Being a reader for a work in progress has been delightful. Kara S. Weaver is working on editing her debut novel, Crown of Conspiracy. As a person, she is funny, kind, and lovely. Her writing tugs at your emotions, and her world she has created ensnares the imagination.
For me, not only do I get a first glimpse of the upcoming novel, but I’m also learning a lot about writing. I can see what works and what doesn’t. I can apply that to my own work. I am also learning how to take feedback better. A comment asking, as an example, for clarity isn’t a comment on my ability. It’s a gift from a fellow creative who wants to see the story emerge to its full glory. At least that’s my intention.
I’m also learning about how to give comments that are helpful and motivating. I’m finding that part of the job as a reader/editor is not only pointing out places for improvement, but also point out places that work. It gives the writer feedback in technique that she should replicate, and it helps to keep up or even boost motivation.
Another type of feedback that is helpful is to give comment on your reactions to passages, so that the writer can judge if the passage is doing what she wants it do.
In the Crown of Conspiracy, the main character is a princess and heir apparent to a matriarchal queendom. This princess is a rough and tumble, feisty, and thoughtful young woman. She is likable, so when there are secondary characters who are rude or even down right insubordinate, I was infuriated. So my comment there was asking Weaver why that duke’s butt wasn’t in jail. This told Weaver a number of things. One, I’m emotionally invested in the main character. And two, I’m reacting to the insolence in the way that she intended. Two good things for a writer to know.