When I first started writing, I published chapters of my rough draft (of my first book) on a public site. I did this for a number of reasons. 1) Had I generated enough interest to capture anyone’s attention to read to the next chapter? 2) To keep me motivated to write the next chapter. By publicly posting, I felt that, at a minimum, I owed my readers a complete story. They had invested time in reading about my characters, so it was the least I could do to finish the first project. One project turned into six, and then I got ideas for adult books (which have never been shared publicly). To be fair, this is probably not the most professional way into finishing manuscripts, but the process worked for me. I’m not going to say I lived for reviews, but in their own strange way they got me started writing in a consistent manner. It also gave me confidence with my audience (and without that confidence I may have never finished a novel, let alone self published).
Today, I find it easy to share with other people once I’ve reached a draft I feel comfortable with. That draft may take years to get to, but I will reach a point in which I want others to read and give me feedback. Unfortunately, it’s A LOT to ask a friend, colleague, or family member to read (and critique) your work. I’m still waiting for feedback from at least 10 people (none of which I’m actually expecting). At the same time, I’m working up the courage to share with a writers group I’ve recently started attending. What part of which story do I want to share? If I get undivided attention for 20 minutes, what is the best way to use it? Right now I’m leaning towards the opening scene to my hotel book, mostly because I want to make sure they can picture the suite at the Winchester as I do.
Looking forward, I know I want an editor for at least one of my books. How do I connect with the right one?
How about you, reader? When and where and who do you share your works in progress with?