View Full Version : Desperately Seeking Beta! - MG Fantasy Magic Novel

01-12-2011, 08:49 PM
Hey Everyone,

I am looking for someone who is interested in being a Beta reader for my Middle Grade novel. It has been through two sets of revisions (more really, I revise as I go as well). I am perfectly happy to return the favor, now or later. I would prefer to share work with someone in my own age level and genre, but I am flexible. I love to read all sorts of MG fiction.

I am interested in building a lasting relationship with other authors to help one another build our craft. Networking never hurts either! I want honest opinions about my work and will give honestly in return. I will of course tailor my crits to each persons personallity, level of criticism and type. I currently have one commitment to another author and we will be trading work soon. We both agreed and need over all critiquing, not line-by-line and grammar. I am willing to do all kinds of critique though.

If you would like to see the kinds of critiques I do, head over to Children's SYW. I have no formal credentials, I've never been published, but I am very thorough. I do have a college education (though in Architecture not English) and I continue to study grammar, etc. in order to make my own writing correct, so I can apply what I know to others as well. I am also an avid reader of MG literarture and have read a great deal in the last couple of years about writing, editing and the publishing industry.

For a blurb about my novel and sample chapters, you can see them in Children's SYW as well. I believe the title is MG Fantasy Magic 4800 Words **Revised & Chapter Added**. Something like that. It's posted by jtrylch13, so that should help. My current novel is 130,000 words. I know I need to cut it drastically, which is one of the main reasons I need some Betas. I would like advice as to where to cut, how to make it stand out and be different from other books already published.

As I said before, I am interested in being a Beta reader for just about everything in MG or YA or even Childrens, but it wouldn't seem fair for someone with a picture book to give me a full crit. Unless of course they want to. I'm really happy to read anything, though my main interest is in Fantasy and Magic. I don't want to do anything too bloody or graphic or disturbing. Images stay in my head a long time, sometimes for life and I have a very vivid imagination. Having said that, I read the Hunger Games and Eragon series just fine, so I'm not totally squeamish.

Please PM me if you are interested.



01-15-2011, 10:35 AM
PM'd you:)

01-23-2011, 05:13 AM
Hi! I write MG fantasy too and will soon be looking for beta readers. However, much as I would like to, I can't offer to read your manuscript. It is way too long for MG. It's even longer than most YA. You mentioned in another post that you got a couple of form rejections. I'm pretty sure it's because of the word count. A lot of agents see 130,000 for MG and won't read much further (I've seen them say so on their blogs). "Know your audience"; MG averages 45,000.

I know this is one of the reasons you said you're looking for a beta, to help show you where to cut. I took a look at the chapters you posted in SYW and thought I'd take a stab at helping you out. So here goes:

You have a whole lot of adjectives in your writing. Almost every other noun has one (or 2, sometimes 3). Edit them out ruthlessly. Choose a single strong noun to replace the adjective+noun combination. You don't need so many descriptions. Go through your entire manuscript and make every word justify its presence.

I know this is hard to do. Been there. :) But there you go, that's my non-beta reader comment based on the three chapters I've seen.

Good luck!

Rose de Guzman
01-23-2011, 03:18 PM
I'm wondering if you still need a beta/betas.

I write contemp. YA, but I enjoy fantasy very much and I liked your writing from what I saw on the SYW board. A sample of my work is avalable on the YA Show Your Work with the title HORSING AROUND. The work as a whole would take at least a few weeks to be beta ready, but it would be good for me to have the deadline, I think, as well as to beta read for someone else first before I have a beta read my own work.

In fact, I would be willing to beta read for someone without a trade, just to gain this experience.

01-24-2011, 10:18 AM
I will go and read your other posting to see if it catches my interest. I write YA fantasy/romance at 84,000 words and need a beta. Your word count will get you auto deleted. YA likes 70, 000 and agents groan over 80,000. Rid all adverbs. Stephen King says if you need to use an adverb to give your reader meaning...you're not doing your job as the author. I kept a few of mine, but I was ruthless. I did pare down my adjectives and cut huge scenes - murder those little darlings. I still think that perhaps I should have added in a whole load of trouble earlier in my book. This is why I might need a beta before killing myself again! I will go take a look.;)

01-24-2011, 10:41 AM
I took a look at your prologue and first chapter. You have tons of helping verbs, adjectives, etc. Also it is telling instead of showing. I think your story line shows promise, but sometimes you need to cut long description for action. Think action - dialogue. I worry about starting out with older characters for middle grade. Mine at school are pretty finicky. It has to hook them immediately and they don't care about people that aren't their own age unless you portray them with humor - usually. Good luck with your revisions.