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HarvesterOfSorrow
01-19-2014, 11:47 PM
Title: A Shared Madness
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Horror
Length: 99,380 words/439 pages
Syopsis: Three friends on the verge of starting their lives take their annual trip to a relative's cabin a few months early, only to have an ancient evil captured by storytellers break free from the realm of fiction and into the real-world so that it may live again.

Hello, ladies and gentlemen of Absolute Write. I've completed the second draft of my first novel, A Shared Madness, which I began writing in December of 2013. I am now in the beta-reader phase, and am looking for somebody to critique the novel.

There are some minute continuity errors I am already aware of, and they will be rectified in the upcoming draft/polish once the beta-reader(s) is/are finished.

I'd be more than happy to switch stories to be a beta-reader, but I don't feel qualified as of yet to front such a task. Someday soon, perhaps.

Thank you in advance and I hope you enjoy the novel!

lise8
01-22-2014, 01:13 PM
Hi, I am not going to volunteer for this as horror isn't my cup of tea, but I was puzzled by the non response here and read on. I think that there is improvement that you may want to work on your blurb. here's my line by line. Do not feel offended by my comments, they are but my opinion, and as much as I want to be helpful and supportive, I too easily become harsh and to the point ;-)

Three friends on the verge lots of readers/ editors hate this turn of phrase, they are either doing it or not, not just on the verge... of starting their lives I am not sure what that means 'starting their lives', I presume these characters are already born. I presume that you mean they are young adults just out of school/ college, and they are about to enter the responsible life of adult work... if that is the case, then say so. take their annual trip to a relative's a relative's of all of them? cabin a few months early few months early compared to the usual, ok, got that, but I am in complete darkness as to why and as to why it is relevant. If it is not relevant right now, it shouldn't be in the blurb., only to have an ancient evil captured by storytellers my reaction to this (and remember here, I am not a horror fan, so I may be exactly the wrong person to comment) is 'what? ancient evil captured by storytellers?' , I get that you may not want to say more about the evil, but this sentence makes me feel like it needs another noun because 'evil' here reads to me as a adjective. 'ancient evil spirit, ghost, monster, witch....' would help to make it clear, or restructure 'an evil from ancient times', which makes the noun nature obvious. The big question this sentence brings here is 'who? storytellers'. It is giving me an inkling, but one that puzzles and confuses me rather that invites me to find out more. I can hazard that the story tellers used magic of some sort to bind the evil to a book. I don't mind guessing, but somehow, I prefer being sure. break free from the realm of fiction and into the real-world so that it may live again. And this is where I wonder whether the 'evil bound to an artifact/ book which is released by innocent bystander has been done and done over again... (remember, I am not an horror fan, if it has been done countless times, it is probably because it works, it is just not appealing to me)

I think that your blurb is just too short. I understand why you would want to give away as little as possible, but to me, this is just way too short. I do not get a feel at all for characters, which in my mind should be what draws me in. What I find out about, is that an evil is unleashed, so do you want your reader to have empathy for the evil over the human characters?

I think that if you work on making your blurb more attactive, then you would have more interest. Also, I would suggest posting this on the Horror Fantasy side of the forum.

Lastly, you say that there are minor continuity issues that you will sort after the beta has read and given feedback. I think that you should give your beta the best you have to offer, so go and make the changes now, otherwise, the message you are giving is:you will tell me something that I already know but have somehow waited to change. Respect your work and your potential Beta, if there is something to change, change it!

Good luck with finding a beta reader for your work. Look on the Beta reader thread of the forum, where beta advertise their voluntary help.

HarvesterOfSorrow
01-22-2014, 11:00 PM
Lise8, thank you so much for your input. I will get on that ASAP!

Karen Junker
01-23-2014, 12:06 AM
I think saying you're not ready to beta is a cop-out. If you can write a novel, you can beta a novel.

Expecting someone to read your entire novel in exchange for nothing is a lot to ask.

T Robinson
01-23-2014, 12:38 AM
Also, most people will see where you say you started it a month ago and go as I did, "Hasn't been self-edited or revised, why take the time." If you finished almost 100 K words since December, 2013, it had to be rushed. That is over 3000 words a day just for the first draft. Think about it.

Blinkk
01-23-2014, 01:06 AM
Also, most people will see where you say you started it a month ago and go as I did, "Hasn't been self-edited or revised, why take the time." If you finished almost 100 K words since December, 2013, it had to be rushed. That is over 3000 words a day just for the first draft. Think about it.

I saw that and thought it must've been a typo. 2012, perhaps? I'm doing the Solstice Story Swap and that was assigned in December. My story is only 16k and I've been trucking away on that story every day.

WriteMinded
01-23-2014, 06:48 PM
If you've churned out 99+k words in so short a time, you've probably set some sort of record.

You might get a better response once you've polished your MS. Mostly folks don't want to waste time on first drafts.

Niccolo
01-23-2014, 09:36 PM
There are some minute continuity errors I am already aware of, and they will be rectified in the upcoming draft/polish once the beta-reader(s) is/are finished.

I'd be more than happy to switch stories to be a beta-reader, but I don't feel qualified as of yet to front such a task. Someday soon, perhaps.

These both sound like big turn-offs to me. Plenty of people on this site expect the manuscript to be in tip-top shape before they set to it. If you're aware of continuity errors, they should be fixed before you give your novel to someone else to edit. And if you've finished your second draft in the span of two months, then not only did you write at a ridiculous pace (congrats, by the way, that's not an easy thing to do) but you've had next to no time to distance yourself from the manuscript and gain some objectivity on it. Seeing this, I don't have faith that this MS is polished, which makes me not want to beta it.

On the other hand, I've seen an equal number of beta readers (or potential beta readers) who expect you to beta in return for their taking a look at your manuscript, as well as ones who don't expect anything in return but a sincere "thank you". But saying you downright cannot beta in return sounds like a cop-out.

Just my opinion. If it sounded rude/harsh/condescending I didn't mean it to, I swear :)

HarvesterOfSorrow
01-24-2014, 01:18 AM
No, no problem. The first draft was written from December 1st, 2013 to August 10th, 2013. I waited over a month to edit the manuscript with a red pen. This took over a month because of heavy elimination of material and re-working. I waited two weeks and started writing the second draft on October 26th, 2013 and finished it January 12th, 2014.

EDIT: Wow. I went to work shortly after posting this and realized what a brain-fart I'd had. I started writing the first draft on December 1st, 2012. That's what only four hours of sleep the previous night gets you, folks lol.