27 May 2009

Getting Feedback on What?

I'm learning a lot as I write my book. The class I'm taking is very helpful and the writing is really starting to click. One thing I've learned is when you ask for feedback from another set of eyes, make sure they know what they are reading. Here's what I mean...

I'm currently working on the table of contents of my book. For a nonfiction book proposal you need an annotated, narrative road map to show prospective agents that your project has been thought through, beginning to end. It also gives you a way to track a storyline for a factual subject-- a way to see if you have "fictionized" your non ficiton well enough so it doesn't read like a manual for an electric typewriter. It's not merely a list of chapter titles.

I let my boyfriend read the first couple of pages and he was so confused. "I'm worried about how succinct this is--you seem to be moving really fast." Oh no. I thought. Maybe I need to add more details... to give more of what the actual book will read like. I went back into my office and continued to work. I came back to him with what I thought was improvement--- "It's good but still needs to be more developed I think." HE THOUGHT HE WAS READING THE BLOODY BOOK.

I could have killed him, if it wasn't my fault. Although I told him I was doing a T.O.C., I realized he had no clue what I was talking about, because it seemed as though I was writing draft and not a list of chapters. This first version of the T.O.C. is due Friday night. I have a lot of work to do.

Sigh... it's not wasted time. In fact, I actually got some decent writing done!

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