Cemetery Dance Book Bunch discussion

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Would anyone like to test read The Floors?

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message 1: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Hi everyone,

I rather cheekily placed a call for test readers here a few months ago and was over the moon with the positive response I received. Now that I have completed a second draft of my story I was wondering if I could lure a few ardent horror readers into giving it a read and providing some feedback.

Without further ado, let me show you what I’ve been slaving over for the last seven months or so. I am delighted (and monumentally nervous) to present for your temptation, The Floors:

The Floors - Coming Soon

HOW WOULD YOU ESCAPE A MAZE OF THIRTEENTH FLOORS?

You work in a skyscraper.
You live in an apartment block.
You stop over at a hotel.


You find a button missing from the elevator’s control panel.

Thirteen.

Over the years superstition has robbed floors from thousands of buildings across the world, and continues to do so.

Dawn McKenzie and Joe Bradley are about to discover where these floors really lie. Chased into an impossible maze split across time and space, their chances of survival narrow by the second.

And in a maze with precious little food, they are not the only ones trying to survive…

I hope that has tickled your collective fancies. If I may so rudely get down to brass tacks, I am seeking honest appraisals of The Floors from four fearless horror fans, be they Goodreads-style reviews, bullet-points of what worked (and what didn’t), or something in between. The spotting of glaring typos and gaping plot holes would be much appreciated. It all helps, believe me!

I can deliver the book as a PDF file or as a MOBI file, and will also send a short (slightly spoilerific) questionnaire. Nothing too arduous, honest.

The story currently runs to around 320 pages (100K words), and I am aiming to publish it on Friday, 13th September 2013. (You will see adverts for it in issues 70 and 71 of Cemetery Dance Magazine.) I would therefore seek your honest feedback by 13th July 2013 so that I may start work on a final draft.

In return for helping a fellow horror fan to improve his writing, I will express my eternal gratitude for your stellar efforts in the acknowledgements section of the book, and will also send you a free signed printed copy once it’s unleashed on the world. (We’ll have to come to a different arrangement if you think the story is a bag of balls. ;) )

If you would like to help then please leave a reply to this thread. I’ll drop you a message over Goodreads to arrange the necessary.

Many thanks in advance,

Lucian Poll.
http://lucianpoll.com


message 2: by Squire (new)

Squire (srboone) I'm in, Lucian!


message 3: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Thanks, Squire, you've made a happy Mr Poll!

I'll be in touch shortly.

LP


message 4: by Robert Krone (new)

Robert Krone | 31 comments I'm in as well.


message 5: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Hi, Robert, that's excellent to hear! Thank you for helping a fellow WriMo!

I'll be in touch.

LP


message 6: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Morgan | 4 comments I'm down if you'll have me.


message 7: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Hi, Sabrina, I'd be delighted. Thanks for helping me!

I'll fire a message your way through Goodreads now.

LP


message 8: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Thank you Squire, Robert and Sabrina for your speedy responses. :)

I have now emailed you the files. The MOBI files in particular are large (3.7MB) so, if they have not arrived, please check your spam folders. If you find any other issues please let me know.

If someone else would also like to help test read The Floors I would be delighted to provide a file.

Thanks again, everyone!

LP


message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael (saginaw) | 9 comments I'll happily read it for you.


message 10: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Hi, Michael. Sounds good to me, thanks!

I'll fire off a message through Goodreads for you.

I'm really pleased to have four test readers so soon after creating this thread. I hope it bodes well for then the thing is released. :)

Thanks everyone. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the story.

LP


message 11: by Tom (new)

Tom | 62 comments Mod
Lucian wrote: "Hi, Michael. Sounds good to me, thanks!

I'll fire off a message through Goodreads for you.

I'm really pleased to have four test readers so soon after creating this thread. I hope it bodes well fo..."


If you want another one count me in or I will wait till your next project.Let me know


message 12: by Lucian (last edited Jun 02, 2013 01:42PM) (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Hi, Tom. With your staggering collection I would consider it an honour to have your opinion on the story. I'll send you a message over Goodreads now.

I'll draw a line there, folks. I have my Famous Five! :) Many thanks for the interest you've all shown. It makes be believe I may be on the right track with this thing!

LP


message 13: by Peter (new)

Peter Riccio (Peteocha) | 8 comments Looks like I was just a bit too late! :(

But if you're ever in need of a reader just let me know! :)


message 14: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Hi, Peter. Yeah, sorry about that. Five appraisals, to me, seems a managable number and a natural cut-off point (plus I'm thinking of postage costs!) :)

By way of a compromise, how about I send you an electronic copy of the finished work in return for a Goodreads review, good or bad?

(I'll also extend the offer to other founding members of the Cemetery Dance group.)

