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Authors Seeking FREE Betas > Upmarkety, near-future SFF, with mild horror thrown in – opening chapters (17K)

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message 1: by Paul (last edited Jan 14, 2020 04:57AM) (new)

Paul Du Pré (pauldupr) | 15 comments The first eleven chapters of this big story – that’s what I got, squeaky clean and polished up. Won’t go into any one genre box: supernatural horror; near-future science fiction; romance; a bit upmarket, maybe. But from the heart (I don’t fit neatly into any box either). I want you to read the first eleven chapters and answer my short questionnaire. I’m not looking for a line-by-line dissection, just an honest opinion as to whether this thing is going to be worth finishing. No obligation though: if you read the first page and think, "No way!" that’s fine. Just check the ‘not my kind of thing’ box on the questionnaire and mail it back to me.

Oh, wait. I’m supposed to entice you with an outline of the plot.
Well, there’s this dad who’s a bit star-crossed and he has a good son, and a cursed son, and a sensitive, spiritual daughter, and help arrives from the heavens, except she gets entangled with this troubled AI and everything goes squiffy while diabolical forces gradually encroach...
No, I don’t think that quite, 'encompasses' the tone of the book as a whole. Let me re-write.

Simeon is well provided for, but adrift. Something in his past has damaged his confidence in life, though he hides it as best he can. All that Celestine knows is that she has been assigned to him – to protect, heal and redeem. And, in order to accomplish this, she must plumb the mystery of his family’s past: one son indelibly stained by evil, the other good, and a daughter, damaged and struggling to be free.

message 2: by Thea T. (new)

Thea T. Kelley (theatkelley) Hi Paul, I'd be interested in a critique partner swap with you. I like the sound of your book. My book (of which I just completed first draft) is also a bit trans-genre and upmarkety. Although the protag is a child, it's written for adults. Interested? - Thea (theatkelley at gmail)

In a small town amid the sagebrush hills of California, 11-year-old Annwyn’s strange Gift becomes a catalyst for uncanny forces that magnify family and community conflicts, putting her in profound danger. When her parents are unable to help, she reaches out to an unlikely source: a local Basque sheep herder with troubles of his own. To find a solution they will need to transcend space and time, finding that their lives and powers are linked in a way they would never have imagined.

message 3: by Thea T. (new)

Thea T. Kelley (theatkelley) P.S. I noticed you liked Dark Matter. Have you read Recursion? I think it's even better. My most exciting sci-fi discovery in years.

message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Du Pré (pauldupr) | 15 comments Thea T. wrote: "Hi Paul, I'd be interested in a critique partner swap with you. I like the sound of your book. My book (of which I just completed first draft) is also a bit trans-genre and upmarkety. Although the ..."
Hi Thea, I don’t mind doing a swap but there are some things we might need to sort first. I’m looking for an honest reader’s opinion, as opposed to a beta-reader’s opinion. Let me explain what I mean. A reader’s judgement is brutal – if a book does not engage they put it down. The questionnaire I include with my MS is designed primarily to probe engagement rather than elicit the extensive constructive feedback that is characteristic of a beta-reader – though a brief paragraph summing up your impression of my material would be very welcome. (Obviously, using this strategy, I will have to persuade a fair number of people to read my chapters before I can form a realistic impression of whether the completed book may have appeal.)
I’m happy to do the same for your MS, provided you accept that I reserve the right to stop reading a 17K. Or, if your MS hooks me, I may continue reading, which will be a huge thumbs up.
Please send me your MS. Here’s my email:

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