The Final Frontier – Critique Partner or Beta Reader?

It’s almost time. Time to submit my most recent completed manuscript for a final review.

I’m of the firm opinion revisions never end until the book is on the shelf. A writer will always find something to “tweak” when they go back to page one and read forward. But at some point you have to exercise self-discipline, fold your hands primly in your lap and say, “Finished”.

I’m close to reaching that moment with one caveat…instead of folding my hands primly, they’ll be wrapped around a champagne flute. This has been a tough one with many incarnations.

I’ve lost count how many completed works I’ve penned over the years.  The confusion lies with the fact I’ve made extensive plot changes to several manuscripts – to the point that it’s not even the same story. I don’t know if that counts as an additional book or a .5 on the writer’s scale.

I’m excited about this particular completion because I’ve learned so much in the past year through workshops, books and networking. It represents a work incorporating cumulative avenues of knowledge. And possibly the best novel I’ve submitted to date.

So as I approach “The End”, I ask myself, “Self…who should read the finished product from beginning to end? My critique partners or a Beta reader?”

And Self replied, “A Beta reader. You’ve exhausted all your critique partners. You need a fresh pair of eyes who can read your manuscript without remembering the five versions you wrote prior to completion.”

Ah, ha. Self has moments of amazing insight and wisdom.

So I’ve found a Beta reader who has graciously agreed to review my finished product. While she’s doing that, I’ll be working furiously on my synopsis. Provided there are no extensive revisions, the next step is submitting to the publishing house I’ve targeted.

And after that….I’ll be waiting. Not idly, I might add. I’ll also be working feverishly on my current WIP, a gritty futuristic paranormal.

A writer’s work is never done.

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About Debra S. Sanders

Debra is an RV nomad, traveling full time with her husband, dog and cat. She writes, hikes, star gazes and explores myth, lore and curiosities from America's back roads. She also indulges in colorful sunsets and good wine.

1 Response

  1. Great post. I am at the beginning stages of writing my memoir. I have never heard of Beta Readers until The Creative Penn wrote it on her blog. At that moment, I knew I would have Beta Readers for my novel also.

    Great blog. I am a first-time visitor. Nice to meet you 🙂

    Like

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