Last week, I finally got round to sending the first few chapters of my story to some beta readers for feedback. A terrifying ordeal but after receiving the first lot of feedback back, it’s already been super helpful.

It confirmed my fears that I’d ‘told’ too much instead of ‘showed’, the words ‘trim the fat’ being used made me hate my writing and myself; but once I’d got over that, I could then see what I had to do to make my writing better.

And I feel so much better about it now.

The reason I sent it out in the first place was that I had stared at that writing so much I could no longer tell what was right or wrong with it. It’s like when you say or look at a word too much and after a while the word doesn’t feel like a real word anymore – my writing got like that for me. I had to get someone else’s opinion to help me see it again.

Well, I did. And after just that first feedback, I feel like I have learnt something about my writing again and have been using that to try and make the right changes to keep the story flowing.

Now I am off on holiday for a couple of weeks and I am terrified that I will lose this sight for my writing – that I have right now – as I can’t take my story with me to keep on top of it.

Therefore, I have come up with some writing exercises that I can do each day to keep my hand in. I’m not saying I will do all of these each day, but one or two of them a day should do the trick I reckon:

  1. Ten minute free writing. This will involve me not thinking about what I’m writing, just sitting down for ten minutes and seeing what comes out.
  2. Ten minutes editing the ten minute free writing. Self explanatory right?
  3. Extend and Advance. This involves: Free writing for 30 seconds, extending that point for one minute, advancing to a new point in the same subject for one minute, extending that new point, advancing to another new point, then wrapping it up for 30 seconds.
  4. Conversations with my characters. In my head, characters from my story will be sat in a circle, I will give them a subject to talk about or just let them talk, and see what they say; I will simply be there to take the minutes of the meeting.

What’s the betting I come back having done none of that? Well I’d only be letting myself down I suppose, so on my head be it!

See you when I’m back to tell you all about my happy travels.

Until next time. x


3 thoughts on “Writing tasks for when you can’t write

  1. Fabulous tips for writing Lisa! I hope you stick to your aims. I can help. I want to see at least ten ten minute exercises (edited) on this blog, missy, or there will be trouble!! There you go. I bet that will scare you into action.😆

    About sending off your writing for feedback. Do you have a publisher who does that for you or is it a professional reading service?

    Enjoy your holiday. Happy Easter. 🐰🐣🐥

    • Thanks for the encouragement with the writing, unfortunately I was already on holiday when this one published – otherwise I would have been scared into doing the writing…and sadly…well…I did my writing exercises twice. I didn’t read or write whilst I was away which is really bad. Happy to say I’ve both written and read more in less than a week of being home than I did on the whole of my holiday though : )
      As for the feedback, I found a group on Facebook called Beta Readers & Critiques and asked for help, three people very kindly offered to read the first few chapters. I’ve had all the feedback now, I just need to work out how I’m going to use that feedback.
      Hope you’re doing well! x

  2. Pingback: Sending my story to a beta reader | Lisa Tiller

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