And so it begins…

And so it begins…

posted in: Personal | 19

Last week, I submitted Emergence to beta readers. (*cue internal screaming*) It hasn’t actually been as terrifying as I thought… well, except for the first day. I could barely concentrate on anything as the typical writer’s insecurities came flooding in.

What if nobody likes it?

What if I’m actually a terrible writer and I never knew it?”

What if the story is just dumb and a fail and no one can connect with it?”

I didn’t want to doubt myself, but shucks, I’m too open-minded. I knew that technically, it was theoretically possible that all my months of grueling hard work could be for nothing… and I could have produced a sub-par, poorly written story that was beyond hope of redemption.

Gosh, we writers can be so dramatic sometimes.

To my profound relief, a few beta readers let me know how much they were enjoying it. They even commented that they appreciated the quality of the writing. Part of me felt pathetic for needing that affirmation… but then again, that need is universal to all creative people. There’s no shame in admitting I’m equally human.

As a side note: Never underestimate how far a compliment can go. We creative types are delicate and self-doubting creatures. One kind word can give us a flood of morale.


Of course, I didn’t send Emergence to beta readers just so I could feel good about myself. The purpose of beta reading is to get feedback for improving a manuscript. My readers still have a month and a half before they have to return their feedback forms, but already some of them have begun discussing improvements for the beginning.

And I’m loving it.

The insecurities flutter away when it comes time to evaluate a story. Like I said, I’m pretty open-minded, so I thoroughly enjoy picking apart what I’ve written and brainstorming how to make it better. I’m already excited about some changes I want to make for the next draft.

Speaking of feedback and questions… there are some questions YOU may have right now. And it’s about time I answered them.


Q: Why has this blog been inactive for a month?

A: I have one word for you:

EMERGENCE.

Okay, yeah, I’ve kind of been busy?? As in, pretty-much-everything-in-my-life-has-been-on-hold-because-of-this-manuscript busy? And I feel so guilty because there are a lot of comments on this blog I haven’t responded to.

I WILL GET TO THEM. I promise.

Q: What’s the plan for this blog?

A: Okay, you probably aren’t actually wondering this, but here’s the answer anyway.

I have so many things I want to do with this blog. I have dozens of ideas for blog posts, three blog tags to catch up on, and a whole new (exciting!) direction I want to take it soon.

But I’ve been busy. (See answer to previous question.)

I’m trying to work out a blogging routine, and hopefully I’ll have structure in place soon.

Q: Is that the actual cover of the book?

A: What, you mean the feature image of this blog post? Um, no. This is just the very rough cover I made for beta readers. 🙂 The actual cover will be much more professional, but it will likely have a similar aesthetic.

Q: Can I creepily stalk your beta readers?

A: YES! Thank you for asking! On Twitter and Instagram, this book has an official hashtag: #EmergenceNovel. There you can see the excited flailing of an author and her readers. 🙂


If you have any other questions, I’d be glad to answer them in the comments below. Meanwhile, I have a day of creative work ahead of me, so I better get started. (Also, I have an army of dragons I need to feed. They get very cranky in the morning, especially when they’re hungry… *gulps* Yeah, I need to care of that right away…)

Have a lovely day, everyone! Brianna out.

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19 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, Brianna, you can’t just LEAVE like that. Your dragons have been setting the place on FIRE. *shakes head* Kidding, kidding! Absolutely, compliments can make my day. (It’s secretly why I post snippets to my blog — the comments column are an eternal source of sunshine.) I’m waiting for beta feedback right now too, so let us nibble on our nails together. I find that I get the most fantastic revision ideas when I’m not working on that specific project, so I’ve switched to rotating two WIPs at a time to facilitate that thinking.

    • Brianna da Silva
      | Reply

      I KNOW. I need to be careful with those dragons. xD They tried to eat me for making them wait, BUT I am also nimble and used to avoiding their claws and flames. xD

      Hehe, I know what you mean about the snippets. That’s why I participate in #1LineWed on Twitter from time to time. 😉 It’s so reassuring when people like what you wrote… and we all need that reassurance from time to time!!

      *joins nail-biting party* We can endure this together!! *lifts consolatory banner* Hurrah!!

  2. Serena
    | Reply

    So many exciting things! I’ve been seeing some of those #EmergenceNovel tweets — and it sounds like a great book! I look forward to seeing what direction you take with the blog. 🙂

    • Brianna da Silva
      | Reply

      Yess!! So much excitement! 😀 And that’s cool that you’ve noticed the hashtag!! It’s doing its job, I see. 😉 Aw, thank you. ^_^ ^_^

  3. Rae Oestreich
    | Reply

    Briana, I’m so excited for you! I hope you get lots more great responses from betas. I have a feeling you will; you’re a good judge in who would give you great feedback and suggestions 🙂

    Congrats!

    • Brianna da Silva
      | Reply

      Thank you, Rae!! *beams* I have to say I think I did choose a pretty good group, because some of the early feedback I’ve gotten already has been SO intelligent and insightful! I can’t wait to get the full feedback next month! ^_^

  4. saraletourneau
    | Reply

    That’s a neat idea! Giving your beta-readers a Twitter hashtag where they can share comments about the book. I’ve sort of thought of making a hashtag for my WIP, but then I worry, “Is it too soon to have a book title hashtag?” :S What do you think?

