Agent, Craft, Critique, Editing, Feedback, Fiction, Novel, Revision, Writing

Hey, I’m reading a reader’s mind!

I apologize for not visiting all my usual blogs and leaving my oh so insightful and often hilarious comments this week. I’ve been back in Editland, going over my manuscript once more to prepare a partial for an agent. A virtual writer-friend had already volunteered to give me feedback on the whole, so I sent it to her and asked if she could possibly read the first three chapters immediately.

Read she did and sent back five (5!) single-spaced pages of comments. Egads, you’re thinking, Linda’s writing must be in sad shape. But no, this was not a line edit—though she did note one typo (Thank you; hate those!). These pages were all notes on my three chapters. She gave me a detailed look into her thoughts as she read. Though I’ve received bits and pieces of this from my critique partners, I’ve never had anyone give me this much reader insight at once.

She let me know what she understood from a scene and often speculated on how this might tie into the story later. I found this helpful, particularly at this stage of my manuscript, because it let me know exactly where I might have led her astray or confused her on the plot. So instead of my usual panic that it’s all wrong, I could pinpoint which word, line, or paragraph had given the wrong impression. Plus, I felt immense satisfaction when she speculated correctly. I confess, she guessed wrong a couple times, so I’m also concerned that the story might disappoint her in part, but most of her guesses were right, in general, if not specifically.

My husband groaned when I said I was letting another writer read my book because he knows I’m a perfectionist and might start revising the whole thing again. Fortunately, she’s enjoying the story, so far, and her comments have resulted in only a few minor edits … and then a few more inspired by my rereading.

So, this has turned out to be a busy week for me, but in a good way. How’s your writing going this week?

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9 thoughts on “Hey, I’m reading a reader’s mind!”

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