“Beta” Than Expected: The Next Phase Of Editing Re-Awakening

In between working a part-time job, keeping up with household responsibilities, and maintaining some semblance of a social life, I have been neck deep in beta reader feedback these past few weeks. Even if I didn’t have other aspects of life getting in the way of my writing, I still think that this round of edits is going to take longer than I initially planned. And that’s a good thing. Thanks to my awesome beta readers, I have several pages of notes on what works and what doesn’t in Re-Awakening and Other Disturbing Stories.

The feedback was especially helpful for the two stories I was the most worried about: “Re-Awakening” and “Jazz Hands”. Personally, I felt that they were the weakest in the collection, but I had hit a wall when it came to my own edits. Thankfully, my readers helped with that. It turns out that “Re-Awakening” is better than I thought, as it did not receive any negative feedback. “Jazz Hands” though… It’s going to take some time to fix it, and my readers were confused about the theme, but at least I have an idea how to strengthen the story and the characters. I’m honestly not sure if I’ll keep it in the collection at this point, but I’m not ready to give up on it just yet.

Out of my favourite stories in the collection, only one of them needs extensive edits. I was surprised to see just how much feedback, both positive and negative, I received for “Here I come.” I have three very full pages of highlighted notes on that one (along with a couple of post-it notes). It’s still one of my top three stories in this collection, so I’m going to spend lots of time going over this one, implementing every shred of feedback so that I can make the story as strong as it needs to be.

And here’s the part where I get to toot my own horn:

The big hits from this round are “Silver” and “Coping Mechanism”. Those two stories got the best reactions from my readers and were the clear favourites. They were also the most traumatizing. One reader called “Silver” “fucking horrendous”, and a couple of people said they kept checking their light fixtures after reading it. “Coping Mechanism” was called “visceral” and “horrible”, and some of my readers needed to take a break after this one. They found it deeply disturbing. You’re welcome 😉

So there’s a little teaser of things to come. If you want to be the first to know about any updates on Re-Awakening and Other Disturbing Stories, or if you want to become a beta reader for future projects, sign up to my newsletter and let’s keep in touch. I promise to keep the nightmares coming.

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