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Looking for alpha readers - Anima Nova [Cyberpunk/Crime] - Approx. 66k words (profanity, general mature themes)

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VD_AI

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[I apologise for the below confusion; this section has been modified and the excerpt has been moved to its own thread and the title updated to remove ambiguity.]

----

An excerpt can be found here.

Title: Anima Nova
Genre: Cyberpunk/Crime
Word Count: 66k *
Content disclaimer:

As per the title, this is a cyberpunk novel and as such deals with themes typical to the genre.

The manuscript contains profanity, violence, drug usage and sexual references (including implied sex scenes and references to sexual violence).

Blurb:
The Pyrite family built Surface Corporation from the ground up. In a sense, they built Anima Nova itself, as since the beginning of its history, Surface has been the city's immovable keystone.

To the Pyrites, C is just another faceless special agent serving under Surface's Security branch. C never thought of that as a bad thing. Being a nobody is a good way to keep your head on your shoulders.

Yet C’s fate takes a turn when his boss wants to undermine a rival by having C steal sensitive evidence regarding a recent heist on Polytechnica, where Surface houses a multi-trillion bitdollar supercomputer. This plan goes sideways and C finds himself having to drop his luxurious corporate life to flee from Surface’s remorseless Head of Security.

Deciding his only chance to live is to solve the Polytechnica case by himself and present his findings to Surface, C soon realises he stands at the tip of a much deeper reaching conspiracy. It involves a plot to crush Surface and overthrow the Pyrite family, a mysterious but highly skilled hacker called Cyphris, and a technology to bring back the dead.

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* 66k words with an asterisk: This manuscript is incomplete. The first 51k works can be read fluently. The manuscript then becomes peppered with holes, with bits connected by synopsis-like sections to fill out the missing sections. At the end, I write how I intend the novel to reach a conclusion.
 
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Unimportant

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Oh hi. The AW managers prefer to keep things confined to a single thread. Could you please message a moderator and ask them to merge your two threads seeking beta readers?

If you can't, I'll do it on your behalf tomorrow.
 

VD_AI

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Oh hi. The AW managers prefer to keep things confined to a single thread. Could you please message a moderator and ask them to merge your two threads seeking beta readers?

If you can't, I'll do it on your behalf tomorrow.
Done. I reported my other thread, so that should get a moderator's attention.
 

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Done. I reported my other thread, so that should get a moderator's attention.
Brilliant, ta.

Have you critted other people's work? You may find that people are uncomfortable putting their hand up until they can assess a new member's critique style and level of comfort.

Plus, yanno, you can't expect to receive more than you have given.
 

neandermagnon

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I've read the posts in both sections. Have you tried getting a short section of it critiqued the usual way* because some of the stuff you are asking (like whether someone would want to continue reading it) you could get from a critique. I don't have time to alpha or beta read (for anyone - busy life and all that) however I don't mind giving a short critique on bits of it, say if you post the first 200 words in first 200 words thread, or the first 1000 or so in the share your work section. (maybe start with first 200 words as it might not be advisable to start another thread with the same stuff in it - maybe get advice from a moderator if you want to start a critique thread on the same story, else you'll have posted the first bit on 3 separate threads which is a bit spammy.) There is a lot that can be picked up from getting a short section critiqued, especially the beginning as this is what will draw in readers (or not). Also, you will potentially get a lot more (and more varied) responses because alpha/betaing is a massive time investment, while critiquing isn't so much (but it still takes time and effort, hence its reciprocal nature). And it might be easier to find an alpha/beta reader after giving and receiving critiques for a while.

*and also critiquing other people's work because it works on a reciprocal basis and also because you can learn a lot about revising/editing which you can then apply to your own work

There's also the brainstorming sandbox as an alternative way to get feedback on bigger things like the plot if you post a brief outline/overview and say what specific aspects you need to get feedback on.

Also you're asking whether others think it has potential or not... what makes a good story isn't so much the concept but the execution. You can get feedback on both the concept and the execution through critiques. I strongly recommend it, whether or not you also get an alpha reader.
 

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I've read the posts in both sections. Have you tried getting a short section of it critiqued the usual way* because some of the stuff you are asking (like whether someone would want to continue reading it) you could get from a critique.
Forgive me, maybe I am misunderstanding what you are saying, I am a bit conflicted as to advice I am receiving as to how to approach this. This was my original intention: to post an excerpt, then, only if the reader was interested, continue further? I tried to follow suit with how other threads did it in the past. I was asked to move this thread here and I have, as per the request above, asked to have everything contained in one thread.

