Betas, read this and check your email

Posted by admin on February 18th, 2011 filed in General, VernQuarBoWriMo, Writing

Dear Beta Readers, both willing and otherwise,

I’ve completed the edits on the section of book that covers the first day in the story. It is only about 11 pages in a text document, so less than 30 pages of the book. It shouldn’t take too long to read, and I am excited to hear your comments. Allow me to thank you for your time in advance.

Things you should know:

I am surprisingly tender and emotional about this. I don’t understand it, but it is really hard for me to share this, even with my closest friends. I wouldn’t mind if you didn’t like and said bad things about my lomographs, but I would find it crushing if I only got negative criticism about my book. It is kind of surprising to me that I feel this way. As Stacey pointed out to me, it’s the child of my mind, so I guess that’s why I’m being so precious about it. The funny thing is, it’s not even the grand end all be all book that I wanted to write in my life (I tried for years to write that one and I now accept that I will have to wait until I am a much better author), this is just something that I was doing for fun. So have fun! And be nice to me about it. The number one rule, and also the most difficult, is to tell me the things I need to know without making me cry. Got it?

I would appreciate if everyone kept in mind that this isn’t a finished book that you pulled off the shelf at your local book store. It’s a work in progress and some things may change. I don’t have a team of researchers, editors, copy editors, etc. helping me out with this. This is my first try and I’m just one girl – a girl with a dream. No dream smashing!

I am looking for a general reaction from everyone. It’s helpful to know if you liked it or if you didn’t, but I would also like to know specifically what you did and did not like. And if you didn’t like something, it would be best to know why, and it’s okay to list “not my preference” as your reason. Even if something isn’t your cup of tea, it might still be perfectly enjoyable to readers of this genre. And from those who are familiar with this type of book, I would like to know if you feel it fits in the genre.

This is a huge project, and I think it will be a learning experience for all of us. You can put as much effort into it as you want. If all you can give me is a quick email with nothing more than a thumbs up (yay!), that’s fine. I appreciate any feedback I can get (unless it makes me cry, and even then if it was really constructive). So the level of participation is your choice, but I would like at least some comments on each section. I know there will be more to say about some sections than others.

There are some decidedly adult scenes, so be prepared. And maybe don’t read this at work.

I know I will be getting a lot of advice about what needs to be changed. I can’t use it all. A suggestion might be perfectly reasonable, but I might still reject it if I don’t feel like it fits. I can’t explain what internal meter I’m running ideas by, but I do know that I can’t include things that don’t feel right to me. It wouldn’t be my story otherwise. So don’t feel bad if I don’t make the changes you suggest. It’s not personal, it’s just that not everything is right for this book.

You have permission to have my text on your computer or other device, or to print it, but do not publish it whole or in part anywhere, including places like blogs and Facebook. I would appreciate it if only approved beta readers read the book at this time.

Any resemblance to people living or dead is entirely coincidence. And I really mean that. There might be a trait or two inspired by people I know, but there are no real people written into this book. That includes the main character. Since this book is written in the first person, you might think that the main character is the same as the author. This is absolutely not the case and please do not imagine her as me, especially when you get to the adult scenes. The step mother is not my step mother. I was working through things when I started writing back in ’09 and a wicked step mother seemed like a logical bad guy, but she quickly evolved into her own character. Her part in the story isn’t about what happened with me and my dad’s wife. I think you’ll be able to see that, but I just wanted to be clear.

Resemblance to places? Maybe. I can’t help but be influenced by places I’ve been, and new authors need to write what they know. Many of the settings are a combination of places I’ve been and my imagination. How they are portrayed in the story is not indicative of how I feel about these places in real life.

Here are your assignments:

From everyone – How do you feel about the characters? Was there anything that didn’t make sense? If there are any sentences you had to read two or three times, let me know so I can change the wording. Not too much happens in this section, so just give me your general reaction. If you picked up this book and were considering buying it, would the first section catch your attention enough to buy the book and keep reading? Did you start to get a feel for what the world is like from the first few pages? If there is anything that screams “you totally accidentally ripped this off from such and such book/movie/video game,” I should probably know about it.

Stacey and Jody (and anyone else who has read some urban fantasy before) – Just let me know your reaction as someone who would probably pick up this kind of book for fun.

Jo and Drew (are you beta reading, Drew?) – You have the difficult job of checking for spelling and grammar mistakes. Also keep an eye out for places where I accidentally switch tenses.

Bert, Chris, Travis, Ron, Mark – Please start thinking about the world building and magic system. I would like to flesh these things out.

Comments are closed.

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