First Read

The alpha reader has finished my MS. He loved the story. He particularly enjoyed the last two chapters and the way that it ended. He really likes the sidekick, Brandi.

Initially, I decided I would not share anything remotely negative about the series. We already know that I am unconventional, and do not always follow rules. I am told we must praise our work as if it’s the best thing since sliced bread. But a first draft is exactly that, a time to examine what might not be working.

Maybe you don’t have any problem areas in your writing and kudos to you if you don’t. But more often than not, with a first draft it is time to take a realistic look at your product and decide where it needs tweaking. There may be parts that need revising, rewriting, or developing further. Better now, than after it has hit the market.

When I first published Red Clay and Roses, I did not know about alpha readers and beta readers. That resulted in putting a product on the market that needed a revision. I learned from first reviews that there was disconnection that wasn’t working all that well in the very first chapter. I revised it, but still didn’t spend the time I should have smoothing it out. I would like to think I have learned from that experience.

I do not want to rush Naked Alliances, or the series. I have some work to do.

I spent a lot of time and energy on developing the character of Brandi. I did not give my main character, Richard, the detective, as much attention and it shows. He needs a life beyond these crime adventures.

The rocket scientist says that he is likable, but flat. Where I was trying to show action and dialog, I neglected narrative and character development. Richard also needs familiars.

The story moves really fast. Though it is 27 chapters (maybe more when I am done), the time spanned is about a week. That’s not a long time to get to know someone. I did not want to write a lot of back story, so I opted to let Richard develop as the story moved along. It really did not work out as effectively as I had hoped and I understand why.

He’s so busy. A lot is going on. Everything around him is new to him. People, settings, and the type of work assignment he has, all new. Nothing is familiar, comfortable. He’s out of his element, but you, the reader, don’t know what his element is yet. He starts out as a bit of a loner, but it is told in third person, and he is hard to get to know in this way. It is difficult to sidle up to him, identify and feel he’s your friend.

So that is what I am doing now. I am working on Richard’s character development, giving him a bit of a life outside of his work. Narrating in a few things to introduce him, and adding a few experiences that let you know who he is before everything in his life suddenly changes.

This may take a couple of weeks, maybe more. I am going to need a couple of pairs of virgin eyes when I am done. I would like to have two people read. Edit and then have two more people read. I do have two beta readers lined up.

It is an off the wall crime caper. I am working hard at doing this right. I don’t want you more confused than a chameleon in a bag of Skittles, so have patience with me.

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Central Florida has never been hotter! The first in The Naked Eye Series Novels has Richard Noggin, P.I. scouting the swinger’s venues and a nudist resort to solve a vicious murder case and bring down a crime boss. A young Asian girl’s unexpected appearance on the doorstep of a gay club sets off events that have him struggling to protect her and a fighting to survive.

20 thoughts on “First Read

  1. Great post! I don’t know any author who doesn’t go through the rewrite process with a good editor and honest feedback. Maybe there are a few great writers out there who can, but I’ve never met one. Just finished my 5th go through with editors on my second book. It’s all part of the process. And, I don’t view this as negative at all, rather constructive feedback on a journey in progress. Wishing you lots of fun and more great feedback and then tons of success with yours when it hits the press. 🙂

    • Thank you, Paulette. It is part of the confidence building process as well. When you have worked and reworked, you know you have given it your best. Good luck with your second. I still have your first on my TBR list. Not that it doesn’t intrigue me. It most certainly does. I am trying to find the time to read more. You would think with retirement that would never be an issue!

  2. First drafts should never be expected to be more than a spitting out of rushed ideas and story development. If we stop to edit them as we go, it takes so much longer to finish (I’ve finally learned that lesson, and I won’t go back to my old ways). I cringe thinking about someone reading my first draft. Never gonna happen. 🙂

    Good luck!

    • Thanks Carrie. I don’t mind the rocket scientist reading. He has some pretty cool ideas. He’s a math man and doesn’t like working with words beyond reading them. So I do the writing.

  3. If you got positive feedback on your first draft, revel in that and use it to push you through areas that need another coat. Even great writers need a revision. Or twelve. 🙂

  4. First draft? I don’t know that I could let anyone see MY first draft.
    Glad to hear you have everything down on paper. If your reader liked it, it must have good bones.Now is the fun part. 😀 Call me crazy but I love editing. Hope you like it too.

  5. It sounds like all is going well, and that is wonderful that your first reader gave your first draft such good reviews. Now you just have to fine tune it. It’s good to have someone else look over a manuscript–as authors we know what’s in our heads, but sometimes it’s not there on the paper (or screen). It’s also good to have someone else do copy editing of your semi-final version. I hate reading a book that is filled with typos!

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