The Insecure Writer's Support Group Blog Hop List can be found HERE.
Hosted this month by founder Alex J. Cavanaugh and Co-hosts:
OPTIONAL QUESTION: If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?
Just one? Agh. Why just one?
Okay, I actually had an initial, popped-into-my-head answer. And, it's probably the right one. Maybe.
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) Professor of Ango-Saxon (Old English) at the University of Oxford, author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and many other stories, essays, letters, and translations. Friend of C.S. Lewis, one of the co-founders of the Inklings.
A few years ago, I would have chosen C.S. Lewis, and he's still my second choice, but the more I learn about Tolkien, the more I wish I could get some feedback on my writing from him, although I think C.S. Lewis would get my quirkiness a bit more.
Okay, it's still a toss-up between those two.
If I had to choose a living author who I don't know via RL or the blogging world, I would choose either Jessica Day George or Melanie Cellier, both fantasy authors for children and YA readers.
So, as you can see, I don't make decisions easily. Never ask me what I want for dinner, because I might want tacos, but after some thought, decide I want a cheeseburger, or pizza, or spaghetti, or kebabs, or a salad instead. To make dinner, I either have to plan it in advance, or I have to just go with the first meal that pops into my head. If I ask my family members, well, they might want grilled chicken, or hot dogs, or spaghetti, or tacos, or chicken pot pie homemade, or ... we could be at lit all night or until one of us gets seriously hangry* enough to make a decision.
And, this actually is the introduction for a more serious topic and one that I've been sweating over for the past week. I decided to ask myself the question, and answer it. If you have any better answers, please add them to the comments below.
How do you know you're really, really finished polishing that final draft of your novel before querying or for Indie publishing?
1. Get help. By this, I mean, get outside eyes on the project. Don't go after your mom who will tell you it's all good, or your daughter who will tell you it's all in need of serious renovation. Find a professional editor and pay them to gaze professionally at your manuscript and give you some serious feedback.
2. Read it out loud. Oh, this is good, cathartic, and sometimes incredibly painful, but necessary. In fact, it probably should be done before #1. I recommend reading your work out loud more than once: before the professional editor and right before you go to query or print.
3. Make any last formatting changes you need to make. Double check these against any standards the agents/publishers have. Hire a professional formatting expert if you feel unsure or timid.
Bonus for Indie Publishers: Get as many ARC readers to read it as possible. This goes back again to #1. Get outside eyes on it.
I had some awesome responses from many of you who said you could help me with my launch for Liftoff (formerly known as Crash). It's a SF novella filled with action, tropes, and a tiny hint of romance for teen/YA book lovers. If you think you might be interested in helping, please fill out my Google Form HERE
Many, many thanks!
Also, it's the very last day to enter a SF story about Dark Matter into the 2020 IWSG Anthology Contest! Check out the site for details.
*hangry is slang for hungry and angry (or hunger-based tetchiness)