Sheryl R. Hayes

Figuring out writing one word at a time.

Spinning My Wheels

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve figured out an issue I have with receiving feedback for a work-in-progress. It’s not that I’m not willing to accept negative feedback.  It’s once I’ve sent out that file to my beta reader, I cannot continue to work on that file

It’s not a bad thing if I’ve sent out is a complete story.  It doesn’t make sense to make broad sweeping changes while waiting to hear back from other people.  More often than not, I’ve been sending out a chunk of chapters.  I did this with the theory that I would continue on while waiting to hear back.  It hasn’t worked out that way.

I freeze up.  I know I should continue on, but a nagging voice in my head starts whispering.  Most of my errors tend to carry forward.  Why continue forward if I’m going to have to go back and change it all again?  Why create more work for myself?  And if I do, I end up in an endless circle of editing the first few chapters and never moving forward.

At the same point, I understand that it can be intimidating to receive a full document to look over and review.  It’s intimidating on my end too.  But for some reason, I can handle that better instead of feeling like I am perpetually spinning my wheels.

So what’s my solution?  I’m going to try something I haven’t before.  I have the entire novel out to one beta reader.  I’ll wait for her response and compare it to some partial critiques I’ve received.  Then I will start editing from the beginning and  see how I do.  Until then, I will be working on the short story I mentioned last week.

2 Comments

  1. I guess everyone works differently. I like to have a couple beta readers checking out individual chapters so I can polish or tweak while the scenes are fresh in my mind.

    • It may be something that I have to learn to do eventually, but right now it’s proving a huge stumbling block that I haven’t been able to work around. I’ve got no problems providing feedback on pieces that are sent to me a chapter at a time. It just doesn’t work for me.

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