End of the month, time for an update. And, oh, what a lot I’ve learned this month. Prime of which is that this project is going to take an aeon longer than first I’d thought. But, to work through this update from lesser to greater …
Take on Twitter
As I’d said (was that in the first update?) this year I wanted to take another step into social media, extend my ‘platform’. I chose Twitter, cos Twitter’s about words and I like to write. Also, I thought the restriction on tweet length would be good discipline for me.
Humph, what can I say? I am not impressed.
First to face me was who to follow. As a writer, I thought following my favourite authors would prove interesting. Wrong. My favourite authors, as with most tweeters, mostly retweet other folks’ tweets. How disappointing, nothing original—until they start the promotional phase of a new publication. Then, yes, it is worth noting how they do it.
So, I unfollowed those and looked elsewhere. I found a handful of interesting people. Oddly (or not) they all had a focus on history. And I’ve picked up some followers. Of those, straight off, were tweeters who had something they thought they could sell me. Yea, well, the same thing happens here on WP. (I’m nothing if not cyncial of social media)
After the first couple of weeks, I became so busy elsewhere, I only tweeted my photos. But I keep the account open cos, sooner or later, I will have my own publications to promote.
The next ‘platform’ I joined was Goodreads. An essential for any would-be-published writer. I mean, where better to promote your book and profile than on a site devoted to readers. But since that’s still far into the future, I’m developing my skill at book reviews. Starting from no skill at all, I’ve progressed to ‘poor’. But, as they say, practice makes perfect.
My opinion of Goodreads? I found it difficult to find my way around the site. It’s not intuitive; more a matter of trial and error. A bit like threading a maze with many wrong turnings. But worth the learning.
Asaric Lies Beta Readers
The process is taking longer than I’d thought. To date, two readers have returned all five parts, one of whom (Joy Pixley, of Tales of Eneana) has undertaken the mammoth task of a full, in-depth, critique. I fall at her feet to offer up thanks. I expect another return of Part Five any day soon. Meanwhile, there’s only one readers still munching a way through Part One, though in fairness, she was late in joining the project.
And talking of critiques, I am now in my third week of membership at Criiters.
To quote from the site:
“The site began life as Critters, an on-line workshop/critique group for serious Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror writers, then grew up into a set of workshops for every other kind of artistic endeavor.”
Basically, Critters provides a place for writers to find other writers of the same genre to critique their work.
But before you can submit your own writing for others to critique, first you must critique the submissions of others. It works on a credit system which requires you to critique on average one manuscript per week (these critiques must be returned within the week). According to Critters, most pieces get 15-20 critiques. Anything from a short poem to several chapters of a novel may be submitted, but no more than 20,000 words.
The administrative processes are automated. With the volume of submissions, it would be impossible otherwise for there are no fees, so no employees. In consequence, the rules of submission can seem rigid and endless. To me, certain aspects seemed old fashioned. But then, do we all have the latest issue software? No, we do not. And if you don’t conform to these rules? Mavericks are not allowed; your submission is automatically rejected. No offence, mate.
Critters also has a process to handle pieces in excess of the 20,000 wordcount, e.g. a full-length novel. The writer can submit this as a “Request for Dedicated Readers.” With this, the reader liaises directly with the writer. And when the critique is complete the reader receives a ‘generous credit’ (1 credit per 5000 words of ms). Obviously, with five of these monsters to be critiqued, this interests me.
To date, I have critiqued five pieces, but have only 4 credits because two of those pieces had wordcounts of less than 1500 and earned me only a half-credit each. Still, I am ahead of the criteria for submission and could, if I wanted, submit a sample chapter, or even the novel in its entirety. But for now, I hold back. I have yet to incorporate the results of the beta read, plus Joy’s horrific but much-needed critique. And I’ve promised myself not to touch Asaric Lies in this coming month of April. Why? Next segue …
I’m a Brit; camps are not really our thing. So when I was invited to join a ‘private cabin’ I resisted. But when it was rephrased as a virtual writers’ retreat …ha! That has more appeal. Ironically, in view of that opening line, our cabin hosts three English writers.
For those, like me till a month ago, who are unfamiliar with the NaNoWriMo concept, it is a public commitment to write x-number of words in the given time (a month). The Camp differs from NaNoWriMo (held in November) by allowing the writer to choose the terms: how many words, or lines, or pages, and it needn’t be new work, revisions are allowed. And so …
My commitment for the entire month of April is 100 hours of revision on Asaric Axis (Book 2 Asaric Tales). Which ought to stay my focus at a time when I’m tempted to start the next revision of Asaric Lies. It also allows me a month of deep thought regarding those much-needed amendments.
I am to share my virtual cabin with six fellow bloggers, so I get to met new friends, too:
Asaric Lies, Plans for May
Hopefully, all beta readers’ returns will be in. Then I have to face the next stage of revision. For I know there are tweaks and major overhauls needed before Asaric Lies is ready for the next stage of preparation.
And the next stage? To submit it to Critters for another critique. Will the process never end? And in moments of doubt, I repeat my mantra: I can do this. I can do this. I can.
As I said, the main thing I’ve learned this month is that this project is going to take two ages longer than I’d first thought.
Next update? Next month.