View Full Version : beta: historical fiction, 90k, 6th draft, already heavily workshopped and beta'd, happy to swap

11-13-2013, 10:07 AM
Hey, all. The title says most of it: I have a deconstruction of historical archetypes set in a hypothetical alternate universe (a la Arthurian legend) that is on it's sixth draft, has been heavily workshopped, put through about ten betas, and is currently undergoing professional editing. You'll have to tell me if you think the content is of any value, but at least it won't make your eyes bleed. (As it's been workshopped elsewhere, not in SYW, I'm happy to exchange first 500 words / 10 pages / 1st chapter on a trial basis to verify non-eye-bleeding-capacity.) I'm presently polishing up my query and synopsis, and building my agent list. I have critted a number of queries in SYW if you'd like to verify my own critting style, and am also happy to sample-crit your first chapter before you consider me.

I am looking for harsh, pull-no-punches content-level feedback. I am not interested in line edits. I am interested in someone who will mercilessly hold me to the standards set forth in Lajos Egri's The Art Of Dramatic Writing. (http://www.amazon.com/Art-Of-Dramatic-Writing-Interpretation/dp/9562915867) I have a summary I'm happy to give you if you haven't read his text, though I also think everyone should read it.

My personal aspirations are "big six or go home," so I'm very interested in trad pub marketability. Is it tight, is it focused, is it consumable? I'd love an eye on my query and synopsis as well.

I prefer a turnaround of less than a month, otherwise it will do me little good. I will happily beta yours (if it meets the same standards of reasonably workshopped already and not longer than 90k) in one week, and I can tell you exactly when that week is: 12/2-12/8. I have three betas occupying the weeks before then.

As I said in the available beta readers thread: my personal critique style is acerbic. I swear like a sailor and I do not coddle your ego even one tiny little bit. I expect you to be able to detect sarcasm on the internet. I am equally lavish with my praise. I jump, scream, shout and yell back at the stage. I have been told repeatedly that my crits are "the harshest thing I've ever seen" "INCREDIBLY HELPFUL" and "holyshitomg you had me rolling on the floor." I'm more than happy to provide references and examples.

I'm fast. I'm consistent. I will tear you a new asshole. I expect you to do likewise.

I do not line edit. I talk about your premise, your characters, and your point of attack. I also talk about voice and pacing and general things. I come from a theatre background and I beta with an eye for tight, character-driven drama. If you are writing something "experimental," "slow brewing," "open ended," or in any way not tight, classical, character-driven drama, I am not your man.

If this sounds like a trade anyone wants, let me know!

11-13-2013, 10:19 AM
I beg your pardon, I neglected to provide a summary. Durrr. Here, have a query. If I did it right, it will hopefully pique your interest:

The Year Of Our Lady, 1028: Bells toll and ashes blow through the looted streets of Umbrae City. The King is dead.

Johnny, an unproven teenager, inherits his heavy crown in the dungeon a foreign castle. Bled white by forty years of civil war, the Northern kingdoms fall like wheat before the sickle as a new conqueror descends upon them. Determined to live up to the legend of heroes past, Johnny forges an alliance with his former captors and seals the pact by marrying a stunning princess, just like in the songs.

But when he wakes up the morning after happily ever after, playing the hero is harder than he thought. The famed heavy cavalry charge may repel a conqueror, but sound, fury, and a shining white stallion accomplish little when leaking cesspits spread cholera in the city. Songs of glory will not end the race riots among his divided populace, and when his na´ve wife starts a war on two fronts, courtly love avails him naught. With all he has been taught beginning to feel like bread and circuses, Johnny must decide if it matters to be good, if good even exists at all.

Long live the King.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER, BOOK 1: GOOD is a 90,000 word deconstruction of historical archetypes. It would appeal to fans of Sharon Kay Penman’s “Lionheart” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” BOOK 2: EVIL is also complete at 90,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Jerry Quinn