Sunday, May 4, 2014

Adventures in Fiction Writing! Part Six: 20 Things to Do to Kill Time While Waiting for your Beta Readers

Originally this post was going to be an introspective look at how impatient I get while waiting for feedback on my #WIP. But then I said to myself:

"GRRRL, nobody wants to hear you whine."

And I was right. Nobody does. Especially not me. So instead I put together a list of things impatient bitches like me can do to distract ourselves while we wait for that all-important reader feedback. Hopefully it will help some of you. I'm pretty sure it prevented the untimely death of my lovely and infuriating teenage daughter.

(1) Bake a banana bread. It's widely regarded as impossible to be anxious or angry while mashing bananas.
(2) Read someone else's book. But nothing serious. Choose something light or fluffy or fantastical. You know what I mean: the sort of literary junk food you usually deny indulging in.
(3) Get all your friends together--NOT including any beta readers who also happen to be your friends--for a night of drinking and gaming.Cards Against Humanity is stupid fun. It's pee-your-pants-because-you're-laughing-so-hard funny.
(4) Go smurfing for pseudoephedrine. It worked for Walter White.
(5) Forget that. Spend a weekend binge-watching Breaking Bad instead.
(6) Try a new shade of nail polish. Try a different color on every finger. When people ask about it, respond with something completely irrelevant and judgemental, like:

"I hope one day you can grow beyond your racism."

(7) Spend an afternoon reconnecting with your younger self. Pull out that old box of toys from the attic. Play with your barbies. (Or GI Joes if you're a guy. Or a woman who played with masculine toys as a child.) Name one after that rumor-spreading bitch at work. Play through a scenario in which she develops cancer of the everything and then give her "treatments" that consist of you dousing her with gasoline and lighting her on fire.
(8) Research literary agents who represent books in your genre. Make a list of those who are currently accepting submissions.
(9) Stare at your list in despair. Cry a little.
(10) Tell yourself to man up. Expand your list to include details about what each of the agents likes to see in a query letter. Then pour over websites that offer advice on how to write winning query letters.
(11) Pour yourself a glass of red zinfandel. Take a sip. Then knock back the rest of the glass because no one could possibly write a query letter as well as the examples on the website.
(12) Pour yourself another glass. Wonder for a moment how good it would feel to write a different kind of letter to all those literary agents? One in which you tell them exactly where they should shove their submission guidelines.
(13) Throw your glass across the room. Drink the remaining wine straight from the bottle.
(14) Doodle ugly pictures of your Beta readers. Be creative with the details: give one boils and another an unfortunate facial scar.
(15) Ditch the wine. 3 am pity parties call for whiskey.
(16) Come to terms with the fact that each and every one of your Beta readers hates your guts. Or worse, hates your book.

Because that's why they haven't responded to your emails and calls. They hate your book so much that the mere though of talking to you sends them into fits of rage.

(17) Cry yourself to sleep. Wake up the next morning with a hangover. Call in sick to work.
(18) Spend the day in a bubble bath. Renew your promise to yourself that you will chill the FUCK out.
(19) Bake chocolate chip cookies. Eat the cookies in bed.

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