Posts Tagged Newbie writer

My Awesome Beta Reader!

How do people find their Beta-Readers?

I have no idea. When ever I ask someone this question they tell me to ask friends or family and some have even mentioned finding one online. These suggestions all make sense but for some it’s not that easy.

I love to write. I may not be great at it but I do enjoy it. There is nothing else like it. The ability to create an entire universe with just a blank page, 26 letters, 10 numbers and a few punctuation marks is amazing to me. I love, love, love it! 

But once I complete a story what do I do with it? Get someone to read it, right? Hell’s yeah! I need to find me a Beta-Reader.

Well, that proved to be the hardest part of the entire experience. The friends and family around who promised to read for me once I was done suddenly became busy. They were so scared they might have to give negative feed back they completely stepped away. Someone suggested I look on-line but for every positive review I read about one site there were three negative ones. A little scary for a first timer.

Finally one of my friends and co-workers stepped up to the plate. Month’s prior she was the one I threw the story idea at and even though it was not her cup of tea she saw that I was so excited about it she encouraged me to follow it through and I did. Once she found out no one else would read it she stepped up and volunteered. Never reading an Urban Fantasy before she was a little apprehensive but willing.

We discussed it and came to the conclusion to take it one chapter at a time. I would send her one chapter she would take notes and then ask for the next chapter when she was ready. That way if she wanted to stop reading she could. No hurt feelings.  All I asked was that she be TOTALLY HONEST.

And she was. I received e-mails with correction’s, questions, or suggestions at the end of each chapter. It was great because it was a step forward and after being stuck looking for a Beta moving forward is exciting.  Now don’t get me wrong she was also very positive. I would get e-mails saying “OMG! I need the next chapter now!” I think the funniest comment she made was “It’s a real book. When I read it, it doesn’t sound like the you from work.”  I took that as a huge compliment. I also loved going into work and seeing her excited with question’s about the story (never reading anything paranormal/fantasy before) and characters and how it made her feel. How some parts were funny, emotional and sometimes “creepy” (but she liked it).

I will admit it. I’m not aggressive, I’m goofey and silly most of the time and I think that’s what made most of my friends and family (including my husband) not take me very seriously and that’s okay. I’ll own that. But I do want to thank my wonderful Beta-Reader who stepped miles out of her comfort zone to help and encourage me.

Thank you!

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You write?

Neighbor:  Hi! Where have you been? I haven’t seen you around. (big bright welcoming smile)

You:  I’ve been working on a project. (an awkward smile for your half confession)

Neighbor:  What kind of project? (head tilting with curiosity)

You:  I’m writing a book. (holding breath because this is the first time you have admitted this to anyone other than a close friend and family member)

Neighbor:  Oh (brows connecting in disappointment, big bright smile slowly turning into a frown) What’s it about? (cringing)

You:  Young Adult Urban Fantasy (biting the bullet and just going for it)

Neighbor:  Uh Oookay.  Well, it was nice seeing you again and good luck with that. (quick smile and turn to hurry to back to their side of the fence)

Now they will avoid eye contact with you for the next few days, weeks, months or maybe even years. Your hearts in your throat, your guts feel like they’ve been juiced and your confidence has taken a major dip.

As a newbie writer this could be a very uncomfortable conversation. Your confession to the outside world “YES! YOU ARE A WRITER!” 

It’s a hard thing to do especially when someone asks “What do you have out?” and your answer is…”Nothing, yet.”

Don’t let it discourage you. If this is something you love, OWN IT! If you write for yourself or to share with others you are a writer. But don’t forget to actually do the writing. It’s kinda important to the declaration.

I really wasn’t comfortable letting the outside world know what I was doing until I had a finished manuscript, over 300 pages filled with one cohesive thought. Now it was only a first draft but it was a whole first draft and man was that a good feeling. Why did I feel so scared? I don’t know. I’m human. I find it easier to tell people my Grandmother was a wrestler then telling them I write. Trust me, telling people your Grandmother is a wrestler will get you some strange looks and comments.  

That’s not a problem anymore. I write. It’s not the only thing I do but it is something I love and who doesn’t like talking about things they love.

 Write on!

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And so it begins!

Today I have decided to start my own blog. No shit right!

What I mean is I used to post at the Davishaigh blog but started feeling guilty using it as a platform for projects that were not Davishaigh related. So, here I am! The Davis from Davishaigh. I will be popping over there to discuss our joint projects that are in the works but here it’s all about Davis. 

In case we haven’t met before I am Merced Davis. I’m a mother, a wife and I have a day job outside of the house with a commute that would cause most people to go mad. I’m busy just like the rest of the world but because I love it I also find time to write. I love getting lost in the Supernatural world where anything is possible.

I have “co-authored” a Paranormal Romance and am finishing up a Young Adult Urban Fantasy that has my Beta-Readers pretty excited. I hope to talk about it more in the future and let everyone know how it’s progressing. In the mean time I will be documenting cool things I may find for newbie writers like myself or just mumbling. Everyday’s a gamble!

Now, I’m off to write.

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