I am blessed by belonging to the Burlington Writers Workshop in Burlington, Vermont. This is a group of writers that meets regularly to discuss our work in a supportive atmosphere. But it is much more than that. It produces a network of friends and readers that can make life much nicer for a first time novelist. My novel is being workshopped on three dates over a period of seven weeks. The guidance I get from the workshop is making my book much better, and excitingly, I see my story in a whole new light, because the attendees each read the story differently. After the first workshop, I added about 5,000 words to the novel, which really didn’t need them, but welcomed them anyway. I will have more to say on the workshop after it is completed on October 7.
Today I got to meet with the young lady who was beta reading it for me. She too is a denizen of BWW, and her contact with the writing world began from an editorial viewpoint. That had much to do with my choosing her for a beta reader. We talked for over two hours about the book, and I gained remarkable insight into the mind of a reader other than myself. Things that I knew about my story were not clear enough in my writing to show the reader. I have many little things to fix, a few additions to make, and a tiny bit of rewriting and I will be ready for the second workshop this coming Tuesday. I want to give a shoutout to the marvelous young lady who spent that time with me this afternoon. Her name is Lee-Ann and you can find her online at justbecreativity.com and you will find that she is quite an artist, among other talents. Her insight into what a reader might want or need helped me understand better my audience and what they would think.
With friends such as these, I know I will be giving you and all my readers a better book than I could have made myself. I hope my editor becomes such a friend!