where word choices, descriptions, and character interactions just didn't make sense. He explained when characters knew more than it made sense for them to or, conversely, when there was a gap in their knowledge that was unlikely to be there.

My friend opened my eyes to some gaps in the story related to developing the romantic plotline in particular. She is an avid reader in the genre, and it showed in her comments. I added multiple scenes based on her feedback that fleshed out the emotional world of the story.

I am super lucky that my beta readers are also good editors. Every one of them picked up a few typos and misused words.

If you're reading this and are interesting in reading Acorn for me, please email through my contact page!

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