Early this morning, I received the beta reader comments on book one of my Resurrection Trilogy. And a few hours later I discussed my self-help book with my editor, the one who guided me through Lifeliner and my first novels and oversaw Concussion Is Brain Injury (both editions).
The Interdimension Beta Read
Katherine of Autocrit, who’d spent time with me going over the first 3000 words of The Interdimension, book one of my trilogy manuscript, highly recommended the beta reader on Fiverr. I’ve had some bad experiences with other services, but I trusted Katherine’s recommendation and the raving reviews.
What sold me was that the beta reader really seemed to enjoy reading.
Still, I didn’t know what to expect. There can be a world of difference between job description and what you actually get! I got a critique broken down by plot, subplot, pacing, details, setting, dialogue, narrative, characters, and last thoughts, as well as in-line reactions and thoughts as she’d read it.
For me personally, with all the trouble I’ve had with my affect, of being told I have low EQ, her last thought on the emotions in my manuscript meant the most to me:
“I love the depth of emotions you created in this though – I rarely get to read this in betas so that’s such a wonderful treat!”
What Do You Do When You’re Alone After Brain Injury?
Then I switched to my self-help book. The title above came to me when I woke up. Of course! I thought. One of those palm-to-the-forehead moments! Greg of Iguana Books is generously having his summer intern go over my manuscript as I revise it, Step by Step. The book comprises Six Steps, and I sent Step Zero, Preparation, to them this week.
Before I could start revising Step One, I needed a new word. We spent a few minutes brainstorming. It was his intern referring to a Buddhist concept that lead to the Ah-ha moment. Inspired, I did some more digging into Old English and Sanskrit etymology and settled on a new word and its spelling.
It’s not the first time I’ve played with language. My editor for Time and Space and I discussed what language would be like centuries from now, and I devised a house style for future vocabulary. It was fun!
Anyway, Greg gave me a timeline, which is what I needed to get going revising again.
Between the beta reader and self-help book conversation (plus some personal project news), I feel blessed. In the midst of the shit that overwhelms me, these filled me with good energy and propelled me to start revising Step One of my self-help book. I surprised myself by getting through much more than I expected. I’m hopeful I’ll have What Do You Do When You’re Alone After Brain Injury? published this year!