What’s your beta reading philosophy?

I’ve beta read a lot lately. Here’s how I beta read, and what writers I beta read for do that makes me love them or never want to talk to them again.

I’ve done enough beta reading recently that I think I should have a beta reading philosophy.

My life philosophies tend not to be complicated. For example “I like cats and dragons” covers the important bases, and my husband tells me it’s a perfectly adequate philosophy.

There might be more to my beta reading philosophy, because otherwise this won’t be a very long post.

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Would you cheat on your WIP?

In which I contemplate starting writing a new novel before I finish my current one, and try to take my WIP’s feelings into account.

I know I said I wasn’t going to write about writing too much, but I didn’t say I’d never do it. Today is one of those.

Where my writing is at

I’ve got to that point where each edit of my work in progress (WIP) results in fewer and fewer changes, and I can feel I’m near the end. At least at the beginning of the end. Or possibly getting near the beginning of the end.

Whatever. I’m close.

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How I believe I spend my day vs how I actually spend my day

How I believe I spend my day: sunrise

Self-deception is a fine art with a long and hallowed tradition. I’ve been getting gold stars in it since primary school.

In order to celebrate my continued success in this arena, I thought I’d lay out and admire how badly I deceive myself about how I spend my weekdays.

5:30am: My alarm goes off

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Why I write

Greek muse
It doesn’t matter whose muse is the prettiest.

Hang out in writer circles on this interweb thing for long enough and you’ll hear all the classic reasons people write. Because they’re bursting with stories that are screaming to be told, because they have something to say to the world, because writing keeps them sane in insane times.

Reading these reasons, it’s easy to feel inadequate.

If I don’t write for the same reasons does it mean I’m not a real writer? I’m not filled with stories wriggling inside me like intestinal worms. Does that mean I’m just making stuff up?

I like to think it’s the writing that counts, not the reasons behind it. If you write a stunning story that people love it doesn’t matter if it was driven by a stormy-eyed muse in a flowing chiton or by industrial quantities of coffee and a hard chair.

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How to make a dragon fly

A dragon that can't fly
A dragon. Sort of. It can’t fly.

I said I wasn’t going to write about writing (much), and you’ll see I’m not. I’m writing about dragons, and that’s entirely different.

The seed of the idea for my current work in progress comes to me when I’m watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My thought process goes approximately like this: “Wow, fantasy is more fun than real life. I want to write a book about dragons.”

I didn’t say it made sense.

Having made this decision, I have to deal with the big question faced by everyone who decides to write about dragons: How do I make them fly? My physics is a little rusty, but I’m guessing any creature as big as a truck would need football field-sized wings, and if its muscles could even get up the strength to move them, flapping would snap its bones in two.

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