Recruiting a New Set of First Readers

When I wrote The Queen’s Butterflies, I had four friends (plus my mom) reading it as I wrote.  I attribute a lot of the successful completion of the novel to them.  They all pestered me for pages and kept me writing, but they each filled a different role.  Karen Lee M. was the first First Reader; as my “blind” reader, she knew nothing of the story and helped me figure out how much I had revealed at each point.  Kim S. was my sounding board, someone to help me develop story, so each new set of pages wasn’t new to her.  Robin R. helped me with continuity and time line issues, and Annie R. gave me feedback on characters as well as catching grammar and spelling.  Mom was my cheerleader, of course.  🙂

I realized as I started revising and printing the first chapters of Dragon Pendant that this is the piece I am missing for the new novel.  I’m already halfway through chapter 9 and no one has really read it.  It turns out that I need to talk out some story stuff (that whole “sounding board” role) and there isn’t anyone who knows the story to help.  So I recently recruited a couple of First Readers for this novel.  My “blind reader” isn’t sure about the serial nature of reading this way, but she’s excited to try it.  I’ll probably give pages to my “sounding board” reader first since I need her help the most right about now!

Last time I only recruited two – the others asked to participate.  The Dragon First Readers may grow as well, but I’m hoping the Butterflies manuscript that is making the rounds of my friends will keep the club from getting too large!


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