View Full Version : Beta Reader wanted for Young Adult SF/Fantasy Novel

07-07-2009, 02:08 AM
Hello all! So here is the scoop. I am looking to do a complete reworking of my 80,000 YA novel Obscure Origins (TOO LONG). It was previously "killed" by the printer known as PA but it is looking like my rights will be returned in November, *fingers crossed* (Thankfully I own the e-book rights so if all else fails...)

Audience is aimed for 13-18 year olds and is written in the first person perspective with a strong yet sensitive male lead.


When you have no past…how can you justify your existence?

Rion Hart thought he had the perfect life—until the day it ended. After suffering a near-death experience, Rion discovers his entire life was nothing more than a “fabrication,” and everyone he loved never existed. To make matters worse, he is an alien hybrid, who was part of a secret government project known as Guardian, established after the Roswell crash of 1947. Taken in by a family of hybrids like himself, Rion learns more about his shaded past while he struggles to cope with all he has lost. Thankfully, being part alien comes with some perks, including a wicked ability that allows him to move objects with his mind. When his new life is threatened by the arrival of three mysterious transfer students with powers of their own, Rion realizes he will do anything to defend his new family, even if it means sacrificing his past to secure an unknown future.

The manuscript was professionally copyedited and proofread but there are still a few mistakes. Grammar errors and typos are not what I am looking for. But if found by all means please point them out. It already went through an initial pass by a critique group of my target audience and two rewrites but it is time for another.

My goal is to CUT about 10-15,000 words from the novel, as well as come up with a new title, and some new character names.

Here is what I am looking for from you:

1.) Weakness in plot, where could things be strengthened and tightened.
2.) Could the story benefit from a new sub-plot giving the MC a stronger goal.
3.) Character consistency and continuity errors.
4.) What could be fleshed out more?
5.)What darlings need to be murdered?
6.) New title suggestions

Hope to hear from some of you.

07-07-2009, 06:34 AM
No one likes SF, eh? :(

07-07-2009, 08:52 PM
It may be your size. Average size for a YA is 50-70,000. You're already 10,000 beyond that, and you want to add more? That's a red flag for many beta readers.

Check out the YA section on your local library. Except for some notables ( Harry Potter, the later Twilight books) the sizes are usually in the 200-250 page range.


07-07-2009, 09:42 PM
Most of the ones I have seen are growing in length. I went to Borders. Many readers crave longer works. I picked out about fifteen different series whose novels fell into the 300-500 page run. I could just take the YA off the novel, but the cast is between the ages of 14-18.

But I am always willing to take another approach and try to cut 10-15k if people thing it is possible.

07-08-2009, 12:52 AM
I don't have a lot of beta reading qualifications on paper, but this book sounds interesting and I'd be willing to read it if you're still looking for someone. I recently cut my own fantasy novel down from 132,000 to 118,000 words while leaving the plot almost entirely in tact and fleshing out some scenes, so there's the proof that I know how to shave word count. ;) I'm picky on matters of character and plot, so I think I could definitely offer you advice in that area. I can also promise that I'm reliable and responsive. So yeah... send me a message if you're interested.

07-08-2009, 01:32 AM
Absolutely, I sent you a PM! So just reply with your email :)

07-11-2009, 03:21 AM
I've written a YA SciFi too, it's 90,310 words, called Tagged. Would you be interested in a swap?

I've never beta read before, but I'm keen to try.