Beta Feedback – The Climb #216

///Beta Feedback – The Climb #216

Beta Feedback – The Climb #216

Friday 25th August 2017

Today was another long day with the day job.  Even though everyone finished early, with all the travel to Watford and back it still worked out as a 12 hour day.  I suppose that’s better than the 15 hour day I had on Wednesday but I still felt exhausted and collapsed on my bed on getting home for about an hour.

However, there was a good bit today.  The marvellous Kate has come back with early beta feedback and it seems that the hard work I’ve been putting in over the last few weeks has really paid off.

Kate’s been a big supporter of Black as Knight and I’ve taken great joy in tormenting her that I’m going to kill her favourite characters in future books.  Actually it’s gone so far that I’ve actually taken to placing those characters in danger specifically because she likes them so much.

Whilst other friends have been unsure about Black as Knight (and hence made me feel unsure), she’s always been a huge supporter and I’m massively grateful for it.  I’ll confess that I thought she was just being nice, but she told me that my revised chapter 1 was shit so if I was ever in any doubt that she’s anything but honest with me, that got cleared up then.

But she’s not been having a great year for various reasons and yet the fact that she took the time today to give me some good news speaks massively about her character.  It’s that sort of grit – to keep going when the world falls apart around you – that makes me convinced that she’s going to be a name everyone knows in a few years’ time.

She said some lovely things about my rewrite over IM whilst I was in Tesco and I’ll be honest and felt I needed to take myself somewhere private because it meant a lot.  She said it was good before, but now it’s great.

I’ve been massively worried about these rewrites.  I’ve felt they were a massive step up for me and I was proud of my growth as a writer but there was still a lot of doubt.  Let’s not forget that I had this clever idea to sort out chapter one and it proved to be a disaster.

It’s only as the feedback comes back that you realise the things you’ve actually been worried about.  In my case it was definitely the first chapter.  The start of this novel has been the most troublesome part and I’ve worked very hard on trying to make it as good as the rest of the novel.

My agent also gave me very detailed notes for the first 2/3rds of the novel and said I could work out the last 3rd from there.  My worry was that in identifying the issues myself in the last 3rd, that last 3rd would show to be of lesser quality than the first 2/3rds.  However, after specifically asking Kate about this, she said that there wasn’t a noticeable drop in quality which is a massive source of relief.

She said she thought the book was better than one of our joint favourite series, and whilst a large part of thinks she’s being nice, knowing how much we both love that series, meant an awful lot.  I honestly don’t believe it’s that good, and yet there are parts of that novel that I read, forget I wrote it and just love.  And then, of course, I just stress that I’m allowing my own bias to get in the way of being objective about my own work.

Good beta readers are worth their weight in gold and I’m genuinely lucky to have such a great one who is reading my novel for a third time.

The genuine terror in all of this is that everything is going well.  It’s like a tournament where every judging decision goes in your favour.  You fear that at some point your luck is going to run out, and it’ll all start going against you.

It feels like my fingertips are touching my dreams as a writer, and I’m deadly scared that it’s all going to come crashing down around me.  I fear that I’m going to be proven to be deluded and that dream will disappear in a puff of smoke.

Of course, I’ve thought I’ve been at this stage before only to realise that I have another round of edits to go.  I cannot tell you how hard I’ve worked over the last 2 years (heck, you can read the old issues of The  Climb and see just how hard I’ve worked over the last few months).  No matter how successful Black as Knight is, there won’t be part of me that doesn’t think I didn’t work my arse off for it.

I guess what I’m most proud of is the fact that I’ve massively levelled up.  Especially in the last 3 months I feel I’ve progressed so much as a writer that whatever the outcome I’ll be proud of that book.

But, it’s looking like that – providing Kate can find internet to email me in the next day or so – that the edits may be going back to the agent early next week.

I’m relieved that the hard work I’ve put in over the last couple of months seems to have paid dividends but I’m also scared that the higher we climb this ladder, the greater the fall.

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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2017-08-26T12:46:48+00:00August 26th, 2017|The Climb, Writing|0 Comments

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