View Full Version : Beta Readers Wanted: YA Dystopian-Adventure

05-23-2012, 07:30 AM
Genre. It would be helpful if you enjoy dystopian stories, as well as fantasy, science fiction, and adventure. Young adult. Similar stories might include (Hunger Games, Divergent, Matched for dystopian and/or adventure themes). Right now I'm classifying at Dystopian Adventure, but let's just say this is a future where super heroes once existed... but the good guys didn't win.

Feedback. What I really want is for someone who can read the story as a story, rather than a manuscript. Granted, I love in-depth critique (why you liked or disliked a scene, what parts held your interest, what parts made it really hard to come back to, etc), but I'm also looking for plot holes, and how it reads to people who are actually reading it as a story.

I've been tinkering with this for too long to be able to easily read it for myself in that manner. :-)

Publishing. I plan to query agents. Granted, if all else fails, I will likely go the self-publishing route.

Credentials: I would prefer that you have at least thirty posts on AW, or have a blog that I can refer to for background. It just makes me feel a little more secure with the manuscript. Of course, I don't want the manuscript shared with any other than the person I send it to.

I would also like it if you could have the manuscript read within 1-3 weeks. Granted, I know that's not always possible, but the sooner, the better.

At the moment, I can't really take on a full manuscript to beta (I'm in the process of doing one I haven't had a chance to read much of), but I would be happy to read a couple chapters in return. :-)

Alright.... if I haven't scared you off yet, here's a sample of the story:

If I was to have a back-cover story snippet:

Jack’s hands gripped my shoulders, and neither of us moved.

A young man, not much older than I, lay inside the room. His hair dripped with sweat and he stared at me with frightened eyes. “Please help me,” he whispered.

I stepped towards him, wanting to help, but Jack grabbed my arm and yanked me back. “There’s nothing you can do,” he hissed, his breath hot in my ear. I blinked, willing myself to stay calm.

The man convulsed, his whole body shuddering as he screamed. I stepped back against Jack, but he remained rigid. Without the door to block the sound, the wail reverberated through me and down the hall as the young man trembled, clutching his legs to his chest. His eyes changed from blue to gold, the pupils stretching into something feline.

“What in the Community…” I whispered.

Story Intro:

I dropped the daily pill into the toilet and returned the bottle to its rightful place behind the bathroom mirror. A flush later, the white pill swirled around the tank and vanished somewhere into St. Petersburg’s sewer system. Now all I had to do was find my stupid hair brush before I was late again.

I glanced at my watch. 7:00 AM.


I dashed out the room, stopping briefly to knock on the door next to mine. I tapped my foot, but Lance didn’t appear. Either he was still sound asleep, or he’d headed off without me. Great. I’d never hear the end of this. I sprinted down the hall, hoping Ivan, the community advisor, would take his normal route to the lounge and not catch me running.

The dorm’s residents were already sitting in a circle, and Lance sat across the room from the only empty chair left. I plopped down as he mouthed, “You’re late.”

I twisted my lips. He usually got there right at seven, after I’d banged on his door trying to wake him. What was he doing up so early?

Ivan Kaptsov glanced between the two of us before returning his attention to the circle. At least he didn’t say anything. Considering Ivan might be a future leader, he was a cheerful guy, even with the crisp uniform male leaders wore. Despite their flare for attractive clothing, they had to keep order somehow. So far he hadn’t reported me or Lance for our occasional tardiness. A good thing, too, since I kept forgetting where I put things.

We responded with the customary fare of “It is our duty,” and “good morning.” I bit my lip, trying to remember if I’d flushed the pill before I left, but managed to say “Good Morning,” before Ivan jumped into the telling of dreams.

Sam giggled, batting her eyes at Lance. I pulled my backpack closer to my chair, scowling. Just because Lance saved a damsel in distress in his dream didn’t mean he’d be saving her. He edged away from her, and from the looks of it, I was going to have to come to his rescue later.

Ivan rubbed his hands together. Finally-- the announcement. Maybe we’d have a special guest speaker discuss the latest technological advancements in the Community. Or maybe it’d be a visit from Lady Bridget. Or maybe--

“Tomorrow evening we are administering the Health Scan.”

I froze. The other students groaned, and Lance frowned.

“Just remember, taking the daily pill prevents the plague’s return. If you or someone you know is showing signs of hallucinations or illusions of grandeur, they need to report to security immediately to take the Health Scan.”

This was too soon… I thought I’d have at least a month’s notice, plenty of time to take the pill again before the Health Scan. If I passed the Health Scan, I’d never have to take the pills again. But while the pills were supposed to be completely safe, I seemed to get the brunt of their side effects. They made the world distant, like someone threw a clear plastic tarp over a garden and muted the colors. I felt jittery and nervous after taking them, and it never felt right, despite the doctor saying it’d wear off over time.

It didn’t.

05-23-2012, 02:57 PM
Hi I've sent you a PM :)

The Grump
05-24-2012, 12:08 AM
I might be interested ... My critique/beta group seems to have gotten lost in life's cul-de-sac. I'm sort of looking for the beta/writing buddy to keep from playing FreeCell.

What I write? It's all over the place. Most of current WIPs is predominantly high fantasy and middle grade ... but read lots of YA.

05-24-2012, 04:47 AM

The Grump: I sent you a message. :-)

Looks like I've got a few potential beta readers now, so I should be good. But if any one else is interested and wants to beta, feel free to send me a message. :-)