In spite of the cold that has turned my body into a scum manufacturing center and a chapter so difficult that I'm sure it's from Gehenna, I’m now nearing the end of the second edit of my sequel to Screwing Up Time. And I have a decision to make. If I work hard, I can finish this edit by the end of the week. And my kids have spring break next week. So do I let them read it?
They’ve always been my alpha beta readers. But here’s the problem. You know how people say don’t trust your family, they’ll tell you how wonderful your book is even if it’s not because they love you? Yeah, my family’s not like that. Don’t get me wrong, they love me, but they’re not the kind to blow sunshine at me. They’re more like “Uh, you realize Mark would never say this, right?” or “This section is dumb/confusing/uber-lame.” or my all time favorite “I don’t like this word, you need to change it.”
And actually they are very helpful. But I know that the book isn’t polished yet. The character’s voices aren’t pitch perfect. That comes after nailing the plot when I go through and make sure that all the characters not only say the right things, but say them in the right way. And I’ve only done in a hit and miss way so far. I know there are sections when Mark sounds like Miranda/Granddad/Kate/Brian because I changed the attribution from M/G/K/B to something Mark said because it fit better for the pace or the plot or who knows what—sometimes I get confused about who knows what and when. I actually have notes listing each character’s knowledge about the events of the plot.