Beta Readers

I have a beta reader who is a tough, fair and honest critic, which is what all writers need. It does no good for those early readers to say, “I liked it” if they can’t articulate why they liked it. What stood out? What resonated with them? Conversely, what didn’t work and why?

I always expect criticism from readers. Writers are notoriously insecure about their own work and are rarely able to see the forest for the trees. That’s why we need readers and editors to tell us where we lost our way.

White Roses in Winter is a story I wrote a number of years ago. Like a lot of stories I started and got to rough draft level it ended up as a “manuscript under the bed.” If you’ve followed this blog at all you know I never give up on my “old” ideas. I pull those babies out after ten or fifteen years and take another look at them. Now that I’m confident enough in my writing abilities, I’m certain I can fix them. And sell them.

And so it’s been with WRIW. A shotgun wedding story (does anyone remember what that is?) with a modern twist.

But back to my beta reader who read the first 100 pages and called to tell me she liked it. “You did?” I’m in shock when I hear that. She reads a lot. She knows what works. She knows her genres. And I’ve written numerous stories she hasn’t cared for. At all.

In the midst of her telling me what she liked, (the opening, the “dreamy” hero, the evil “best friend”) and that she couldn’t wait to read the rest, she said, “It sort of reminds me of books by Colleen Hoover.”

Be still my heart. Colleen Hoover. The mega-bestselling new adult author this particular beta reader has raved about for years? She’s placing my work in the same category?

We’ll soon find out if it belongs there.

Here’s my working elevator pitch for White Roses in Winter:

A controlling, overly protective father orchestrates a temporary marriage between his pregnant daughter and the unsuitable sperm donor, then tries to separate them when he fears the union may become permanent.

This is my cover art idea for White Roses in Winter. I sketched it myself!


#beta readers #White Roses in Winter #writing #new adult

#Colleen Hoover

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