It is important to have someone else read your work, I cannot stress this enough. If I hadn’t let my sister read my story I’d still have a magical horse named Klit, I didn’t see a problem with his name, but my dirty-minded sister did. He’s now named Kelet.
I am not talking about catching grammar mistakes, though I did have a couple funny ones, sweetie was spelled sweaty and embrace was embarrass, my computer couldn’t tell the difference.
I have read my story so many times now, it is hard for me to see some of the simple mistakes, like my bad habit of writing teeny tiny sentences and starting so many sentences with ‘I’.
It is important not only to know what I am doing wrong, but to learn what I am doing right, so I don’t edit out the good parts.
As I have said, my greatest weakness is knowing my world and my story too well. I can picture it exactly in my head, but I forget to inform the reader. Having a fresh perspective provides questions about things that didn’t tell them, that need to be answered.
I don’t take all of the advice that comes my way, some things I like the way they were, but I always listen and think about what is suggested. If multiple people make the same suggestion, I look closer and I usually rework things.
Once I was happy that the reader had a question, because that’s what I wanted. I wanted the reader to be wondering, as my character was. I wanted the one character’s actions to seem weird.
Do you use an online beta reader or friends and family? Both?
Here’s some of the advice I got from my online forum friends for my first chapter: (MC is writer speak for main character)
This should be a new paragraph. And nothing was explained earlier to indicate the MC was not daydreaming. Show what the MC is marveling at instead.
Good point. I’ll have her playing around during the lesson. That’s more fun anyway.
Take a look at your sentence structure in this part.
Yikes! I see what you mean. I have a bad habit of starting my sentences similarly.
This feels like too calm a thought given the situation
Yeah, bad Molly. I’ll get rid of it. I can explain this later.
The author is interfering with the story telling.
Oops. I wouldn’t want to get in the way.
This paragraph is awkward starting with the third sentence
Yeah, defiantly needs reworked.
Needs a comma.
There was one at one point, stupid word. Good catch.
Interesting premise. From the sound of it, she was conceived after the shift. So she’s ten years old. Is she the only child born at that time? If not do any of the others (younger) show magic abilities? She’s kind of a clean slate still. It seems like she would be lonely if she doesn’t have any playmates her age.
I’ll have work on getting to know her better before the attack, I want people to care about what happens to her.
I like this, showing the relationship between mother and daughter.