Wednesday, 4 June 2014

June IWSG - What's right in writing?

Welcome to June's Insecure Writers' Support Group (IWSG) post...and my 75th blog post, hooray!

ISWG was set up by Alex J. Cavanaugh (check out his fantastic blog here) as a place for all writers to come together on the first Wednesday of every month to air their writing woes and offer each other support. You can check out the official IWSG website here (seriously, check it out, it's awesome).

So the last couple of weeks have been surprisingly productive for me in terms of writing – I've managed to finish a detailed synopsis for one novel and I'm currently halfway through another. This is probably the most serious writing I've done since...well, ever....

But as my main insecurities this month are very similar to the ones I had a couple of months back, so I'll try to keep this post brief. Basically, how do you know if your novel is worth writing?

How do you know people will want to read it? I am so so excited about my current project, but I just can't bear the thought that other people might not be as enthused by it as me. But hey, I guess that's what writers do, right? They write in a way that draws readers in so they'll want to read their novel. I guess I'll just have to keep practicing my craft and hope that one day, I'll produce something that people want to read.

Also, on a similar theme – how does one find beta readers? This is a question I've been curious about for a while now, and although I'm nowhere near the stage of needing beta readers, it's just something I'd like to find out about. Should you ask (always professionally and politely of course!) other bloggers to read it for you, or should you pay for a professional to do it? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Til next time, happy writing!


  1. Hi, I'm going down the list to find writers I haven't met. I found beta readers through twitter. Also indies whose books I reviewed on my blog. I found out my book sucked big time. I had sent it through a local critique group, none of whom wrote children's books. So I searched to find children's writers and found SCBWI. I put an ad on their website, and almost a year later, I got 4 other local writers. They did wonders for my own writing until another writer asked me to edit. I loved it and it took over. Then we moved, and my editing schedule doesn't allow writing yet, not if I want to sleep at night. But I've been dreaming about my book, so I'm trying to work my way back to the writing side of my desk. Off topic! No, you don't need to pay a professional until your critique group has helped you polish. They and beta readers can be your developmental editor. And you can be theirs. Or pay it forward.

    1. Hey Sher :), lovely to meet you and thanks for commenting! That's really helpful, thank you so much! I'm definitely going to check out SCBWI and local critique groups/writers (when my book is ready!). I love editing other people's work - it was my favourite part of my publishing degree at uni ;)!
      Good luck with your writing!

  2. l found beta readers by asking if anyone was interested on my blog. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

    1. Hi Anna :), thanks for commenting! That's the route I was thinking of going down too - if you don't mind me asking, did you get many replies? I'm still convinced no one reads my blog so no one would reply to me haha!
      Happy writing :)!

  3. As far as whether readers will enjoy your book, I always feel like if you're really connecting with your characters others will too. :)
    For cps and beta readers, I found mine online. There are some blogs that will occasionally host 'mixers' online to help people find cps. (I can't think of who right now, but you could probably google it.)
    I'm also going to set you up with another new blogger, Jeana, who I know is up for meeting cps. She's young, but talented!

    1. Hi Rachel :)! Thanks for commenting! That's a positive message, and I think you're right :), I think with my current WIP I'm connecting a lot more with the characters and I want people to read about them, so hopefully they'll sense that and want to read it too ;).
      Ooh, I've never heard of mixers before - I'll definitely look those up!
      Thanks for recommendation! I'll make sure I get in touch with Jeana the second my book is ready to read haha :)!
      Happy writing!

  4. As to the first question I would answer it with another one: Do you want to write the novel? If you want to write it, and that shows in your words, then people will want to read it. This early on in the creation process your relationship is with the story itself, not the reader. Worry about the relationships with the reader in editing.

    As for the second question, a ton of people in the group offer their services as beta reads and share their resources of who they used. When you get to that point I'd simply ask and I am sure you receive.

    Thanks so much for your comment, Rachel- and lovely to meet you!!!

    1. Hi Beverly! Thanks for commenting :)! I think you're right - but I always tend to worry about what people think of me and my writing haha. With my current WIP, I've never been so excited about a story before so fingers crossed I manage to keep going and it'll show through to my (eventual) readers.
      Thank you for the advice :)! I'm such a scaredy cat on the internet - I'm shy in real life, and I'm shy on the internet too, which is why I don't want to bother people haha - but you're right, the only way to know is to ask :).
      No worries - hopefully I'll speak to you again soon :)! Happy writing!

  5. Oh darn, I lost my post. What I said was this IWSG is a good place to start; visiting blogs from the list and making connections with writers to offer to trade pages.


I love chatting and meeting new people :). Thanks for stopping by!