LP


message 15: by James (new)

James Campbell (tjcams) | 6 comments I just get the message Lucian, and sorry I missed on a chance to check it out for you. Sounds like a good one, and yes the temptation you planted is just that.

Especially with the e-book format, I have noticed many grammar, typos, etc. I am reading Edward Lee's The Stickmen currently and have had to re-read lines a few times.


message 16: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Hi James,

Glad to have tickled your curiosity. :) I'm hoping for a similar response when more of the magazine ads appear.

I hope to have eradicated the grammatical gaffes in the second draft, but it can be quite hard to spot them when so deep into the story. (A few well-meaning edits can also introduce their own headaches!) The test reads will therefore be invaluable for me. I'm also keen to hear if my story works as a "cold read", something I'll never know first-hand.

Thanks again for the kind words!

LP


message 17: by Peter (last edited Jun 03, 2013 10:52AM) (new)

Peter Riccio (Peteocha) | 8 comments Sure Lucian, that would be great!


message 18: by Tom (new)

Tom | 62 comments Mod
Downloaded and have read the opening.So far my interest is peaked much. I will delve into this more later tonight. Do you want me to email you as I go along or wait till I am done with the whole book?


message 19: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Hi Tom,

That's great to hear! :) I hope there's enough good stuff in there to keep you invested in the story.

I'm happy to receive your thoughts once you have reached the end of the book, particularly if you find it drawing you in. If you find something jarring or not quite right, then feel free to drop me an email. Whatever works best for you.

Thanks again for helping me. I'm glad the MOBI file worked!

LP


message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael (saginaw) | 9 comments This is really good. About half though so far. Have detected no real problems.


message 21: by Tom (new)

Tom | 62 comments Mod
Me to. Some spelling mistakes. Nothing major.There are aspects to this book that I really like and others that confuse me.When I am done I will let Lucian know. This is kind of neat reading a book for more than just fun. I have been taking notes as I go along. Enough for now.


message 22: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Sounds encouraging! Many thanks for the updates, guys. :)

Re: the (Insert newspaper clipping here) placeholder, I've spent some time this week creating a few fictitious clippings for the printed copy of the book. I'll post/link to them here shortly. They're not crucial to the story in any way, but help add a little extra flavour.

Thanks again to you all for your help. It's really appreciated.

LP


message 23: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Alas Goodreads forces me to scale these clippings a little too drastically, so I've added links beneath each one that will take you to the actual image hosted on my site. They were a lot of fun to create, but I suspect any more than the three here would be a little overkill.

This is a newspaper clipping that will front the prologue:

Prologue clipping
"From the front page of the Seattle Mail, Tuesday, 3rd June 1986"
http://lucianpoll.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/crux-cannibal-v1-0.png


This is a newspaper clipping that will occupy the "Part One" page:

Part 1 clipping
"Excerpt from The Reading Evening Herald, Thursday, 19th July 2012"
http://lucianpoll.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/flies-v1-halftoned.png


And finally, this is a clipping that will occupy the "Part Two" page:

Part 2 clipping
"Excerpt from the LA Chronicle, Friday, September 23rd 1994"
http://lucianpoll.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/starphone-records-v1-halftoned.png

There may be a few other graphical flourishes I add to the printed copy over the coming months, though nothing that will affect or add to the story.

LP


message 24: by Tom (new)

Tom | 62 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing these. I am going to start part 2 later today. Rainy weather makes good reading day.


message 25: by Michael (new)

Michael (saginaw) | 9 comments Nice


message 26: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Thanks, Tom. Thanks, Michael. :)

LP


message 27: by Rusty (new)

Rusty Lundgren (rusty23) | 3 comments Just reading this thread. Sorry, no e reader for me, I haven't taken the plunge yet. Not needed with my huge stack of CD books still on my TBR pile. Maybe sometime ill be able to help with a goodreads review.


message 28: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Thanks, Rusty. That'd be cool.

I can sympathise about the TBR pile. I've had to set base camp around half-way up mine. Feels good to get some reading done.


message 29: by Tom (new)

Tom | 62 comments Mod
Done. Expect an e-mail this weekend after I type up the rest of my notes.


message 30: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments That's excellent! Many thanks, Tom. I look forward to reading your thoughts on the story. :)

LP


message 31: by Squire (last edited Jun 14, 2013 01:51PM) (new)

Squire (srboone) I've finally found time to start this for you, Lucian. It's going pretty smooth so far.

description

I'm not much of an ereader, so this is how I compensate. And yes, it's in the binder upside down.


message 32: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Oh... My... Word! That is so cool, thanks, Squire! I hope you find the story worth the printing costs! :)

LP


message 33: by Sabrina (last edited Jun 15, 2013 12:37AM) (new)

