The feedback’s started coming in from the first round of beta readers.
|Lens In Loudspeaker by 1802.|
The curious thing is I don’t feel violated by it: I think this is a testament to the people providing the feedback. It’s good when people are gentle with you.
It’s already become clear what some of the common themes are – where I need to focus my edits for the next round. How exactly I do that for some of these pieces of feedback is a mystery to me at this point, but that’s why they pay me the big bucks to be the writer.
Common patterns are good! It helps to distinguish between personal opinion (the ol’ you-can’t-please-anyone-at-all syndrome) and things that are genuinely wrong (writers can’t kill their darlings, so it’s helpful having an independent euthanasia panel).
Speaking of patterns in writing, check this:
I used to be a Doctor Who fan back when I was a kid, and didn’t know any better. Now hang on, don’t go off half-cocked on me; I don’t mean it like you think. I really admire the imagination behind the show, and was a big enough nerd to buy books and omnibus editions and shit like that. No, what I mean is that sometimes there’s no checks and balances for the writing: they kind of go with what they want. There never seems to be an over-arching plot for a season (contrast Walking Dead seasons 1 and 2 to get what I mean here).
In some ways, that leads to really imaginative stories and good scenarios. In others, it leads to the monsters being plastic trashcans (which is bullshit), or ignoring a section of your audience (like chicks). This is why I want feedback from a wide selection of people: I want to get the patterns, and not write a book based on hubris. I hope I can do that right – I really do. It’s a sort of self-imposed governance.
One final bit of news is that I’m looking at re-platforming to WordPress. When I go back to work, I still want to write (but with one subtle shift: a 500-word-a-day goal will be used instead of the current 2,500, because, like, I’ll have an actual job to do). The blogger platform was useful to kickstart this, but based on some of the feedback I’ve got (especially with how it eats comments – more than one person has mentioned this) indicates I need to go somewhere else.
The real trick of continuing to blog about my writing when I’m back in the House of the G Men is this: how do I not fill the blog with a river of tears?
Leave that one with me. It’ll be awesome, I promise.