Here’s the thing about deadlines.
Deadlines are good because they force you to do stuff.
I picture myself called to the principal’s office to account for my conduct. Below are the tasks I vowed to accomplish in the last Writer Unleashed post. Egads! Did I really use the word vow in my post? I did.
- Finish my budget
- Upload more reviews to Goodreads
- Attend my beta group meeting
- Create my author page at Amazon
So, I accomplished three out of four.
I finished the budget, which we’ll take a look at next time. I updated my Goodreads reviews. (Okay, I updated it this morning in time for this post. See what I mean about deadlines being good for you?)
By the way, here is a link to a great post by publishing maven Jane Friedman on the value of Goodreads for all authors. (If you are not already receiving Jane Friedman’s blogs, you’ll want to hop on over and sign up.)
I went to my beta group meeting—a little nervous, if you must know—and it was so worthwhile. Overall, the group seemed to really like Moonlight Dancer. They tossed out those heart-warming words that turn writers into mush. Page-turner. Creative. Never read anything like it.
Good stuff. Stuff you want to hear.
Then we started in on the areas of confusion and inconsistencies. Otherwise known as mistakes. For example, I featured
- A character riding to the hospital in an ambulance, but then driving his van home. Begs the question: How did the van get to the hospital?
- A character who grew up in the Bay Area doesn’t know that the Tenderloin district of San Francisco is trouble. Problem: she’s too naïve.
- Same character’s mother lives in Shanghai. The group wanted weekly phone calls or Skype conferences between mother and daughter. I had thought about doing this, but decided I didn’t want to use the word space. Now I’ll think again.
- The group questioned another character’s recovery from comatose state to walking with a cane. Too abrupt, they thought. I thought I had planted clues that this recovery was occurring off stage. I’ll take another look.
And on it went. Small things, but things I can fix for the most part. My only regret was that we didn’t spend more time discussing larger topics and character interactions. I had given each reader a pile of post-it notes to jot down minor inconsistencies, but as one reader put it, “I was too engrossed in the story to take the time to write notes.” I guess I can’t argue with that.
Now, true confessions. I mentioned I accomplished three out of four tasks.
The fourth was to set up my Amazon author page.
Okay, I failed.
I guess I just felt a little silly creating an author’s page when my book was not ready. I imagine throngs of accusing readers (Ha! Throngs. One should be so lucky). She’s an author? So, where’s her book? What kind of author doesn’t have a book?
Solution: Get over yourself, Deb.