Any Volunteers?

Now is the time: make your mark.

Note by lupoianfla.

I’m in need of beta readers for my book.  Tomorrow will see the editing phase done and dusted, I’m well on track for it and unless I get eaten by a shark it’ll be squared away before lunch.  Thus, I’m going to need a posse to send the book to for some external review.

The trick is, I’m not just after people who want to read a half-finished book.  If only it were that easy!  I really want people who can help out in some specific ways.

  1. Are you good at grammar?  Because I’m not, and I need help here.  Picking out spelling helps too.
  2. Do you have a good eye for detail?  Narrative structure is important – do I say Bob is on level 4 in one chapter, and then level 5 in another?  Is Jane’s hair green or blue?  I can’t remember.
  3. Do the sentences scan well?  There’s a fine line between helping out with whether it scans and telling me what words to change; I don’t want a Word document back with tracked changes on, I need to know what sticks out and then I can fix it myself.
  4. Are the characters realistic (or as realistic as they can be in speculative fiction)?  If so, why?  If not, what specifically makes them not work?
  5. Do you know WTF is going on in the scenes?  Who is talking, and who is performing which action?  Are the action components clear, and are they exciting?
  6. Are you able to read and return a draft quickly?  That is, can you commit to turning around a manuscript within about a week from receiving it?

Perhaps most importantly, are you able to tell me what you like – what’s good about it?  It’s super easy to tear something to shreds, but it’s just as important (perhaps a little more so) to know what sticks with you, what you wanted to read more of, and whether you liked the damn story.

Yeah, it’s all want, want, want.  I figure it’s good to set out the boundaries from the start – the last thing I want is to have to kill all my friends who’ve read this because they’ve told me to change the word coil to spring.  Seriously, it could happen.

Hit me up if you’re interested.  In volunteering, not in getting killed.  I figure I’ll owe you beer.

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2 Replies to “Any Volunteers?”

  1. You can have an ecopy! Apparently the benefit of printing is that you can read it with a pen handy and scrawl over it, in the heat of the moment so to speak.

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