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Lana Christian

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About Lana Christian

  • Birthday March 5


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  1. Yes, @paulchernoch, you're so right about the different degrees of feedback. Beta reading is not necessarily the same as critiquing. Those lines can be fuzzy. But in my mind, the first is reading like a reader would read and offering first impressions. The second is reading like an acquisitions editor would read (a critique that points out plot holes, pacing, other things that would cause an agent or editor to round-file a manuscript). I've done both, and both are time-consuming. Because both are time-consuming, I try to make it as simple for beta readers to provide feedback. When they finish my manuscript. I send them a list of questions. Most require only yes/no responses, with the option to elaborate. The last few questions are open-ended. And I always offer some sort of compensation--even if it's just a gift card to their favorite coffee shop. (Some people have declined even that.) But, back to the original Q of where to get beta readers: I've found my best betas in private Facebook writing groups (e.g., programs we've jointly gone through together, like Jerry Jenkins Novel Blueprint). I've also paid for a couple industry heavyweights to critique the first 5 chapters of my manuscript. That's both cost-effective and gives you a general idea of the kinds of hiccups you'll likely repeat throughout the book. I didn't know about christianwriters.com when I was looking for beta readers, but I'd sure utilize it in the future!
  2. @Alley, I'm coming late to this discussion, so you're probably already settled on what you want to do. But in my research for my 1st-century biblical fiction series, I found a number of inventions that could have started the industrial revolution centuries before it really happened--if those inventions had caught on. Instead, they were simply used as toys for the rich. I weave some of that into my books (which is totally fun). You're taking that several steps further, Sooo ... brainstorming here: James, the son of Zebedee, was said to have taken Christianity to Spain. What if he also landed/stayed for a while on an island/country off the coast of Spain that doesn't exist today (as many cities and islands are now underwater) and spread the Gospel there ... and now someone finds evidence of that and letters James wrote to this lost people? (Or something along those lines.)
  3. The first Harry Potter book was rejected "only" 12 times. Sounds like a lot, but it doesn't even make the most-rejected-books-that-went-on-to-become-bestsellers list. (I read this list when I get discouraged): https://lithub.com/the-most-rejected-books-of-all-time/
  4. Gosh, I hope so, @Connie Eberhardt! Sleep is when our brain sorts all those wonderfully creative details about our characters and our story!
  5. @JasmineH, if I may add one other note about length of paragraphs: Avoid changing your POV within the same scene. That's head hopping. It's OK to start a new chapter or a new scene with a different POV. But that calls for using ### between the scenes. It ensures the reader keeps tracking with you when POV changes. I personally don't change POV between scenes. I occasionally do between chapters.
  6. Sometimes bad days are just that, and we have to roll with them. Ask yourself if something external to the book is making you feel that way (like a failure at work or something). Beyond that: Stick to your "why" of writing. Make sure you're still writing for your target audience. Do take a day or two off to evaluate your writing with fresh eyes. Most of all, pray for discernment to know when you're editing is simply changing something versus actually making it better. You'll get past this!
  7. Thanks for the information Johne. Always good to get a firsthand recommendation for such services.
  8. Correct. Attribution is a professional courtesy.
  9. Ages ago, the rule of thumb was that paragraphs had to be 4 to 8 lines. That's gone by the wayside. Many paragraphs today are 1 or 2 lines. I have many in my WIP, and that's OK. Especially when doing dialogue between characters.
  10. > You can still do something digital even though you're writing nonfiction. For example, "7 Ways to experience grace in your life." > You can do an offer where, if people sign up for your email list between ___ dates, they get [something free like "7 Ways to experience grace", a 10-question Bible study about grace, etc.) plus are automatically entered to win an Amazon gift card. That'll grow your email list while providing value to people for doing so. > You can offer to feature someone's story on your blog. Ask people to email you a blurb about how they've experienced grace ... then you pick 1 or 2 to feature in an interview. And give them a free signed copy of your book as a bonus. Really, the options are limited only by your imagination (and sometimes, budget). 🙂
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