Sabrina Morgan | 4 comments Wish I had thought of that. I could have marked the spots I thought might be miss spelled. I tell myself that I will make a note of the spot and then I'm so into the story I just keep chugging along. I'll have to back over it when I'm done. I'm about half of the way done with it and have only noticed 2 or 3.
I am really enjoying this so far. Love the news clippings, Great Job Lucian.


message 34: by Squire (new)

Squire (srboone) Lucian wrote: "Oh... My... Word! That is so cool, thanks, Squire! I hope you find the story worth the printing costs! :)

LP"


Cost me nothing to print. No worries.


message 35: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Thanks, Sabrina. I'm glad you are enjoying it so far. That means a lot to me! :)

All typos captured are greatly appreciated, but I know they're slippery little buggers. Having five pairs of eyes on the lookout, however, makes them easier to trap. A feeling of what worked and what didn't work within the story is just as valuable to me, so don't worry if a gremlin slips by.

I put The Floors in for a professional edit a few days ago, so I have an added safety net for typos and other embarrassing bloopers. It should also help tighten up any flabby sections, smooth out the clunkier sentences and kick any wobbly grammar into touch.

With your collective efforts I should then have a mighty fine story come release day. Looking forward to it. (I can then focus on the next one!)

Thanks again for your help!

LP


message 36: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Well played, Squire!

I should receive later this week a printed proof of the book (based on the second draft). It's more so I can judge whether the cover works, and that the clippings print well. I'll post a photo or two if I'm happy with the results.

LP


message 37: by Tom (new)

Tom | 62 comments Mod
Emailed you my thoughts and don't worry I was honest in my assessment. I liked a lot of the book some not but overall a fantastic story. The clippings do answer a couple of my questions.


message 38: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Thanks for that, Tom. I've just emailed you in return. Excellent stuff! :) I'm delighted you liked the story, and will keep an eye on the issues you identified. My red pen's primed for the third draft!

I really appreciate the help you are all giving me. It doesn't half ease some of the jitters I've had while writing the thing!

Thanks again!

LP


message 39: by Squire (last edited Jun 16, 2013 02:20PM) (new)

Squire (srboone) Finished part one with some notes. Lucian, I am genuinely disturbed by this (but that's a good thing). I've marked some sections I need to reread post-mortem, but this has been intriguing so far.


message 40: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Excellent! Thanks for the update, Squire. It sounds like I'm pushing the right buttons here and there, which is encouraging. I hope you find Part Two as unsettling. Such wickedness I have in store for you! Moo-ha-ha-haah! :)

LP


message 41: by Squire (last edited Jun 17, 2013 01:50PM) (new)

Squire (srboone) This is becoming more wickedly ingenious all the time, Lucian. Love the tile of Part Two. Most Apropos!

:-)


message 42: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Thanks, Squire. I'm glad you're liking it.



(Sorry. I couldn't resist!)

The title for Part Two was one that popped into my head towards the end of the first draft, which was fine but then meant I had to come up with a name for Part One! I think I got away with it. ;-)

LP


message 43: by Squire (new)

Squire (srboone) Sent off my thoughts on The Floors, Lucian. Let me know if you got the email.


message 44: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Hi, Squire, I got the email. Huge thanks an excellent in-depth critique! I'll pop off a reply this evening.

I've just received a proof copy of the second draft, and, as daft as it sounds, it actually looks like a book! I've spent months seeing the story as a bunch of files, and now I actually have a copy in my hands it's time to break open the big grins at Poll Towers! :) I'll put some photos up shortly.


message 45: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Here are a few snaps of The Floors as a proper book. I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out, especially for a first attempt. The newspaper clippings look pretty cool and the print is legible. I need to brighten and rescale the cover a little, but otherwise me = happy!

From the front...


From the back...


The title page...


Crux Cannibal clipping (before the prologue)...


Part One...


Part Two...



message 46: by Squire (new)

Squire (srboone) Sweet! Thamks for posting


message 47: by Robert Krone (new)

Robert Krone | 31 comments Looks great!


message 48: by Lucian (new)

Lucian Poll (lucianpoll) | 66 comments Thanks, guys. I'm glad you like it. Now all I need to do is work out how to sign "Lucian Poll"! :D


message 49: by Tom (new)

Tom | 62 comments Mod
Awesome. Guess what? Your book has been living in the back of my mind. Last night I had a dream in which I was trying to get out of this building and I kept getting stuck in little phone rooms. Small wooden very nice phone booths connected by long halls. It was awful.Thanks. I really hope this book is a huge success for you.


message 50: by Tom (new)

Tom | 62 comments Mod
Awesome. Guess what? Your book has been living in the back of my mind. Last night I had a dream in which I was trying to get out of this building and I kept getting stuck in little phone rooms. Small wooden very nice phone booths connected by long halls. It was awful.Thanks. I really hope this book is a huge success for you.


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