View Full Version : Betas (Possible Swap) needed for 79k Small-Town Fantasy. Af-Am Sensitivity would be esp. useful

06-28-2017, 04:18 AM
Magic and Cornfields
79k words, English, Third Beta Round

Brief Summary: Set against a backdrop of the 80s farming crisis, Magic and Cornfields recalls the coming of age of Bastion Fairpath and his two companions as he faces the prospect of life without parents, an Iowa where more than crops are hidden in the fields, and a reality in which magic exists outside of his vivid imagination.

Sub Genre & Keywords: Small Town, Fantasy, New Adult (possibly), Farm, First Person, Contemporary (NOT High Fantasy)

First 1k HERE (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?329382-Magic-and-Cornfields-Totally-new-first-scene-in-post-10-(961-words)) (In first post. Ignore later stuff, Im revising based on this) If you want spoilers, query and synopsis are on the forum, look at my started posts or pm and Ill link em.

Critique Requested: Big picture stuff like pacing, characterization, plot holes, clarity, world building, logic flow, consistent tone/voice, interesting spots vs more meh or bad spots, my overall strengths and weaknesses. And of course, is it entertaining? Grammar, spelling not requested, but feel free.

A couple more specific things:
- In my synopsis post, someone brought up that it seemed like it was just people telling each other things. Is enough stuff happening in the actual book or no? I hope the synopsis was just an issue of word choice.

- My focus on this pass was to add events and dialogue to help foreshadow the climax, so I would also be interested in how well the end fits or if it still seems to come a bit out of left field. Is the end satisfying enough, or does it feel like there aren't enough answers or not enough is resolved? (This is about half of the super vague story arc I started with.)

- This is a mixed genre book, sort of, so I'm curious if it feels like the fantasy stuff takes too long to get going, or doesn't gel, or if the small-town beginning is too boring. How does the mix feel and read?

- And finally, does any of the stuff relating to Donny's storyline come across racist? I'm going to try to find a sensitivity reader, but I'm curious what people think in general. None of my previous betas remarked on it at all.

Critique Tolerance: Whatever. If something is crap, I want to know. Even better if you can suggest ideas for improvement. No use shopping something around if people know something is broken but won't tell me.

Experience: Some college classes, lots of writing and poetry on my own over the years.

Sensitivity Readers: I would especially like a couple African-American sensitivity readers to let me know what they think. That could be completely separate from everything else and just a read specifically for that purpose.

I am somewhat open to swaps. I am slow, though. Anything below 100k, and after I have a couple lined up I can't do more because I average a month for turn around on each. I don't read non-fiction, romance, erotica, horror, or MG.