Updated: Mar 10, 2022
In November 2021, I took part in National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. I came out of November with a 50,000-word rough draft. I let this draft “rest” (meaning I didn’t look at it) until January 31st. On that date, I did a cold read of my novel and took notes as I went.
I’ve revised novels before, but I like finding better ways to do things. And NaNoWriMo.org has some great revision resources available, including a fantastic Revision Workshop on YouTube on how to revise your manuscript. I liked how organized this approach was and tried it this time around.
After my cold read, I powered through my revisions and had the second draft of my NaNoWriMo novel ready by February 3rd. It then went into the hands of a few beta readers. A beta reader is someone who reads your manuscript and gives you feedback. Their feedback helps you discover what’s working in your novel and what’s not, which is invaluable for a writer looking to show their writing to the public.
I’ve had luck finding great beta readers through professional writing organizations, social media, and places like Fiverr. I’ve used both paid and volunteer beta readers. (I use paid betas when I’m in a hurry and need feedback on a story within a quick turnaround time).
For the volunteers, I’ve done manuscript swaps with other writers to get feedback on my work, which has been a lot of fun. I’ve read some amazing books in progress over the last few years. And I feel proud to have been part of the process that made those works shine–and often get published!
Now that feedback is returning from my wonderful beta readers, I’m reviewing their comments and thinking about how (and if) their feedback should influence my story. I take notes on their feedback and make my plan of attack for the next revision. I hope to finish the third draft of my novel by the end of February.
After that, I will let it rest again for a few weeks before doing another cold read and seeing where I stand with the story.
Stay tuned for updates, and thanks for reading!
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