Now, I had 23 documents from one beta reader, at least that many chat transcripts from the other, and dozens of e-mails that had flown back and forth between us. It was time to dig in
for that all important next draft.
Here, I made a mistake--I should have been working on my chapter-by-chapter To Do list all along. I did have an overall To Do list that I'd started amassing somewhere around Chapter 7, but it was a lot of work to go back through all those e-mails and chat transcripts (sidenote: Gmail has saved my ass on more than one occasion, and this was just another. Google, consider me yours.)
In the end, I had a To Do list that looked something like this:
And I started back at the beginning again ("In the beginning, there was Chapter 1...") with my beautiful, beautiful Track Changes notes, courtesy of the eagle-eyed J.A. Souders. When it was a good chapter, it was seas of white with a few helpful notes in the margin.
When it needed help, it looked more like this:
And believe me, I needed everyone of those notes.
Did I make every change they suggested? No. But I considered each one. If you want to read more about my thoughts on the suggestions that come from betareaders (a.k.a. Critique Partners), go here.
And soon enough, I had a final draft ready for the big time.
Coming up, we talk the nitty-gritties of Querying and Synopsizing. Did you just feel your breakfast urp into your throat? Yeah, me, too. Don't worry, we can do this.
Before that, though, I think I'll go into a bit more detail about Word's Track Changes and do the happy dance about Scrivener. We all cool with that? Excellent.