Fatal, Family, Album: Book #13 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series is now in the hands of beta readers and proofreaders. I've already gotten word that will result in one change. I know there will be many others.
A lot of writers get their backs up when they are criticized. That's not professional. I have learned to listen carefully to readers and proofreaders. They might not always be right, but often they make a terrific point. For example, I like to call Ladue a "tony" suburb. "Tony" means "fashionable among the rich or upscale." However, nearly every beta thought I meant "tiny." So I changed the wording. It's just not worth confusing the majority of people.
An astute beta has a background in banking, and he noticed a big flaw in my plot. I am thankful that I have his expertise to help me. I had done research. I had asked experts for help, and they gave me assistance, but that's different from reading the book and seeing how I used the information.
I am all for anything that makes my books more accurate, more readable, and more enjoyable. That's why I have more than a dozen people weigh in before the book is published.
Of course, the longer I write books, the higher my own standards are. I keep adjusting my expectations upward. That means I am more likely than ever to spot my own weaknesses and want to make changes.
It's the same with my miniatures. I didn't like the chandelier in the Steinway room box. I had wanted the light to stream through it. I had purchased Swarovski crystals, but I didn't think my design used them to full effect. So...down came the chandelier. That made try #4 or 5, I think. I looked at images of chandeliers again, and I started over. I really like the newer version.
|Now the light shines through the chandelier. It also streams through a hole in the bottom so that it shines through the Swarovski crystals.|