Beta Readers, CPs and Self-Editing

Walk away, Renée–that Left Banke ’60’s classic–was a memorable song from my growing up. Why? I was almost named Renée–far more exotic than Ann, but there you go. My mom cooked plain food, too.

As fate would have it, though, I’m not able to walk away.

Good thing or else I’d be missing out! So here I am with another insightful Renée–aspiring author Renée Hurteau–whose on point advice for writers is absolutely golden.

Write on!

Out of Context

I open my file, glance with trepidation at the myriad red marks and comment bubbles throughout, and promptly close it again.  I just can’t.  Not right now.

Instead, I thought this might be a good time to share some of my thoughts on editing for any of my fellow writers that have found their way here.

Editing, a crucial element to any good story, is difficult.  In the beginning, when you first finish writing and hand it off eagerly to third parties for their feedback, it sometimes can seem like a personal affront when their constructive criticism comes back.  However, you shouldn’t take it as one!  Constructive criticism is vital to a story that people can immerse themselves in.  One misspelled word, one convoluted, hard to read sentence, is enough to jar them out of a state of suspended disbelief.  What about that small but glaring plot hole you missed?…

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Spring is coming: But GREAT READS are already here!

To everything, turn-turn-turn. There IS a season for all things. And spring flowers are just around the corner. I nearly stomped them this afternoon when tending those lovely details that keep us going—grocery shopping. Rocket shopping. Who has time? It’s a hassle, but people need to eat.  Getting bags into the house can be fun—sarcasm …

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Return of the VORTEX: Make all your characters work for you!

The Basics never change! Who? What? Where? When? Why? And how? The writer’s life, more than most, orbits these six mysteries. Chief among them is who. Characters are the backbone of storytelling. Somebody must want something, fight for something, and need it badly enough— no whims— for readers to engage. The reader himself is a …

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Celebration Exodus: Move it on out, girl!

OMG - maybe that was Bruce Willis manhandling boxes in my room? It came. The new chair! And a desk actually intended for an adult. Squeee. Check out the Grinch doing what grinches do—at least in my house. Mattresses aren't their only fetish. Apparently, there's something primal about schlepping two ton boxes and "building" desks. …

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First They Came for My Mattress: Out with the old!

The Grinch is at it again, not skulking back to his hidey-hole on Mt. Crumpet as is proper come New Years.  The furred menace is targeting my desk this time. My trusty chair, too. But, if I’m honest, the set isn’t mine. Oh, the glory of goldenrod and olive green The spindly number—where I often …

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