Road Trips and Beta Readers: Thursday’s Children

Welcome to the Thursday’s Children Blog Hop, where writers come together to share whatever inspires them throughout their writing journey. I’d like to thank our lovely hosts, Rhiann and Kristina, for inviting me to participate. Thank you! Make sure to check out the other bloggers via this Link List: We’d love for you to join us!

I’m currently revising my ms, A SONG IN WINTER. Again. Obviously there’s still a problem with the first half of my book. I’ve had agents say some very nice things, but…

You know the deal. They had to pass. And rightly so.

I’ve known the first half lacked something, I just didn’t know what it lacked. Everything I’ve changed, added, re-worked for the past few weeks sucked. Nothing felt organic. Nothing felt right. I’ve played with my other WIPs–editing, changing tense, cleaning up sentences–hoping inspiration would hit me from the sidelines.


Enter the Semi-Finals for my son’s high school rugby team. It was held in Memphis, my summer playground as a child. I rode with another student’s mother, who happens to be one of my beta readers. I’ll call her M. (haha) We both love road trips as long as we’re in good company, and we couldn’t wait to talk about everything.

Everything included my book. She loved it. Loved the premise, the myth, the characters, the world-building. But she thought the first half was dry. She’s not the only one, though others liked it fine. One CP said that perhaps because I’d done such a fabulous job making the Winter Lands come alive in the second half, the plain old US of A suffered by comparison. *smooshes Rhiann forever* So I told M. this and she said “Yeah, maybe that’s it. It needs more magic.” And she threw this idea at me that was simply fabulous! *smooshes M. forever*

So just like that, a new element was born, one that hopefully adds more tension, more mystery, greater character development, and richer scenery. We’ll see.

How about you guys? Ever been clueless as to how to fix something?

P.S. Our team won and is going to State! Woot!!


10 Responses to “Road Trips and Beta Readers: Thursday’s Children

  • *Smooshes you back forever* I’m so glad the new change is feeling “right”. And yes of course, I’ve often been clueless not only as to how to fix something that feels wrong or inadequate, but also to even identify that something isn’t working. All praise the mighty beta readers… without them we might truly suck.

  • Congrats on the rugby team! That’s awesome. Oh yeah, and super congrats on figuring out the first half. 🙂 Having someone’s perspective is huge-mongous! (Especially Rhiann’s, who no doubt, gives it to you straight.) Work that magic, K!

  • Road trips are a great place to brainstorm, since you don’t have any other distractions. When my CP and I drove up North last year to go to a conference together, we had a great time honing and practicing our agent pitches together on the drive.

  • I love, love, love my beta readers and it sounds like you’ve got some amazing ones! I’m so happy for you that you’ve sorted out the first half of your book and huge congrats to your son’s rugby team! 😀

  • Yeah for a writing breakthrough! That’s what beta-readers are for 🙂 Happy to hear you found a solution to your problem!

  • Wonderful! I’m glad you had a breakthrough! and congrats on your team winning–sounds like a winning streak is ahead! YAY!

  • Congrats on finding your answer (and on Rugby)!!!

    And, oh yeah, the fix that refuses to fix. Been there… Somehow it usually works out and more often at the hands of a beta or CP because they. are. awesome.

    Great post 🙂

  • A fresh pair of eyes is always a good place to start. And it’s cool when something totally unrelated sparks a solution, too. Yay to the Winterlands!

  • Thanks for the comments everybody! Sorry my internet was down last week. I’ll catch up on your posts after work 😀

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