Beta Readers and Your Internal Editor

Camp Nanowrimo has rolled around again, which means the corners of the internet I frequent are full of cheerleading and wordcounts and interesting snippets of advice from published authors.  As I am currently more in the editing stage of several projects as opposed to the frantic amassing of words, I thought I’d share some of the things that have caught my attention in the last week or two:

How to Train your Inner Editor by Mary R. Kowal

I watched this right before making notes for critiquing two pieces for my writers’ group, and it did really make me think about the kind of feedback I give, as well as the feedback I’ve gotten. I’ve done the beta-reader thing in several different ways, by email and in person, for strangers, acquaintances, and friends, and I do enjoy it, but now I get to appreciate it as a training exercise for my own writing in a way I’d never considered before.

Quote by Ira Glass, Lovely layout by artist unknown.  If you know whom to credit, please let me know! (Google's reverse image search failed me)

Quote by Ira Glass, Lovely layout by artist unknown. If you know whom to credit, please let me know! (Google’s reverse image search failed me)

For a deeper look at that idea-to-editing-to-just-publish-already zone, Kowal and her fellow authors from the podcast series Writing Excuses have a new anthology called Shadows Beneath, featuring 4 short stories in first draft and revised versions, with discussions of the editing process.  I haven’t read it yet, but it looks like fun.

How Amazon and Goodreads are changing literary criticism – Do you write Goodreads reviews?  Do you follow book bloggers?  Whose opinions do you trust?  I had a bunch of books on my ‘to read’ list based off bloggers’ book reviews that were *panned* on Goodreads–so what now?  I moved them from my ‘buy if you see them’ to ‘see if they’re at the library next time you’re there’ list.  But I won’t ditch them entirely until I read the first few chapters.  How do you react to online reviews?

Slowing down the brain with calligraphic text messaging?  Since much of this post is about being aware of your writing as you’re writing, and being a more mindful reader/responder, I thought it would be fun to wrap up with this entertaining article from a woman who spent a week replying to text messages with hand-written photographic replies.

What do you do to make yourself a more mindful reader and writer?

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