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View Full Version : Beta needed for 119,000 word horror novel



simonsteele
06-24-2009, 09:59 AM
Hello, my name is Simon. Steele isn't my real last name, that's my rock star name for the rock band I never formed.

Anyway I have written a book called Ten Thousand Days (it doesn't take place over the course of ten thousand days, don't worry). I've been writing it since 2001! It has taken on significant changes since then, the central characters and overall idea are all that remains the same.

I want to publish this thing but I have read it and edited so many times I have trouble looking at it now. But it is very close to my heart. It is a fairly violent horror story (but it's not about the violence and it doesn't linger)--a zombie story about fate and redemption. This draft I have now is cut down from 189,000 words. I really like it though some key character interactions have been cut so I hope that doesn't detract from the story.

I'd love it if someone could help me out with this. I am a single father, a teacher, times are tough, and I know this won't fix my problems, but being published is something I have thought about every day of my life since I was 10 years old. I'm 30 now. I've got to make some progress on this.

I need to cut about 10,000 more words at a minimum. I don't think it will be hard, I'm kind of wordy. I also want to make sure the main characters personalities are still strong and the driving force of the novel despite all the cuts I've made.

I want to know it makes sense. I want to know if it is scary, I think it is more tragic than anything.

I don't mind harshness. If something isn't working then I need help seeing it needs to go.

I have the first two chapters posted in the horror SYW section, but it isn't gaining much response. I think the opening chapter's 5,000 word count is too long to gain interest.

If anyone wants to help me out let me know, I will greatly appreciate it.

One more note about my writing: I do have a style that seems to not always match up with the genre. I try to avoid melodrama, I try to avoid exclamation points, I try to avoid dialogue tags except for "said" or "asked". I have a basic style, I don't like a lot of colorful adjectives so those are always great to cut (I can't always see them anymore).

Samantha's_Song
06-24-2009, 11:47 AM
Horror was always my favourite reading material, right from being a little kid of 4 yrs old up until I was about 35, so you can send it onto me to beta-read if you'd like to. But I'll warn you now, I am a very harsh critter, a superbitch in fact. :D

simonsteele
07-05-2009, 05:48 PM
Thanks again for the crit Samantha's Song, I really appreciate it.

I want to say to anyone who reads this that if she offers to beta read for you then take it! Great insights and hard work throughout. Really gave me great perspective into my book.

Samantha's_Song
07-05-2009, 10:57 PM
You're most welcome, Simon, and thank you for the tumbs-up. :)


Thanks again for the crit Samantha's Song, I really appreciate it.

I want to say to anyone who reads this that if she offers to beta read for you then take it! Great insights and hard work throughout. Really gave me great perspective into my book.

firedrake
07-05-2009, 11:09 PM
Thanks again for the crit Samantha's Song, I really appreciate it.

I want to say to anyone who reads this that if she offers to beta read for you then take it! Great insights and hard work throughout. Really gave me great perspective into my book.

I second that!

I still have the bruises on my knuckles :D

Samantha's_Song
07-05-2009, 11:19 PM
But I think poor Simon feels as if I poked him up the arse with a sharp stick on occasions. :D I do my worst to get the best out of the writer and the story. When I'm beta-reading, I feel as if I have a small investment in it.

And thank you gal. :)


I second that!

I still have the bruises on my knuckles :D

Parametric
07-05-2009, 11:53 PM
I want to say to anyone who reads this that if she offers to beta read for you then take it! Great insights and hard work throughout. Really gave me great perspective into my book.


I second that!

I still have the bruises on my knuckles :D

*cries* You say these things just to taunt people who write in the wrong genres for her. :tongue

firedrake
07-05-2009, 11:54 PM
*cries* You say these things just to taunt people who write in the wrong genres for her. :tongue

Dang...if Sam sees your first chapter perhaps she'll get hooked, like I did.

Samantha's_Song
07-05-2009, 11:59 PM
Ahem, I can hear you two, you know, I'm not quite past it yet. :tongue I've got a WIP to look at for another member at the moment, a YA, but I'm giving myself a few days rest first, i think I deserve it.

So, Parametric, what's your novel about then? i never thought I'd be reading YA, but I've done loads of them for people on here, and enjoyed them, so you just never know. Dazzle me with an outline and I'll tell you whether I'd take a chance on it or not.


Dang...if Sam sees your first chapter perhaps she'll get hooked, like I did.

simonsteele
07-06-2009, 09:06 PM
But I think poor Simon feels as if I poked him up the arse with a sharp stick on occasions. :D I do my worst to get the best out of the writer and the story. When I'm beta-reading, I feel as if I have a small investment in it.

And thank you gal. :)

Having a few days pass since I received your 19 page crit!, I realized I got too down on myself for no good reason. Like I said, I've never had a good honest critter, and that's what I needed, and you made a number of good points. I'm working through it again right now, and having some fun doing it, so it worked out just fine. Turns out that sharp stick in my arse was my own damaged self esteem! I just had to quit being a sissy.

Samantha's_Song
07-06-2009, 09:32 PM
Don't be so hard on yourself, Simon, it does hurt when people point out things in your work. I actually cried when someone pointed out all the errors in my first MS, and he's a good friend of mine, but he knows I like honesty above all. Then I sat back and read what he'd said again and knew he was right; it just made me fix it a whole lot better, so it was good for me in the long run. I know you'll fix it to its very best, I have faith in you. :)


Having a few days pass since I received your 19 page crit!, I realized I got too down on myself for no good reason. Like I said, I've never had a good honest critter, and that's what I needed, and you made a number of good points. I'm working through it again right now, and having some fun doing it, so it worked out just fine. Turns out that sharp stick in my arse was my own damaged self esteem! I just had to quit being a sissy.