Monday, November 7, 2011
Looking for betas & CPs!
I am forced to admit that I am on version 10.4 of Rivers Underneath. And despite 2 1/2 years of rewrites, I've still only shared it with a small handful of readers. I'm now at that point that I need help. I've had some amazing feedback (thanks again Leigh Ann!) and a whole lot of general "I loved it!" but now I need more. I feel like there must be something I'm not seeing, some horrifying hole that is keeping it from greatness and I firmly believe the only way to find it is to share it. This means opening myself up to criticism, exposing my poor proof reading skills and finding time to reciprocate. Eek.
What I'm looking for:
I need general beta readers to give specific feedback - what you liked, what you didn't like, what made sense, what was confusing. Thoughts on characters or the overall story arc. Tell me what you would write in a review. Just something more than "I liked it." Even if you hated it. I need some reason for your response!
I'm also looking for one or two folks willing to give a more in depth critique. Help me find those pesky passives, point out places my characters are being dense, help me puzzle out ways to make it stronger. This is a lot of work and I've been hesitant to ask for this kind of help because it's so time consuming. Sure, I spend hours a day lost in this thing, but I haven't want to ask anyone else to do the same. But here it is, I'm asking.
As a whole, I'm looking for people who love paranormal and can point out places I'm being derivative and those who hate paranormal and can point me toward ways to make it appeal to a broader audience.
Bonus points to anyone who can point me towards some comps. I'm really bad at that.
I'm looking for people willing to cheer me on, but also tell me the hard stuff. I'm a big girl, I can take it. I've already imagine you all saying far worse in my head. I'm looking for a quick once through or someone willing to stick around for the long run. I'm looking for you. Yes, you.
What I can offer:
I am a really good beta. I read fast and I read like a reader. I don't notice passives or adverbs or any of those things when I'm reading as a reader. If I can latch on to one character and throw myself into the plot, I'm all in.
As a critiquer, I am painfully slow, especially if I'm getting my own feedback at the same time. I have a very active, very bright 18-month-old with absolutely no ability to entertain himself and even less ability to let Mommy use her computer without pushing boopas. Which leaves nap time as my only time to write. My free time comes in chunks, depending on how well he's sleeping and whether or not my husband (a freelance editor) has work. I think it took a solid two months to get through the last manuscript I critiqued.
On the flip side, I read very carefully. I like to find plot holes and I'm pretty good at seeing things coming (so much so people refuse to watch movies with me), so if you can surprise me, you've done well. My background is in journalism so some of my language usage & punctation habits are different from fiction, meaning I'm not the best if you're looking for a proof reader. But I've spent a lot of time and energy studying story structure, character archetypes and that sort of thing.
So there it is. My query is posted here and my first chapter is posted here. Give it a read and if you're interested, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll work something out.
I look forward to sharing my work and reading yours!