View Full Version : Seeking Beta Reader(s) for a Completed Novel …

05-21-2010, 09:52 PM
… about 116,000 words (12 chapters plus a brief epilogue).

I’m not sure how to characterize the “Genre” of this work. (In fact, that is probably the very first area where I could use some help.) >>

1.) At the simplest level, this is an “Outdoor Adventure Story” because it involves two people who survive a plane crash in a very remote wilderness area. For the first 80% of the book, it is not clear to the characters themselves, or to the reader, if they are going to survive. But at the end of chapter-10, against all odds, they finally manage to claw their way back to civilization.
2.) At the next level, it is a “Forbidden Romance” story (partially inspired by the medieval tale of Abelard & Heloise). The girl is very slightly ‘underage.’ She is 15 years, 11 months, and they are in a jurisdiction where the legal age-of-consent would be 16 years; but the guy is much older. (By the way: There is NO explicit sex. The scene, at the middle of chapter-6, where they finally make love to each other is handled with “fade-to-black.”)
3.) At the final level, the book is a Political Commentary on the absurdity of modern America’s obsession with infantilizing young adults, and treating them like children. When the couple finally gets back to civilization, all Hell breaks loose. The young woman is now pregnant, and so the man is accused of multiple ‘child-abuse’ felonies, and finds himself looking at the possibility of life in prison. He is finally driven to suicide, and the girl is left to raise their baby alone – after withstanding intense pressure from her family to have an abortion.
4.) I have also tried to weave in some literary references: There are occasional allusions to Nabokov’s Lolita as well as the Abelard & Heloise theme mentioned above. The main male character likes to pepper his conversations with quotations from Orwell and Ayn Rand; and the chief villain (the girl’s domineering mother) has some obvious similarities to Amanda Wingfield of The Glass Menagerie.

I have the following materials available:
A “one-page” synopsis (2 double-spaced pages)
A detailed chapter-by-chapter summary (25 dbl-spaced pages)
Sample chapters.
The complete manuscript (218 single-spaced or 433 dbl-spaced)

At this point, I’m not too worried about the nitty-gritty grammatical stuff (commas vs. semicolons, split infinitives, etc.). But I would really like to get some feedback about the global issues:
Ø Is the plot consistent and believable?
Ø Are the characters believable and well-developed?
Ø Are the “good guys” sufficiently sympathetic?
Ø Are the “bad guys” sufficiently villainous – but still nuanced?
Ø Is the dialog realistic?
Ø Are the mini-arcs of the plot sufficient to hold the readers’ attention?
Ø Are there any unnecessary scenes that I could cut, to reduce it to 99,000 words instead of 116,000 (to make it more salable)?

Thanks in Advance.
“ jay-w”