When I wrote BAND GEEK, it was mainly a solo experience. I did show my husband a few of my chapters along the way, but really didn't have anyone take a look at my work until my draft was completed. I then went back and edited (and edited and edited) my story until I came up with my final creation.
This time around, I'm doing things a little differently and am having people read and comment on my work chapter by chapter. This way, I can fix problems that come up early on and improve upon the entire story structure.
I have to say, I really like this approach! It helps to get feedback and it's been interesting because everyone on my "team" has had different ideas. Ultimately, I get the final say, but I'm really listening to my friends' suggestions and am incorporating the ones that work for my story.
I'll probably ask a few other friends to read my final product, but as of now, my team members are:
My longtime friend, Scott, on whom I based the lead male character, Griffin. He's giving me very general critiques, mainly on whether the sections involving Griffin's coming out story are realistic.
My fellow writer friend, Amy. Amy and I have had some great discussions about my work and she's come up with some great ways to shape my characters. She's alo very understanding when I vent to her about bad reviews and whatnot!
My cousin Tom. He' 85 and an accomplished actor, so he reads plenty of scripts. He has a very visual sense of my story, so his suggestions have added another dimension to my book.
My cousin Rachael. I've yet to hear her thoughts on my story (don't worry, no rush!!!), but she gave me wonderful feedback on BAND GEEK and has graciously offered to edit this book, as well. I can't wait to hear what she has to say because I know that it will be very insightful.
My friend, Elaine. She's a professional editor whom I know from my magazine days. I'm turning to her to help me catch all of those typos!
My husband, Jon. YA/chick lit isn't really his thing, but he's always on hand to help me work through difficult passages. Sometimes it helps just to talk about a problem with a chapter and he often helps me see things in a new light.
So this is my writing crew. It feels good to have the support and I appreciate the fact that so many people want to help out. I definitely wouldn't have gotten this far without them.
Please read and review REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.