Beta Reading And More

I’m cleaning the apartment today. That’s a good thing, right? Well, yes, it needs it. However, in this case I am cleaning it to take my mind off other things and to force myself not to go back to bed. I can always tell when life is getting to me because I want to sleep all the time.

I’m at a crossroads and that bothers me. I like to know where I am going so I can prepare for the journey. The divorce should be final May 20, which is good to get it over with. It won’t leave enough to repay the debt I owe my family or do some other things I need to do, but it’s done.

So, where does that leave me? It leaves me in the, “Be still and know that I am God,” mode.

However, me being me, I also have to prepare for the journey. I know there are three possibilities at this point: move to Oklahoma and go to work for Speedhorse, get a job overseas or stay here and use the monthly payments from the divorce to live on instead of saving them for a down payment on a house. That last option is not an option. I will have a home.

The second option is why I haven’t adopted another cat. If I go overseas, I can’t take a cat with me.

So, how does all this angst apply to writing? I am also in the be still mode about PALADIN. It’s out with beta readers now. Two have made suggestions that clarify some things and correct mistakes. One is doing some pretty deep cuts, which it may need. Two are waiting to get to it. The last one, is behind because I haven’t sent her more and that is entirely my fault. Sheila is on the top of my list this week.

So, I can fiddle around with it now, but really, it’s pointless until I get the feedback, as I will probably be changing things that will change again anyway.

The problem is, I have already discovered four places where I took out things to get the word count down and now later scenes don’t make sense. Gen winds up with a sentient sword and there is absolutely no reference as to where it came from, when, in fact, it was a very important part of the story. Brother Miron is murdered and there is now no reason why he is murdered or why his flashback to the cave with the spider was important. In Miron’s case, I can’t just add him into a scene in a later book, if there is one, because he’s dead.

I am so irritated with myself about these stupid mistakes I want to spit. I detest characters all of a sudden developing skills that just happen to save the day. I don’t know why I didn’t tie up loose ends when I changed scenes. Perhaps that is what the waiting period was for. Now I see what is missing that I just assumed was there. It’s also why we absolutely must have good beta readers who see what is actually on the page rather than us seeing what is in our head.

Now, for something really wonderful. If you want to see what a blog post should be, read this.

Forgive me Father…


  1. I think that’s what rewrites are all about, really, and why most of us need to do so many. And why the cooling off period is so necessary. I’m dealing with that right now – you have all of this stuff in your head, so you assume it’s on the page. Sometimes it’s not. The good news is, you can always fix it. Glad you have so many good readers, and thank you so much for the very kind link to my blog!

  2. Hmm… is that the sound of ever-louder finger-drumming I hear, originating from — yes, I believe it is! — NYC?

    P.S. [g]

  3. Cooling off period is essential… I know. I thought mine was there, and it wasn’t. Even with great beta readers, I wasn’t totally there. I’m a firm believer in letting it sit for a while – you just can’t see it clearly if you don’t.

    Now I shall shut up and get back to work… as I’m one of the dreaded beta readers who has you drumming your fingers 🙂

    OOOOO, third option, you could move up to Chicago… okay, not a lot of horse jobs here unless it’s with race horses…

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