A Chance to Read Early Editions!   11 comments

June 21, 2021If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

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So Many to Choose From

Just one? I can think of a couple. I’m not sure I can choose from among them. And then there are the ones I definitely would NOT choose. Great writers with a history of getting stalled would not be on my list. JD Salinger was a great writer, but he hardly published after Catcher in the Rye because, the biographers say, he kept chasing the next Great American novel so he couldn’t get out of the blocks. The last thing any author needs, especially with multiple series in the wings, is a beta partner who can’t finish a project. I feel the same way about Harper Lee. GREAT writer who only published a couple of books in her career. You want beta partners to be thorough, but not excessively indecisive and in today’s publishing world, one-hit-wonders tend to get lost in the deluge of writers who are constantly cranking out new content.

But Who Would I Choose?

I can tell you who would be on my short list. They’re the writers I loved in my younger days. Madelaine L’Engle would be on that list just because of my love of her books, especially the descriptions. Everyone is familiar with A Wrinkle in Time, but my favorite is The Young Unicorns. I’d put Ray Bradbury on that list because I liked his view of plot as just a setting the character design to their own benefit. That’s really how I write, discovering the plot as my characters live their lives. I’d also put Zenna Henderson down among my considerations because I think that as a teacher, she could impart her valuable insights to me. Hardly anyone remembers her now, but she was my introduction into sci fi and fantasy. CS Lewis might fill a similar beta partner need for me — the ability to explain his guidance in a clear way.

Who Is Number One On My List?

Currently, my favorite fiction writer is Brandon Sanderson and as I consider the field of available talent to beta for me (and assuming that means a swap on their books as well), I’d have to choose Sanderson. I don’t like every book he writes, but his Stormlight Archives has me hooked. I’d love the opportunity to give him early suggestions and would appreciate his suggestions about my books as well.

Okay, enough said. Wonder who my fellow blog-hoppers would choose. I’m headed off to enjoy the midnight sun. Ta-ta for now.

Posted June 21, 2021 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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11 responses to “A Chance to Read Early Editions!

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  1. Bradbury was on my list too.

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  2. I wasn’t familiar with ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and so had a look on Amazon. I’ve never been able to get into Fantasy, but it’s nice to check out others’ recommendations.

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    • A Wrinkle in Time is a fantasy, though different from the ones I write — L’Engle was more of a magical realism writer. And truthfully, so was Henderson. She plunked down aliens with powers who looked like human in the American west and told the stories of how they and the people they encountered coped.

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  3. Great writers, like great painters, musicians, architects etc. are all a pain in the ass as far talking craft is concerned. However a good, blunt editor or beta is a good thing to have around.

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    • Oh, definitely. I suspect the thing about artistry is that we know how we’d do it, but we have no idea how to explain how we do it. Nor should we. Over-analysis just leads to a quagmire where we stop being artistic.

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  4. All great choices, and favs of mine, too!

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  5. Midnight sun – how lovely. I also like Ray Bradbury. I don’t know your favourite author.

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    • I don’t know that I have a favorite author. I have a library of well-loved authors who have produced a lot of books I read more than once. But they sometimes disappoint me, so then there’s other books that capture my attention. Bradbury, Heinlein, Henderson, Sanderson, Katharine Kerr, Dickens, Lewis, Tolkien, Vonnegut, Asimov, L’Engle, Mary O’Hara, Tad Williams, Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, Edith Wharton, Hemingway — all favorites at one time. My kids would be assigned to read something in high school and they’d check our bookshelves at home before they went to the library.

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