Beta Readers Wanted

I would really appreciate anyone who wants to be a beta reader for my book. Hopefully the link to the first two chapters works and you are able to open it. It is a sci-fi/adventure/romance for young adults. Just a warning that this book contains some pretty adult themes such as suicide, explicit sexual situations between two males and drug use. It may turn some people off but that is what I chose to include in my book. Please let me know if you have a problem opening the link. This is my first try writing for more than just myself. 

Thank you in advance for your feedback!

https://1drv.ms/w/s!Aj4jEHrf8z_dge8HuOwUAMMMbK79eA

Comments

  • Ron MillerRon Miller Bibliophile
    I am looking forward to reading your sample chapters. From what I have seen of the first couple of paragraphs the writing seems to be more than competent. 

    I am not so sure, however, that you can say that parts of your book "may turn some people off but that is what I chose to include in my book" while at the same time saying that you are "writing for more than just myself." I would suggest that if your main concern is what you choose to include, regardless of what your potential readers may think, you are indeed writing for yourself.
  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    From what I read of the first page plus a part of the second [as far as I got before having to burp someone] "the writing seems to be more than competent".

    Similar to what Ron said, if you're concerned some people might not like what you included then you're simply writing for yourself, not an audience.

    The themes of suicide, explicit sexual situations [between MF, MM, FF, MFM, FMF, M/Chicken, F/Livestock, ad nauseum], and drug use have been around for a long time.

    When I write, I write the stories my characters tell me as they relate them to me. Sometimes their situations make me feel uncomfortable, but that's due to it being their stories not mine. A simple way to look at it is: write what your characters tell you to write to the best of your ability, because while some people may not like it but others will.
  • ToryTory Reader
    edited January 24
    Thank you so much for your replies! 

    "write what your characters tell you to write to the best of your ability, because while some people may not like it but others will." Yes that is actually how I feel so I should have phrased it that way :smile:
  • Ron,
    The font is way too small.
    Second line, 'But' try removing it.
    Your work suffers from the killers 'I's'      I did this, then I did that, and I went and I found... Go through try removing as many as possible.

    I haven't posted here in years.

    Dale
  • It is possibly impossible to write anything that everyone will like, so it cannot be writing just for one's self. But having said that, one has to like what one is writing, so in one way you are writing for yourself, but hoping that some other readers will enjoy it, also.
    How Do. Take a seat.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    First, on the story proper: It's got proper English sentences; they follow each other in a logical order, and they convey actual meaning. You'd be surprised how many people don't get that far, so good job; you've cinched a passing grade out of the starting gate.

    I'd do a few things with it, if it were mine: I'd slow down the pace a bit -- not in the beginning, where "she" is committing suicide, but in the second part, after "he" awakens.

    "If you forget your exit, you lose your memories." Okay, that stopped me cold for a couple minutes; I found myself going back and forth trying to get the context of it. I get it now: If the being forgets the "suicide" then it will be puzzled on re-awakening in the "real" world. But at first, this comes off like a koan.

    You're world-building at this point. The reader needs some concrete explanations, or it's not going to work, and he/she/they/umlaut will break out of the story trying to understand the "exit phase" (Oh, the author means suicide... got it).

    I'd also look at some long sentences, and see if they could be shortened. The second sentence is an example. Break that into two or three sentences. Slow the pace.

    The opening suicide, to me -- well, I would think that it would be much more personal than that, and not just something done as if on a dare. There might be some internal dialog. Internal dialog might make it easier to understand the event and to engage in the narrative.

    Now, a second thing... I try to be very careful when I encounter someone who speaks about suicide with a personal application. It's usually a mistake to look at a story and to deduce things about the writer. Still, just in writing this, you've been thinking of suicide, in a personal context, and thinking about what comes after it. Those are indicators that there might be some thoughts in your head that might need further discussion.

    I'm not a behavioral health professional, and I don't mean to imply that you necessarily need one. But it might be very helpful. I don't mean to insult you, belittle you, or slam you in any way. There is nothing wrong with needing a bit of help. Everyone needs some help sometimes.

    What I'm saying here is that you might possibly want to find a trusted adviser, such as a behavioral health professional (Your local county Health Department can help you find someone), or perhaps a priest, pastor, minister, teacher, family member, or close personal friend with whom you can discuss this story and its implications.

