Everyone, please congratulate me. I have survived another edit of my manuscript!
*pause for applause*
Now that I’ve come to this part of the process, I realized that I’m missing a fairly crucial element of the writing process.
According to other writers, your family and friends should make up the bulk of your first readers. But my husband wants to continue loving me and to do that he which thinks it’s best he avoid my writing. (He knows how I am with commas.) And my mom, although a great line editor, doesn’t have the time to read a full manuscript. I suspect she also loves me too much to be as honest as is necessary.
I recently had a friend offer to beta, but naturally his schedule ramped up to impossible levels just as I finished this round of editing. It might be for the best, since he’s not a cozy reader. To the best of my knowledge, none of my friends are. Except those that write cozy mysteries themselves, and they’re all wicked busy too.
So I seem to have exhausted all avenues of inquiry, short of going up to strangers on the street. (Of course, that has its disadvantages too. What if the stranger wants to steal my magnum opus and make my millions herself?)
What’s a girl to do?
Currently I’m on a sort of waitlist with the Guppies to form a critique group. I’m also attempting to submit to a project where published writers critique baby writers’ manuscripts in a brutally loving way. (I assume. I’m hitting a few complications trying to get involved.) And while these are good things, I think I need to find a proper, consistent beta reader. My published friends seem to consider them essential to the writing process.
Where did you find your beta readers? The shelter? Walmart? Your kindergarten class and you’ve worked together ever since? Is there an OkCupid for writers and betas? Let me know!
P.S. My manuscript is at 66,ooo words!