When It’s Time to Let Someone Else Read Your Baby

I sent out some copies of my novel to some alpha readers.  I don’t expect feedback from all of them – some have health issues or anxiety issues, and I really just sent it to them for fun.

Doing this, I might note, is nerve wracking.  What if they read it and don’t like my baby, I mean novel?  What if they hate it?  What if it’s boringWhat if I should just give up writing because I suck?

The last is no good, because I would write whether or not someone is reading it.  It’s like a compulsion.  You don’t spend a year writing a draft for just a passing fancy at trying out writing!  You spend a year on that draft because you HAVE to.

So, I’m nervous and stressed.

But for two readers I’m hopeful I’ll get a response.

The first, I did a favor for recently (did a final proofread of her dissertation… on three day’s notice).  I asked her to read my novel in return.  She’s very busy – grad student, two young children, work, husband, but she gives marvelous feedback when she manages to.

Another is a local friend who is also an author and heavy reader in my genres, so I’m hoping she has some good feedback.

You might wonder what I’m talking about with alpha readers.  This is my process:

  1. Idea
  2. Plot and Outline Book
  3. Write Book – at this point NO ONE sees it but me because it’s so easy to react badly to feedback and quit
  4. Revisions start – Alpha readers get a copy of the rough draft
  5. Alpha readers send in feed back.
  6. 2nd Round of Revisions – Beta Readers get a copy
  7. Beta readers send in feed back.
  8. 3rd Round of Revisions
  9. Hire a content Editor

Obviously, I’ve got a long way to go before it reaches the content editor.  My husband is insisting we go through to the content editor though, and he wants me to publish.

Apparently having 8 first drafts hiding under my bed is unacceptable.

Right now I’m going through Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class (again – I did before for another novel and it was a HUGE help) and working on my own revision plan while I hope to hear from my alpha readers.  This is not an affiliate link.

I’m doing read throughs looking for certain problems and laying out a plan for how I’ll fix things.  Just following Holly’s process because it works for me, and it helps to have someone else tell you what your next step is.

So, here’s to a first draft!  Here’s to alpha readers!

And here’s to finishing what I start.

Do you write?  What genre do you write in?  Do you have any trusted readers?  What is your process?  Inquiring minds want to know!