View Full Version : Beta wanted for paranormal YA, 65.000 words

06-10-2009, 08:33 PM
I need a Beta for my YA paranormal book. (65.000 words)
I’d like to send one or two chapters a week, so it’d take about 3 months to get it over with. I say this because I’m polishing it, and I’d like to send the best I can do by myself, and committing to send a chunk every week sounds like a good idea to me :)

I think I need help with the dialogue (make it sound like teens speaking), some grammar here and there, and maybe sentence structure. And of course if you think something else is wrong, I’d be glad to know. I can take any kind of crits ;)

The book is about 2 girls and an airplane pilot getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle. It has a love story too. I don’t want to say anymore because one of the questions I want to ask my beta is if the ms is predictable… I’ll paste the three first pages of my ms anyway to see if you like my style and are willing to bear it through the whole book.

If you are interested, PM me.

Chapter 1.

So weird. I could’ve sworn the girl was handcuffing one of her wrists. Or did I need to change my contacts? Because, to me, they looked like steel rings with furry O-shaped ends—the kind sold in adult shops only. But I had to be wrong. That circle dangling from her wrist sure was a tacky charm.
I squinted at her in the tropical sunlight. She was the same plump girl I saw last night in the hotel’s restaurant. She looked my age, which is why I considered approaching her in the buffet and—like a five-year-old girl—say, “Hi, I’m Sophie Blume, wanna be my friend?” I squirmed on my beach towel at the memory.
Truth was I wasn’t good at making new friends. I sucked, really. And all because of my unusual upbringing. My parents dragged me and my little brother, Ben, around the world—all the time. I’d never had a steady home or neighborhood. I wasn’t even home-schooled: I was hotel-schooled. At least, that way of living had coaxed me into learning three and a half languages, which I thought was kind of cool.
But now, I would have traded my fluency in Spanish and my primitive Mandarin for knowing how to take the plunge and introduce myself to her.
She took off her yellow beach wrap and shuffled towards the sea, her dark hair shining brilliantly against her pale, crumpled face. I couldn’t tell if her brows were furrowed because of the bright day or because she was troubled. Either way, I sensed something was off. She was the only person in this dazzling resort that didn’t seem to enjoy the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. It was like she didn’t even notice the waves playing at her feet, gently splashing them with pearly foam.
I kept staring at the strange rings she wore on her wrist, one of them dangling in midair. But even stranger was her hesitant attitude. Her head swiveled back and forth; one moment looking at her beach belongings and the next her eyes lost in the bigger waves.
Mysteries. I hated them.
What if she was just afraid to stick her toes further into the ocean? Certainly, she had heard all the creepy local tales. Maybe she actually believed the tiny waves would swallow her entirely, taking her to another dimension. Or, possibly, she feared that a sudden electrical storm would suck her into an unknown future.
I smiled at my wacky theories—even if deep down I knew the Devil’s Triangle stories made my stomach churn and the hairs on the back of my neck bristle. Especially when my little brother jabbered about how people here, in Bimini, had seen UFOS, and how sometimes large vessels had disappeared without explanation.
When I stopped wondering about silly paranormal things, the girl was nowhere in sight. Automatically, I sprang to my feet and walked towards the shore. On the way, I saw something glittering amongst the girl’s belongings. It was a key. I didn’t give it much thought at the time. In fact, I decided I had wasted too much time thinking about the whole girl-with-the-freaky-bracelet thing.
I skipped to the ocean and waded through the clear waters. With a loud splash, I dove into a wave. Refreshed by the water’s mild temperature, I swam for a minute or two looking for fish and corals. When I neared the buoys, I saw something out of place on the bottom of the sea. At first I thought it was a peculiar black seaweed growing from a coral, fluttering with the currents. Then a sparkle caught my eye. A silvery, metal sparkle. Scrunching my eyes to protect my contacts, I submerged to get a better look.
It was like my heart stopped at once. Like losing all my nerves in an instant. And then, the weirdest sensation rushed through my veins. It had to be a pump of adrenaline that made me react in a split second. I gasped for a lungful of air and plunged down immediately.
What I had mistaken for black algae was the girl’s ebony hair, long and wavy around her head. She was two meters below, trapped, drowning. The glittery metal that caught my eye was the handcuff-chain. One cuff was still secured on her wrist. The other end was locked on an iron ring, which jutted out of a concrete chunk. An anchor—that was it. Where some of the buoys’ strings were moored.