This post is me procrastinating…
A lot of my random posts are me procrastinating, but this one is truthfully me procrastinating.
You see, a friend of mine has asked me to be a beta reader for her book that she’s co-written with another author. I’ve read it twice now. First time to just read it and get overall, general notes. Second time, to get a few more standout notes.
And now I’m going through with major edits.
“That doesn’t sound like procrastination to me,” I’m sure you’re thinking. Well, for me it is. Major edits are rough. There’s a fine balancing act between being over knit picky, grammar correction, mean comments (i.e frustration coming out in the note), and giving helpful, constructive criticism.
I love the book. I enjoy going through and helping fine tune it. I love the story, I love the characters….but I also understand how defensive some people can be about their works.
Especially since my friend told me this was their favorite book they’ve written so far….ooh boy. That means I really have to tread lightly in how I phrase my comments. There are some things I will be harsh about only because they’re repetitive. Repetitive mistakes can frustrate readers and I want to help them avoid doing that.
But I’ve reached the point where I need to step back…..and procrastinate. Why? Because I’m realizing that I’m going to have to read it a fourth time through for continuity. I’ve been editing continuity, but I’m realizing that there are so many that are only continuity issues because: Something is mentioned in one sentence, ONE SENTENCE, and the author is expecting the reader to remember this information five chapters later….no. Especially if the sentence isn’t an eye catching sentence. I, the reader, will not remember this information and will think the author just pulled it out of thin air.
To be fair, my friend also has an editor who is being paid to do the really major edits. But I’m trying to take the side of a reader. What will stand out to readers? What will be confusing for readers? With a few standout grammatical corrections thrown in.
The other issue is, I’m running out of time. I need to get the book back to them with my edits soon so they can make the adjustments they want and forward it on to said editor.
I’m extremely proud of my friend for the hard work she’s clearly put into this book. Writing is hard. And having people come in and be critical of your work is difficult (I know the feeling with my own writing).
Anybut, now I’m going to pretend like I’m going back to book but will actually watch a few more YouTube videos before finally getting the job done. And deciding whether I actually will read through the book again…
Wish me luck.