Saturday, 31 October 2009

the infernal family: now terrorising beta readers

Today I finally finished a beta draft of THE INFERNAL FAMILY.

I’ve revised from start to finish. Axed storylines. Added characters. Rewritten huge sections from scratch. And when I read through a final time and found myself changing only the punctuation, I knew I was done.

I suffer from writers’ fear. I fear that my work isn’t good enough. I fear that if I think it’s good, I’ll be disappointed. I fear showing my work to people that I respect in case it causes them to realise I’m an idiot. But I’m learning to ignore those fears - and I hit that button and mailed out the beta version to the first of my wonderful beta readers, my amazing writer friend Amy. And I’m glad I did.

In the meantime, as always in the terrifying gap between submitting work and receiving feedback, I’m remembering my five commandments for scared writers:

1. Good enough is fine. Perfect is for later.
2. Everything can be fixed.
3. This is the millionth draft. There will be a millionth-and-one.
4. People still love me even if they don't love my work.
5. At least it's spelled correctly.

(Dear beta version of THE INFERNAL FAMILY,

Hi there. I’ve waited a long time to meet you.

I know you’re not perfect. There are things I wanted to do with you that I couldn’t pull off, and scenes that still clunk after a million revisions. But there are things about you I love - things that made you worth working on. And if I wait for you to be perfect, I’ll be waiting forever.

So I’m declaring you officially ... good enough.

Go play with your beta readers.

your writer)


  1. Well done Para!
    I'm so happy Infernal Family is finished!

  2. Whooot! Go Para!!
    Can't wait to snatch it off a bookshelf. ;)

  3. Don't underestimate the awesomeness of correct grammar and spelling! And yes, everyone will still love you <3