You’ve been slaving away over the first few drafts of a new story for months.
Whilst writing this epic tale you have become aware of a little voice at the back of your mind which keeps whispering, “is this new story idea crap?”
The thought of someone taking a quick peek at your WIP can be bowel loosening, especially if you are working on something from a different genre or miles out of your writing comfort zone.
For noting: The first peek is not to be confused with a full on beta read. Nope, this is what I like to call the sanity check!
Your draft is not ready for a beta read. It is still an infant in terms of drafting and needs a bit more love and care before you set it free.
What you need at this stage is for someone to casually run their eye over the first few chapters and tell you their initial thoughts. At this stage you are not interested in grammar, structure or plot development. The first peek will answer a few burning questions:
- Is this another of those instances where you have got carried away again?
- Do they think there is something worth pursuing with this particular story?
- Is the premise / overall concept a big pile of literary wrongs?
- Do you need to talk to a therapist?
So, how do you survive letting someone read your WIP for the first time?
Have faith in your writer abilities. Come on, it’s time to pull on those big girl / big boy underpants and be brave.
Think positive. There WILL BE something you can salvage if it’s a total disaster.
You know your story is worth the hours of pain. You know it gives you butterflies. You know it makes you happy. So, why be scared?
God kindly gave us the act of revision for making things better. Be grateful for this.
Your draft needs to be brought into the light. I think it’s unhealthy to keep stories in darkness. Your story needs to be read.
Try to keep busy the day they are going to start reading it.
Try to refrain from texting them every half hour to ask what they think.
Don’t attach a camera to a drone and fly it towards their house, intent on capturing their initial facial expressions, as they read the first chapter.
Increase your cream cake intake.
Wear your lucky underwear.
I let a trusted writer friend have a first peek of my latest project this week so I can sympathise with all of you who are going through this.
Just keep writing, folks x