|Bookmarks made by Suzette Young|
There are milestones when writing a book, and getting the manuscript finished enough to share is one of those.
A week ago I mailed a bound copy of the manuscript to each of my three first readers. I should have felt a huge relief, but instead, I was in high anxiety. All that work, a year and a half of trying to piece together a readable, enjoyable story – was now out of my hands. What would my first readers think about what I have written?
It is part of the writing process that is nerve wracking, but I thank God every day for my caring and talented friends who offered to take on the job. It is not one to be taken lightly.
A first reader has to take off their “friend” hat and put on their hard core professional one. This is a job. They have to dissect the story. Are the characters developed enough? Is the setting developed to the point where the reader is drawn into the location? Is the plot interesting? Do the story lines come together at the end? Are the questions answered? Does the protagonist change/grow by the end? Does the theme weave through the book?
And then there is formatting, point of view, typos, repeated information, and on and on.
When all this is done, first readers put on their “friend” hat again, and present their findings to the author in a way that doesn’t hurt or discourage, but instead encourages the author to make the story stronger, better, utilizing their suggestions.
I am blessed with first readers that are experts at doing all of the above, and I’m energized by their comments.
Keep writing and enjoy the journey.