#IWSG May: What have I learned this month?

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time to share our hopes, dreams and fears with the Insecure Writers Support Group, the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and this month’s hosts are; Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin!

Do stop by and say hello to them!

So, what have I learned this month?


Feedback, feedback, feedback. Really, it is SO necessary.

Situation no 1: I asked my writing group to look at my agent submission package. I only included the first scene of the novel (didn’t want to bore them 😉 ), and the overwhelming feedback was that the voice was Middle Grade, not Young Adult.

I only need to be hit on the head so many times for something to sink in. And as MG was the age range when I really fell in love with books, I’m delighted to write for that age group. It makes it even more exciting, imagine being be that author for someone!

Situation no 2: After that I went through my novel again, taking out the odd cuss words and making sure that it all reads as MG.

Three days in I realised I’d been editing version 5, not version 6 (which was the post beta-reader version).

Yep. Annoying to say the least. But I was determined to find some silver to line my cloud with, and this is it:

You’d think I’d have noticed.

Part of me did. But that part just kept saying ‘Oops – can’t believe I missed that!’ and ‘Oh man – did nobody else see that either?’

What I did not do was re-write it to the extent that it needed following my beta-reader’s comments. Because I’ve read it so many times, I’m blind to my / its faults. Even after having them pointed out to me!

So I’m doubly grateful to my beta-readers, because this has reminded me of just how much I need them, and how brilliant they are.

For the record, going back and updating version 6 wasn’t too painful or time consuming, and reading over the updated version was reassuring.

Mistakes are often the best things you can make.

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7 Responses to #IWSG May: What have I learned this month?

  1. That worked in your favor then! A happy mistake.
    I bet you’re excited about the next IWSG contest.


  2. Lee Lowery says:

    Your experience llustrates how important it is to have feedback from the readers of the actual genre. I’ve had some feedback from writing friends who don’t read dark/horror and it really isn’t helpful. Thankfully, I have lined up a content editor who works extensively in my genre. Once I get that content finished . . .


  3. Michelle Wallace says:

    Feedback is important. Thank you for the timely reminder.
    You should submit something to the new IWSG anthology contest (which is middle grade).
    Happy IWSG Day.


  4. patgarcia says:

    I took Beta readers are some of the best people in the world. They save me lots of headaches!.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange


  5. Loni Townsend says:

    Glad it worked out! I know I can’t trust my own judgement on some things, and feedback is invaluable and necessary.


  6. Juneta Key says:

    Glad you figured out your audience. It’s a great story if it is the same one you had me read once. Happy IWSG.


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