    I could be completely off base here, and if so, well, blame it on my overly-cautious nature. But if there is something of yourself in the suicidal young woman, then I would encourage you to talk to someone. There is no shame in it, and behavioral health professionals are required by law to keep your conversations private (unless you intend to hurt someone).

    Of course, I hope that you are merely exploring this concept as a literary device, in which case, well, silly me. If not... Would it really hurt to talk to someone?

    I only know one number for help in this sort of thing: (831) 796-1620. If you have no other options, call that number, please. The people there are very nice and can help.
  • ToryTory Reader
    edited February 24
    Thank you to all who responded with advice and I will definitely keep all the points mentioned in mind as I go through my book. Regarding the suicide stuff...yes, actually, I wrote the book because I was in a pretty bad place and this was my outlet. Just to be clear, I was not actually planning on hurting myself or anything like that. I do appreciate the concern and glad that people out there care. Writing this book was a surprisingly effective form of therapy, even if I didn't expect it to be. So yes, thank you for your concern and I'm okay. I didn't feel insulted or belittled, so you don't have to worry about that. Now that it somehow went from me just putting my feelings into a story to putting the book out there for everyone, I will work on improving it and hopefully, people out there will enjoy it. 
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    I'm glad to hear that while you were in a dark place, you never had plans to actually hurt yourself. I apologize for the over-reaction.

    Yes, writing can be a very effective way of getting ideas out of one's head. Putting them onto paper seems to give them closure and seems to draw them out into the light, where they can be dealt with.

    Glad you're doing good. The story has some real potential. Hope it works out.
  • SphinxCameronSphinxCameron Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    While at times I come off as a real a-hole, that's a side-effect of having had to be counselor for a few people. It hurts to be objective and calm while hearing things that are far too often heart-breaking.

    I remember someone who found out he had been born with a genetic disorder that would end his life early; a disorder that sterilizes the recipient while making daily life miserable. He was diagnosed as a young adult, at a time when most people have the promise of a long life ahead.

    He looked at me one day and said: "I'm going to die, aren't I." Not so much a question as a statement of fact.

    After about two minutes I replied. "You should realize it's not the length of time you have but what you do with the time that counts. I've seen eighty-year-old people who might as well not have lived for all the good they didn't do. Find a way to make the time you have count for something, and you'll have done more than a lot of people do with eighty years."

    That young man got married and became the stepfather who saved two young lives that otherwise would have been lost. He participated in medical research to better treat his condition that others might have a better chance at survival. After fifteen years his body finally said enough. He was 35 when he passed.

    My point is should you know someone is approaching that dark spot where 'opting out' seems like the best solution, point them toward some help. Who knows the lives that person can touch and make better as long as they're around to make a difference?
  • Many classic writers and artists were often in a 'dark' place, and some were, and some still are, known to be a bit 'nuts'. Possibly that made their works better.
    How Do. Take a seat.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Librarian
    Many classic writers and artists were often in a 'dark' place, and some were, and some still are, known to be a bit 'nuts'. Possibly that made their works better.

    That people who experience disorders of the mind often express themselves artistically does not imply that all who express themselves artistically do have or should have such disorders. It could be argued that Van Gogh's issues improved his art; it could also be argued that his art was self-medication for his disorders.

    Likewise Poe: Had he not been depressive and had addictions, he might have given us wonderful works that were light and airy, with "tin-tin-tinabulations of joy" throughout. Genius does not depend upon torment.
  • That people who experience disorders of the mind often express themselves artistically does not imply that all who express themselves artistically do have or should have such disorders.

    Indeed not, but many were, and are. I did not imply that every creative person is. As just one example, Dylan Thomas used to sniff toilet bowls.

     It could be argued that Van Gogh's issues improved his art;

    Yes it could be argued, and often is.

     it could also be argued that his art was self-medication for his disorders.

    Does that prove my point then?

    Likewise Poe: Had he not been depressive and had addictions, he might have given us wonderful works that were light and airy, with "tin-tin-tinabulations of joy" throughout.

    Or nothing at all.

     Genius does not depend upon torment.

    It really often does, or I would not have said it :)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19959565 

    but who says they are all geniuses? But then again there's often a very tiny step between genius and madness. It's a known fact. But have you never noticed that when it at least comes to art, contemporary stuff that goes for high figures are often the results of deranged minds?

    Interviews with such people make it obvious.

    How Do. Take a seat.
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