Nothing Everything Nothing Rough Draft 2 Beta Report

Phew, that was a long title. Sometimes I wish I had chosen a shorter title for this novel because typing it out everywhere is a pain. BUT it’s perfect for the book and it’s officially too late to change it now.

Let’s go back a few steps. I FINISHED DRAFT 2!! And ahead of schedule. I actually got it back from the beta a day before I was scheduled to give it to him. That made me feel pretty good because for a while there I thought I’d be a week behind schedule.

The edits included add 2 scenes to the very beginning of the novel to add a better baseline as to who this character was before everything happens to her. A further dozen scenes had to be rewritten, tweaked, rearranged, or extended. Then came the hardest part – 18 consecutive scenes that had to be written from scratch, including adding a first, unsuccessful attempt. After that an entire series of scenes had to be deleted and rewritten – only a few paragraphs per scene, if that, were salvageable given the new events that were added and the new feel of the characters. And then suddenly I was on the last ten pages and all that was left were a few little scenes to add and some new details thrown into the epilogue and BAM she was done.

Strange how the ending sneaks up on you.

Then I went into wait mode and tried not to message the beta reader every few hours. “Have you read it?” “How about now?” “How far are you?” … I hate waiting. But he got back to me fairly quick, considering that it is a YA novel and he’s an adult it would be an easy read for him, except for the subject matter.

Here’s some of what he said:

Well I have read Casia Schreyer’s – “Nothing Everything Nothing” now four times over. This rather wrenching story about social media, teenage depression and suicide manages to capture the true malaise of depression. Struggling with depression for most of my life from when I was a teen, I have read many novels concerning this topic. Usually finding myself annoyed at how little writers seem to know, what depressed people really say and think. Not so in this case, in this case I was annoyed at the fact that it was captured in enough detail and realism ( no hype for hypes sake ) that it scratched those feeling of despair and hopelessness very few truly understand.

Wow okay … so I have read this over a few times and I am struck at first, at the lack of typos … only one repeated line might have meant to do that so I highlighted it But spelling and grammar aside … hear is my take. 1. Do not forget me when you hit the big time. 2 It is kind of unusual that I hear depressed folks in books actual sound depressed. Molly captured that and the slow detailed build up will be familiar to anyone suffering this condition. The pace is actually a little depressing, you know its coming and you just want it over with. Exactly like how one feels as they begin to slide into the abyss. It was painful to watch her friends turn against her and the deliberateness of it all made it uncomfortable to read. Pretty soon you kind feel like those things said to her are really directed at you… in other words you made me feel not like I was reading about Molly.. you made me empathize with her, not an easy task. Sympathy is easy to draw forth from a reader. But here you either become Molly and if not Molly herself you find yourself wanting to save her.
I would like to note that it feels near the end that Molly still has a long long struggle ahead … even though it’s better there is that feeling like she will have to fight for her stability … not sure if that was intention or I’m projecting
I really wish you were a worse writer .. I usually have a list of NO’s and that’s all wrong – BTW some folks from the East just PM’d asking me where they can get a copy

Everything I tried to do with this book, my beta picked up on. I’ve never been depressed but I read a lot of blogs and articles trying to get a feel for the truth behind all the stereotypes. I wanted people who have gone through this to be able to relate. I want people who have never gone through this to understand it. But I didn’t want to push people into it by glorifying it. A hard line to walk.

I’m happy with the review so far so I’ve sent it to the proofreader for grammar and spelling. That will take longer because of the reader. Any further edits required will take only moments and then I’ll be sending it off to some agents.

Actually, my beta knows a guy in the business who might like the book, so he’s sending it along on my behalf. It may already be in an agents reading pile, I don’t know.

Sigh…. did I mention that I hate waiting?

Still, I wanted to try to do this the traditional way because I am impatient. I want to wait. I want to force myself through this long process. I’m all prepared (except for the confusing tax stuff) to publish on my own so I’m going to canvas agents first. Maybe I’ll snag a long-term working relationship, maybe I’ll still end up going the indie route. I don’t know yet.

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