In the writing circle, you may have heard these words in the context of manuscripts and storylines. I’ve come to realize it’s inevitable. Even I during my energized and excitable years have uttered the suggestion.
I don’t offer it anymore. Part of me is worried someone may steal my ideas if it’s not a trusted beta reader or friend. But let’s be raw here for a moment, because who doesn’t want to share their work for a potential sneak peak at someone else’s?
I don’t offer to swap manuscripts because in the past I have always put in more than I receive. There wasn’t a single trade in which the other party failed to complete their end of the bargain. (My current beta readers excluded.)
Because you see, it’s more than just reading someone’s work. Manuscript swap or beta reading comes with a level of responsibility and expectation: feedback, constructive comments, and overall review.
I take it back, ONE instance left me brutally scarred from the ordeal because they criticised TOO much. That’s also a potential result. I get it, the story isn’t your pace, not your style, but at least be gentle. Writers have fragile egos in the early years.
I probably won’t manuscript swap with you. I’ve shelved my beta reading hat for the time being. But if you want to talk about your work and troubleshoot a scene, I’m here.
This has been,
Fanny T. Crispin