Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do you have test readers give you suggestions, or is your work 100% Steven James original with you as the only reader that needs satisfying?

Before I send in my manuscripts I will typically have four or five readers look it over and give me some feedback. With my crime novels I try to get (1) an FBI agent or a police officer, (2) a medical doctor, (3) a person familiar with the series, (4) a freelance editor, and (5) someone from my target audience who isn’t familiar with the series.

I will give them specific directions on what I’d like them to look for, then I take those into account as I work on the story. I usually send out the manuscripts to them before the end is fully pulled together, that way there’s still time for me to make changes.

The only other time I give something to readers is early on in the process when I need encouragement to keep going. At that point I know pretty much what the scene needs to accomplish, but I’m not fully committed to that specific wording and so on. Since I know I’ll still be going through that scene another dozen times or so, I just want to see if the scene is vivid, if the reader can see what’s happening.

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