Writing Naturist Fiction is hard work. As a writer, the difficulty in making sure that a book is worth the price of the book for a reader, is well worth the agonizing over the choice of words, characters, and plot lines. To be honest, as I sit down to write, the reader is far from my mind. The only thing that seems vital at the time, is to keep the words flowing. Since I am what is called a pantser* kind of writer, I am even more caught up in the story that unfolds before me, wondering just what will happen next.
Before I learned that I was a pantser* I always associated the word with someone pulling down your pants. It was a favourite trick by high school boys to use on their male classmates in co-ed physical education classes. The result being pantless. I have had this happen to me while on a winter skiing vacation with our neighbours when we were in our fifties. I got pantsed** and as usual, I wasn’t wearing underwear and so found myself, bare-assed. Of course, I could also assume that since I don’t wear pants [or anything else] when I write, I am both a pantser and pantsed.
Okay, enough with the humour. The first draft of any of my novels is all about finding out what the story is that is waiting to be written. This is all about “self” and not the reader. When one approaches the story a second time, as an editor, the story becomes focused on the reader. All writers, consciously or unconsciously, want their stories to resonate with readers. If a writer just throws the story out there without consideration for those who will risk reading, often the response is anything but friendly.
I write for myself, not for a reader. I write because I have to write. However, in the end, I find myself returning to my stories and non-fiction as a reader. Does the work engage me as a reader? If not, what needs to be fixed. For most writers, this can only be done with the help of an editor, not via self-editing. Beta readers are also helpful for a writer – having others read the story and honestly critique the story. Beta readers don’t suggest improvements, or point out errors in logic or grammar. They simply tell it like it is to an author about the story as it is.
If you love reading Naturist Fiction, contact any of us here and offer your services as a Beta Reader, knowing that your gut responses will likely be reflected in the final version of the story when it gets published.
*pantser – you ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ when you are writing your novel.
**pantsed – you’ve had your pants pulled down