As I was writing my book, I sent chapters to my BFF Dianna. I hadn’t intended on letting anyone read it until I had a full draft ready. Dianna’s an actress in NYC and she sent me some video clips so I could see her in action (she’s really good, by the way). Shortly after, she mentioned that she’d never read any of my stuff. Did I have anything I’d be willing to share? Well, as a matter of fact…
I sent her the first three chapters with specific instructions to not say a word about them. I didn’t want to be influenced by her opinion, especially since I was only a chapter ahead in the writing and still uncertain about the whole thing.
Logic and good intentions aside, I couldn’t stand it. Chatting online + the chapters coming up in the conversation = I caved. Thankfully
for my ego she had only positive things to say. Her exact words: “You’re sitting on a gold mine.” That gave me the push I needed to keep on writing. Uncertainty, unshmertainty!
After I’d finished the first draft and stepped away from it for several weeks, I emailed Dianna and asked if she’d take a look again. I made a list of the things I wanted her answer: Do things need to be added, taken away, better explained? Do the characters ring true? Does the theme come through? The hook is time travel — do those sequences come off as cheesy? Should there be more of them? Fewer? At any point do you think I should give up and become a pizza delivery person? (Which, I discovered this weekend, is an occupation that pays a couple more dollars per hour than what I’m making now. Isn’t that heartwarming?)
This weekend I received a copy of my draft covered in pink graffiti. 🙂 Dianna answered the questions and jotted notes in the margins. They were totally helpful, too. I see where I need to better explain my mythology, and together we’ve come up with ideas on how to better develop some of the characters.
I’m SUPER excited to work on these changes and get this second draft ready. 1,000,000 thank yous, Dianna! If it’s ever published, you get top billing in the acknowledgements. 🙂 And readers, check out Dianna on Facebook. She has some cool stuff coming up. Pretty soon we’ll all get to say “I knew her when…”