Well I did it.  I finally finished beta reading Through Storm and Night for Lauren Jankowski.  Like the first book, I noticed some key additions referring to sexuality (or lack thereof) that I knew hadn’t been present before, but for the most part this was a better book to start with than Sere from the Green.  I didn’t make nearly as many comments and suggestions, which is not really surprising.  After all, Lauren’s a smart person who learns from experience and so it’s clear that her second book would be an improvement on the first.

Taken as a whole, that means that Sere from the Green needed far more extensive edits and changes before it was ready to be republished than the rest of the series.  That’s not to say that none of the other books can benefit from a look-see, as my complaints about The Broken Crown show how small errors can slip through the cracks.  After all, those are the kind of problems I’m trying to help prevent.

It’s nice to have sent Through Storm and Night back to Lauren.  I’ve come to think of beta reading as being similar to a homework assignment.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does take more focus and attention to detail than I might otherwise employ.  Plus there’s the guilt factor.  I feel guilty on the nights that I don’t read a chapter, despite the fact that there is no law saying I have to do this, or the fact that sometimes I really just want to laze and turn on the TV and not think for a while.  I guess part of why it’s felt like homework is the fact that I did have a deadline – after I insisted that such a thing was necessary if she wanted it back in under two months.  It wasn’t a bad deadline at all and I’ve beaten it easily.  It just adds to the feeling of “work” versus “pleasure.”

On the other hand, the clear evidence that my homework makes my friend ridiculously happy does a great deal to ameliorate the mental pain.  And I can blame work in part as well.

And yes, From the Ashes is in my inbox.

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