You’ve just put the final touches on your first draft; you’ve made a list of potential markets for submission; you’re almost ready to dive into the never-ending days of edits and rewrites, but before you take that plunge, your first reader needs to review your work.
The first reader is the first person to read your work in its most crude and vulnerable phase. They haven’t been involved in the world of your story for weeks, or even months, so they can read it without bias, find the incongruities and offer valuable input. The first time I give my piece to my first reader, I am looking for him to tell me about any gaping holes in my story. Does the story flow? Does it make sense? Does it draw the reader in? What does he like? What doesn’t he like? Have I changed tense partway through? Is my protagonist consistent? Is he or she likeable? Should she be a he, or he a she?
I am lucky to have my partner in life as my first reader. I trust him to be candid, to point out the imperfections, to question my character’s motives, actions and behaviour; by answering his queries, I learn what changes need to be made. He reads my work without preconceptions, experiencing my words through a fresh perspective. My first reader will uncover the major flaws of my story I can’t see because I’m too close to the work. I take note of his questions, suggestions and insights, before I start editing and rewrites; after each revision, I give it back to him for another first read.
I believe it’s important for all writers to have a first reader. It helps build our skill and prepares us to accept criticism with grace and style. Who is your first reader?
The information on this site are stories based on my personal experiences and is not intended for medical advice. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. All content is original and owned by the author and shall not be used or duplicated without express and written permission.
If You Like What You See
Some people have inquired if there’s a place to donate on my blog. This is for those who would like to offer extra support for my work and I thank you for this.
A bigger thank you to all my readers who offer ongoing support simply by stopping by for a visit. I enjoy writing and interacting with you.
J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.