Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Naked and Waiting
Oh, I mean it is sort of the good kind, but not the guaranteed 'we're both gunna love this' good kind, and CERTAINLY not the lying relaxed with a fruity rum drink good kind.
You see... I sent out my latest book to first readers this week (I can't believe a year ago I'd never even heard the TERM first readers!). And it's a little different than my first time.
CONFLUENCE and the Burrow: A History
When I was adopted into the Burrow, I was the 4th member, and we quickly grew by... maybe 3 more... and then hovered a while. At the time I joined, I had written a few stand-alone scenes for CONFLUENCE, and what was THEN my first chapter (later chapter 2). By the time we had enough people that we were really talking about REVIEWING each other's stuff, I think I was 4 chapters in. We shared single chapters (even just pages—snippets). I shared my first and was told they liked it but it jumped in too fast—helpful... it led to the writing of the first.
It was like a first time relationship where you reveal a little at a time. You know how you feel about each other before you get naked.
Oh, I showed CONFLUENCE to people who hadn't had the ease in—a friend from college, a high school teacher who actually was my vision for one of the characters—and it was wonderful—my friend in particular had fresh eyes and good feedback—she is one of those voracious readers, so I think her instincts were good.
But I also sent it out a couple times into silence... no response. *birds chirping * I'm not a person to bug someone, but I DO tend to assume if I hear nothing that means a person either couldn't be bothered to REALLY read it, or they didn't like it. My mother, I assume, got stuck on the F word in chapter one and set it aside. She never said boo. At least my writer's group TELLS ME WHY if life gets in the way, but these couple voids are a little intimidating.
So Here We Go
So four Burrowers have gotten it, and two personal friends—one Burrower may wait for the rewrite, since five is probably a good number for first read...
But it definitely leaves me feeling NAKED in a very different way than the one I advocate... In fact maybe my nudist tendencies have always been that the physical was only important so far as enjoying life goes—the mental plane is where my identity is really invested. It's far harder to leave the product of my mind out there naked as a jay bird.