    And to be perfectly honest, Brianna, what you’re feeling right now is how EVERY writer feels when their manuscript is with beta-readers. Heck, I already feel that way by simply thinking about having people read TKC after Draft #3. But it’s natural. We want people to like our work, yet we’re terrified of all the possible holes and mistakes we might have been blind to all along. But so far, it sounds like people are liking it and the feedback you’ve received is helpful – and that’s great! 🙂

    • Brianna da Silva
      | Reply

      I would say, it’s never too early to start using a hashtag! 🙂 Because then people can scroll back deep in the history and see how it was used in the beginning… and, you can start creating more interest early on. 🙂

      I am sure you are right. *heavy sigh* I imagine that’s a good thing, if we are that anxious, because it shows we have a high level of commitment to our work and we WANT it to be as good as it can be. Beta reading is just one step towards making it so. 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement! ^_^

      • saraletourneau
        | Reply

        It’s funny, because shortly after I had commented on this post, I read a blog post by Lauren Teague (and shared by Kristin Kieffer on Twitter) and hashtagging our books. I asked them the same question, whether they think it’s too early to start hashtagging. They both said the same thing you did. 🙂 So, I guess #TKCnovel might become a thing!

        You’re welcome! Are you feeling less anxious about things now? Or about the same?

        • Brianna da Silva
          | Reply

          Yay! I’m glad to have my sage wisdom confirmed by other wise humans. ;D Question, though: Why #TKCNovel instead of just #TheKeepersCurse? I think the latter would be unique enough that you could claim it for yourself, and it’d be easier for people to remember.

          As for anxiety, I AM feeling a lot better. 🙂 Mainly because readers keep saying nice things and that gives me a lot of peace. ^_^ *sighs contentedly*

          • saraletourneau
            |

            “Why #TKCNovel instead of just #TheKeepersCurse?”

            I was thinking #TheKeepersCurse originally, but then I wondered whether it was too “long” in the hashtagging scheme of things. Maybe I’ll have to take a poll at the blog or on Twitter to get other people’s opinions… What do you think?

            Oh good! It’s no fun to be stressed about your story, especially when you’re at a stage when it’s “out of your hands” literally and figuratively speaking. Have you gotten constructive feedback as well as compliments so far?

          • Brianna da Silva
            |

            Well, I’ve already given my feedback there on Twitter! 😉

            As for feedback, YES, I have already gotten lots of constructive feedback – way more so than compliments. Heath Robinson, particularly, has been very thorough, especially in the realms of plot believability and realistic world-building. He has an incredibly sharp eye for these things.

        • Brianna da Silva
          | Reply

          … ALTHOUGH. I am rather nervous about what the ending could potentially do to people. *covers face* *scurries off, ducking and cowering*

          • saraletourneau
            |

            Oh? You wrote THAT kind of ending, huh? You evil author, you! XD

          • Brianna da Silva
            |

            *cackles darkly*

  5. Cait @ Paper Fury
    | Reply

    AHH A POST. I AM SO HAPPY. XD I may or may not have checked your blog several times and pouted at your long absence. But I knoooow, I knoooow. Writing likes to be demanding and take all our time doesn’t it? Writing is a very high maintenance little beast AND YET WE LOVE IT SO. *sighs* *pets writing and feeds it cake*
    Also I relate ridiculous amount on the beta-reader-anxiety-but-also-needing-a-bit-of-affirmation part. ME TOOO. I nearly die whenever I send something out. I mean, how many books have I written?? How much success in the past have I had?? AND YET EACH TIME I”M LIKE “I’m sure that was a fluke and this is going to be the book I bomb out on”. XDXD Ah, the writing life. #insecurities
    I’m so excited to see Emergence’s story!! So when you said you had a more professional cover coming…does this mean you’re self-publishing Emergence? (Sorry if you’ve probably said that a zillion times or anything. I am a deluded bean and always forget things. 😛 )

    • Brianna da Silva
      | Reply

      Omg, you were actually waiting for a post?? That means so much to me! ^_^ *places hand over heart* I figured no one would notice until I posted again, haha! xD

      And yes, writing is SOOO time-consuming. But also, I’m not too great at balancing all the millions of things in my life, and it’s easy to exclusively prioritize what I’m most passionate about. *guilty smile* But I love blogging, too! So I’m trying very hard to make time for it!

      Part of me wonders if those insecurities ever go away?! But maybe that’s a good thing?! Because if we ever became TOO confident in our writing, maybe we would start to become close-minded to making it better. And as far as I’m concerned, no one has ever “arrived”, and we always have opportunities to keep improving. I don’t know. *shrugs*

      Thank you!! *beams* And hehe, no worries, I don’t actually say this very often, but YES I am going to self-publish it… at least at first, because I’m an ambitious and extremely independent creature, and I just want to “see” how well I can sell it on my own. 😉 It’d be cool if I sell a zillion copies and then a publisher comes alone with a contract. But there’s a chance I might even turn down said contract in such a hypothetical situation, because I really like doing things on my own. (Problem, or good thing? I can’t decide.) Also, my degree is in graphic design and marketing, so I actually AM qualified to do it myself. xD It’ll be a fun challenge, if nothing else.

      I guess you didn’t need that long explanation. Oh well. Short answer: YES. ;D

  6. A. J. Lundetræ
    | Reply

    Hahaha, you are so funny!
    “Can I creepily stalk your beta readers?” “YES! Thank you for asking!”
    Will definitely check out the tag, because you made me laugh out loud …
    I’m sure your beta reader comments will be great!

    • Brianna da Silva
      | Reply

      xD Glad I made someone laugh, Agnete! That always feels like an accomplishment. ;’D

      There haven’t been TOO many usages of that tag yet, buuut there are a few that warm my heart, at least. ^_^ And hopefully it’ll get used a lot more in the future as more people read it! ^_^

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