Photo Credit: Sam Howzit from flickr.
As I approach the publication of a new book and test the waters with new critique groups in the city I have started to compile tips and tricks on how to work with beta readers and writing critiques based on my recent mistakes and successes. This is a point where the dread of marketing your writing hasn’t quite come along, but you’ve truly taken action and created a piece of work that is ready for others to read.
Who better to walk us through the guidelines than the man who made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs? Let’s take a look at some of the best Han Solo quotes to see what they can teach writers about beta readers and writing critiques.
Uh, everything’s under control. Situation normal.
Whether in the Death Star or working with beta readers, keep the situation normal. Maintain control for both your beta readers and yourself. Think about how absurd it is to give someone a 60,000 word book and expect them to read it. The book is still in a rough stage, and you don’t even know if it’s any good (so you pawn it off on other people). Cut the story into chunks to lure your beta readers in, and to target the feedback, so you know exactly where people get lost in your story. If you give beta readers two or three chapters and they don’t like them, those chapters can be rewritten, but if you give them your whole manuscript and they come back with bad words, you feel like your whole book is crap, which probably isn’t true. Manage the workload for them and make the revisions easier for you.