Posted in Writing

The Value of Beta Readers

Beta readers are people of your target audience that can give you helpful feedback on your story. If you write for the opposite gender, someone older or younger than you, or someone in a different occupation, you may want a beta reader. They can give you crucial advice.  Gathering a group of your target audience can also tell you what need to be changed, what’s confusing, and what’s well written. You can enlist beta readers before or after getting your book edited, but usually before you send of the manuscript to publishers.

Beta readers aren’t that hard to find, check writing groups on face book, ask on your blog, but try not to ask only your friends or family. You need both tough criticism and great support to help your book. Make sure you’re in a stable mental state and then ask away. So, dose any young adult girls or gay guy want to beta read for me?

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Posted in Writing

Writing characters with anxiety and mental looping

Why not curse your main character or villain with the inability to let a thought go?  Why not riddle them with depression or rage? Why not make the darkest depths of the night impossible to sleep through and haunting?

I have a non-traditional kind of anxiety, I call it mental looping. Most of the time, it happens at night in the dark, it’s even worse when I close my eyes. One thought will get caught in my head and no matter what I do, how hard I try, my brain will always get back to that topic. Sometimes even my dreams will loop, the exact same thing over and over again. In middle school the only thing I could think was how much I wanted everyone around me to die, but on days when I didn’t have mental looping I would be happy to hang out with anyone. In high school I couldn’t get my mind off having a relationship. The longest amount of time I could keep from thinking about it was five hours. At it’s worst, I had an imaginary friend that I pretended to date.

In college I have issues with trees. If I think of one tree being cut down, all the other images I’ve seen, things I’ve heard, every stump, fallen log, anything with wood or paper, will flash through my mind until I seep into depression. Mental looping always leads to either depression or the rage to kill people. That’s what makes it so scary.

Posted in Writing

Writing characters with hypoglycemia

High blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia is a good alternative to diabetic characters. Having a hypoglycemic character can add drama and emotion to a slower book or speed up a fast one. I am hypoglycemic and I’m going to tell you about the daily struggle of eating. I need to eat every 5 hours minimum but for best results, I need to eat every three hours.  However most people think I eat very little at each meal.

These are the side effects of not eating after 4 hours:

Stage 1: I get really spacey, my memory is blurry because I can’t pay attention to what’s going on.

Stage 2: Balling my eyes out. I will literally cry over anything.

Stage 3: Intense anger. I once went after someone with a stake knife but usually will just kick the nearest person.

Stage 4: as we approach hour five I will pass out and stay unconscious.

If I eat a lot of sugar or don’t have protein and carbs, my ticking time bomb of destruction shortens. Sometimes it will be as short as an hour. However if my body isn’t doing much, I don’t need to eat as soon. For instance sleeping doesn’t count time wise.  I set up eating times to keep from killing people, they go as fallows, wake up at 9:00 eat at 9:30, 11:30, snacks from 1-3 eat again at 5 desert at 8 and a snack every other hour until I go to bed.

Now imagine your character doing trivial things, like driving to the next setting in your book, or sitting in a meeting for two long. Let the drama begin.