There’s a lot of talk on the internet about tribes. How to build one, how to join the right one, and why they’re so important to our success. But most writers make the same mistake over and over again when it comes to finding their tribe.
For a writer lucky enough to find an awesome beta reader, the payoff can be like striking pure gold. Good beta readers force you to level up. They clearly see the story when you’ve lost all perspective. And if they’re really good, they remind you why you started writing in the first place.
Are you writing a book with a convoluted plot? Or maybe your story is told from a dozen different viewpoints? Or perhaps it all depends on hundreds of years of complex back story that you’re not sure how to fit in or where?
Every story is a living thing. Experienced readers know this. But sometimes writers forget it. Sometimes we act like our story is a piece of IKEA furniture, and if we don’t understand where all the screws go right after we get it out of the box, it must be because the product itself is shoddy.
Most people don’t pay much attention to their dreams. They seem to be born out of something crazy our brain does when we’re unconscious and not present to supervise our mental activities. But writers aren’t like most people. And we don’t have the luxury of dismissing this rich, frothy mix of layered meaning and symbolism that our minds give us as a gift every night.