View Full Version : Dear Future Reader

01-04-2011, 12:39 AM
I am seeking you, a beta-reader, to take a look at my work in progress, currently consisting of a prologue (2,700 words) and a first chapter (14,000 words).

Like many writers, I consider mine to be a distinctly musical craft. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, "Music and literature, the two temporal arts, contrive their pattern of sounds in time; or, in other words, of sounds and pauses," and rarely do I put down a sentence that I have not carefully spoken aloud in hopes of achieving both balance and beauty for the super-sensuous ear. I do not merely want to write prose; I want to style prose, in the tradition of Nabokov, and would like my first published work to be operatic in nature yet still somehow ethereal - a Bernini wrought in words if you can imagine. This is a heady aspiration, I know, but one I nevertheless intend to actualize. I am given to ornate language and a certain over-ripeness is, I think, characteristic of my style. That's an intense choice on my part - a calculated, artistic decision that requires me to walk the tightrope between what is lyrical and what is, sadly, only another shade of purple. You, perspective reader, must be willing and able to help me murder my darlings. Also, you must not be wholly disinterested in supernatural subject matter. It is unfortunate that the general public and critical circles alike tend to regulate such themes to the “junk fiction” category. I'll admit: the majority may be deserving of that stereotype. How many hundreds of thousands have been written, after all? Most are pure escapism.

And yet...Shakespeare did it. Ghosts and witches abound throughout his plays. Dickens did not employ ordinary means, did he, to take old Ebenezer on a trip through time? Think of Edgar Allen Poe, of Bram Stoker, of Mary Shelley. Think of Algernon Blackwood and Ambrose Bierce.

I might find myself in despair were it not for these precedents. They exist for me as impenetrable proof that an author can people his writing with any number of fantastical creatures and still talk about life and death, love and loss, sorrow and misery - everything a storyteller wants to talk about in any worthwhile book.

I hope to be only the most recent in a very long tradition of taking up supernatural themes and legitimately fashioning with them what is usually called “high literature.” I would be extremely grateful if you would be willing to take a look at what I've got and let me know, in your opinion, if I'm on the right track.

Of course, this is reciprocal. I enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to experience your work and provide my thoughts, whatever they are worth. Please be aware that my current schedule will not permit me to devote the attention that a completed manuscript doubtlessly deserves, but I am more than happy to take a look at works in progress.

If you are interested and think we might be a good fit, please send me a message or respond below.



01-04-2011, 12:59 AM
(You should have received a PM from me)