Friday Morning FYI – 3/3/2017

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (it’s probably easier to write these every week than having to do three at a time to catch up, but I’ve been busy so whatevs edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

I’m a huge believer in enlisting beta readers for your work (more on this in the next few FYIs, too). They find big plot holes you didn’t know were there, and also the small details you missed/omitted/denied, which, if you agree need addressing, sharpen your story with minimal changes. I had one of these in my new novel, around a character smoking at the beginning but then never having another cigarette. I had a reason for that, which I thought I made clear, but obviously hadn’t. Good catch, easily fixed, and potentially quite important. Let’s have that be our FYI for this week:

I’ve seen writers say to their beta readers, ‘Just look for big stuff’. This is a mistake because it’s often the little details you, as the writer, think are meaningless that pull a reader out of your story. This happened to me, in a published book I was reading a few months back – one detail about a subject with which I’m quite familiar, that was dead wrong. I found its wrongness so distracting I abandoned the book. That might sound dumb, and maybe you’re thinking I should have let it go (and you might be right), but the fact is, as a reader, it made me walk away.

So, writers, don’t restrict what your beta readers can report, and don’t dismiss out of hand the little details they find confusing/wrong. Readers aren’t always right, but at least you’ll get to see what they’re seeing and have the chance to make a choice on the matter.

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}

Friday Morning FYI – 2/24/2017

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (still playing catch up, and going a little deep on this one edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

So I just got a new tattoo, which always prompts conversation with coworkers and friends. The most common argument I hear from people for why they’ve never gotten one is “I want one, but it’s so permanent.” That brings us to this week’s (philosophical) FYI:

Nothing is permanent. That’s right, nothing. You’re only going to be here for a while, and then you won’t be, along with that tattoo. Same for your favorite t-shirt, your spouse, your car, your home, your town, your state, your country, your continent, this planet, the sun, this galaxy, etc. Each of those things will, sometime in the future, no longer be because permanence doesn’t exist. The nature of, well, nature, is change.

So where does that leave us?

Write that book you’ve always wanted to write. Take that trip you keep putting off. Cut your hair or let it grow out. Get that stupid, silly little tattoo that no one else will understand. Do the (reasonably-safe) things you want to do. Have fun 🙂

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}

Friday Morning FYI – 2/17/2017

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (more than two weeks late – a new record – edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Yeesh! I’ve been busy. Writing, reading, beta reading – it’s a wonder I even have time to remember to write these little posts (yes I always remember, but sometimes push them off, obviously). A lot going on (and I have two of these to write to catch up), so let’s keep it simple. In honor of Presidents Day, for this FYI I’m just going to drop some general well-wishes here for everyone from one of my favorite movies:

Be excellent to each other

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}

Friday Morning FYI – 2/10/2017

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (milking this beta reader thing for all it’s worth edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Beta reader feedback for my new novel is flowing in. I’m truly grateful to everyone who agreed to take part, and for all their useful, thoughtful comments and time commitment. That leads us to this week’s FYI:

Helping out a friend with a creative endeavor is one of the best ways to let them know you respect what they’re trying to do. That can be something as simple as lugging paint cans to their studio or as time consuming as reading their 100K words novel and sharing your thoughts. Whatever it is, if you do it, know it’s both appreciated and invaluable – often beyond words.

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}

Friday Morning FYI – 2/3/2017

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (posting Saturday because reasons edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Everybody knows artists are emotionally fickle people. I’m lucky in that I rarely feel the stab of doubt/fear/”I suck” writers frequently experience (not because I think I’m the second coming of Hemingway or anything, I’m just thick-skinned), but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate hearing something positive about my writing. A good friend who’s reading my new book was very complimentary when I saw her last weekend, and another beta reader messaged me this last night:

“I straight missed my stop reading your book”

Obviously you could interpret that a few ways, but I’m going to take it as him saying he missed his stop because he was into what he was reading. What a cool thing! (not that he missed his stop, but that he felt the need to tell me) Let’s make that this week’s FYI:

Every so often, if you like what someone’s doing, tell them. That might rejuvenate them if they’re losing steam, pick them up if they’re feeling down, or simply act as reinforcement that they’re not wasting their time. In any event, they should appreciate it 🙂

 

Thanks for reading,

{RDj}