So I should probably preface this by saying this post relates to absolutely nobody I am currently beta reading for, nor anyone who is following my blog. You seven amazingly talented women who are awaiting pages from me have the most unique, original, and refreshing voices I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
Now on with it. I love beta reading. It is a creative outlet that calms the characters constantly screaming for attention in my mind. I love getting back a revised copy to find they have employed a suggested revision – whether it be taking a long complicated sentence and breaking it into two, utilizing commas and correct punctuation, or adding another thread. What I love even more is when my beta readers call me out on the same mistakes I point out in their WIP's LOL! It is a wonderful give and take relationship with a lot of laughs and crazy emails sent back and forth.
What I hate, what absolutely has me seething, is when I see my own content come back at me – entire scenes, dialogue, and descriptive paragraphs taken from one of my manuscripts and interwoven into theirs. First I rant, slam the laptop down, and let out a string of profanities that would make even George Carlin cringe. Then I remember my mom saying that copying is the greatest from of flattery. That calming thought works for about a second before I storm off in a tear again, pouring through boxes that have been sealed up in my attic for over a decade, looking for old law school books and legal briefs I at one time thought were useless academic exercises.
I’m good now, mostly thanks to Lindsay who talked me off that pissed off ledge I was teetering on all afternoon. I took all that anger and tossed it into one of my characters, let him take the punishment for a something that was totally not his fault. It worked, I turned out a rather agessive but not half-bad chapter yesterday.
So what about you guys – ever run into this problem, or does my karma just suck?