But if I understand correctly, I should split it up into two separate posts?
 

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The idea is to see if the feedback on the excerpt is enough on its own for you to improve your manuscript, before asking someone to read the whole thing.
 

neandermagnon

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Forgive me, maybe I am misunderstanding what you are saying, I am a bit conflicted as to advice I am receiving as to how to approach this. This was my original intention: to post an excerpt, then, only if the reader was interested, continue further? I tried to follow suit with how other threads did it in the past. I was asked to move this thread here and I have, as per the request above, asked to have everything contained in one thread.

But if I understand correctly, I should split it up into two separate posts?

Regarding the logistics of the actual threads and not spamming the forums, best to get a mod's advice. They may be able to do something like reopen an edited version of your first thread, with just the bit you want critiqued, then leave it open as a normal critique thread. You shouldn't really have two or more threads with the same chunk of your story in it. But I think there has been some miscommunication regarding what you actually want from this.

The usual thing is to post an exert for critique, which people will respond to with short (or maybe longer) critiques, however in your thread you said you were looking for beta readers, and you didn't seem to be interested in critique, i.e. asking people to read it, if they're interested in beta reading to message you - but not for others to critique it. So I initially read it, but didn't critique it as I'm not able to beta read for you. Maybe that was a miscommunication - maybe you misunderstood what a beta reader is?

Critique = someone reads a section of your work and responds with things like what's working, what's not working, suggestions for improvements, further work, etc. This is reciprocal, but not necessarily "I'll critique you if you critique me" - more like people give and receive critiques about the place and it gets paid forward

Alpha reader = someone who will read your whole manuscript in the early stages and give suggestions for how to make the story work at a plot level - this may also involve some mentoring as you go along, and is usually done on a reciprocal basis.

Beta reader = someone who will read your whole finished manuscript, which you've edited, tidied up etc, to give feedback on the work as a whole. This also is normally done on a reciprocal basis.

So it might just be that your initial post confused people with regards to what you were asking for, hence the suggestion to ask in the beta reader forum. But if you were actually looking for critique (and maybe an alpha reader too if you find someone you're compatible with via mutual critiquing) then moving the thread here wasn't the best idea.
 

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Maybe that was a miscommunication - maybe you misunderstood what a beta reader is?

Ah, gotcha. My understanding is the more general application: somebody who is an early reader with an eye for entertainment mistakes. Seems there is more of a specific definition.

What I will do is I'll take the excerpt out of this and put it up as its own thread, with the specific request for critique. I'll remove the excerpt from here and post the more usual blurb.
 
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An alpha or beta reader generally reads the whole novel & gives you an idea of what’s working & what’s not. They may give you inline comments or get down to a line-by-line critique, but not always & less likely for what you’re looking for.

Critiquing in SYW, where you started, is looking at a small portion of the novel, usually the beginning. The smaller size means some critters might get into the nitty-gritty, or you may just have folks tell you what does & doesn’t work about that section in general. An advantage to posting for critique at the stage where you’re looking for betas is that you get to really workshop your opening, but also folks get an idea of whether they’d like your writing style. But if you’re not ready for getting critiqued at that level, don’t post in SYW, because crits take a lot of effort & you can burn through goodwill if you’re wasting folks’ time.

Speaking of goodwill, a great way to get the attention of someone who might be willing to beta is to put a line about your hunt in your signature, then go spend time critiquing other people’s openings in your genre. You’ll learn a lot, & someone might be more inclined to check out what you’re looking for from a beta/alpha if they’ve noticed you giving of your time.

My guess is that your original thread’s title & any wording up front suggesting you were primarily looking for a beta is why you were sent here. Probably it didn’t appear that you were looking for crits, but for a beta. And if that’s true, then they were right :greenie
 

VD_AI

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An alpha or beta reader generally reads the whole novel & gives you an idea of what’s working & what’s not. They may give you inline comments or get down to a line-by-line critique, but not always & less likely for what you’re looking for.

I again apologise for my misunderstanding of jargon. I don't have a formal education in the whole writing process; you learn something new every day.

Let's just say I've decided to be a whimsical and go for both. Now in their appropriate threads.