Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Best Beta

I haven't been blogging this week because something unexpected happened. My wife liked my book.

That might sound strange, but I am blessed/cursed with the greatest beta reader that a writer could ask for. My wife.

In the twenty-three years we have been married my wife has read one book in a single sitting. She reads maybe two to three books from cover to cover a year. It's not that she doesn't read a lot, she does, it's just that a book really needs to grab her for her to continue reading passed the first three chapters. She has probably read the first three chapters of over a million books.

So when she asked to read, MIND THIEF, I didn't even worry about the fact that I had only done a full line edit on the first 10 Chapters, a copy edit on the next 10 and still had missing scenes in the last 5 chapters. I sent her the first 10 Chapters figuring it would take her a week to read them (like she does with most published books). In that week I could line edit the next ten and finish up the remaining scenes. I started line editing for the next two hours and she came into my office and asked for the rest of the book.

I was floored and sent her the next 10 chapters. Two hours later she wanted to finish the book. So on Sunday I spent the day quickly finishing up the last few scenes that were unfinished. I got it done on Monday, and an hour later she finished reading it.

If I had finished it up sooner my book would have been the second book in twenty-three years that she would have read in one sitting.

That is why I say I am both blessed and cursed with her as a beta reader. Most people have betas that read like me, if I can see what the writer is trying to say I keep reading. I've read books that were absolute trash, but clearly written trash. In some ways that helps me critique people's books as I will look for minor things to improve on, but just because I read a book doesn't mean its any good.

With my wife, if she actually reads the book there has to be something there to get her passed the first three chapters. She might give me the benefit of the doubt and push through to chapter 4 or 5 but that is it.

So I've been going through my book making changes with problems spotted by someone who will only fully read one out of a hundred books she picks up, and has only read one in a million books in one sitting.

It makes the other 5 times of getting, “I just couldn't get into it.” Worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Seems to me you might be on to something.

    Good for both of you!