Beta Readers Wanted

I am now releasing the First section of my new novel A Rise of Descent: 1760, and am in need of Beta Readers to help me by giving a light bit of feedback on the prologue and first chapter of the story. It is Historical Fiction.images.jpg

Comments

  • Is there a link?
  • Apparently not.

  • I am afraid that I was unable to get past the first paragraph, largely because I feared it was only an example of what was to follow.

     

    Let me give you a few examples of what I mean (unfortunately, I am unable to simply cut and paste the entire paragraph here).

     

    In the first sentence you are talking about a London night, so it should be "when the wind was softly passing" rather than "where."

     

    "Lanterns kept low and curious light" simply makes no sense.

     

    "plotted here and there beside the streets and stores" Again, I have no idea what you mean. Unless you are referring to the lights and mean something like "placed" or "located."

     

    "where a loud and constant clamor was formed during the daylight." This is simply too wordy and "was formed" doesn't sound right. I'd simply drop it since it really isn't necessary. "...where there was a loud and constant clamor during the day" would be simpler and more to the point.

     

    In the next sentence you say that a sound was similar to the "loud and constant clamor" and then contradict yourself by saying it was "far softer." And does it only seem to threaten the quiet or does it threaten it? I would go for the latter, since it would make the statement more positive. I.e., "...a similar sound threatened the silence of the night..."

     

    By "regular calamity of the populous" I take it you mean something like "the regular clamor of the populace"?

     

    Keep your sentences simple and straightforward...and definitely don't rely on spellcheck---it cannot tell you if a properly spelled word is the right or wrong one to use.

     

     

  • Well regardless of if you decided to move any further than that I still thank you for leaving me the thoughts about it that you have, as well as the time you took to look into it in the first place. I will use this information when considering all of my editing after the manuscript is finished.


  • Aemore1314 wrote:

    Well regardless of if you decided to move any further than that I still thank you for leaving me the thoughts about it that you have, as well as the time you took to look into it in the first place. I will use this information when considering all of my editing after the manuscript is finished.


    My suggestion would be to not edit the book yourself. No author can be objective enough to effectively self-edit their own work. If you can, find someone to do this for you. There are many people who can do this for a small fee, but anyone with a good working knowledge of the language could help you: a teacher or instructor, a student of creative writing or English, etc.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭

    Ron Miller wrote:

    Aemore1314 wrote:

    Well regardless of if you decided to move any further than that I still thank you for leaving me the thoughts about it that you have, as well as the time you took to look into it in the first place. I will use this information when considering all of my editing after the manuscript is finished.


    My suggestion would be to not edit the book yourself. No author can be objective enough to effectively self-edit their own work. If you can, find someone to do this for you. There are many people who can do this for a small fee, but anyone with a good working knowledge of the language could help you: a teacher or instructor, a student of creative writing or English, etc.


    Hear, Hear.

     

    Get additional eyes on this book.

  • Yes I am aware of the usefulness of a professional editor, and I already have one for this book in particular. When I reference my own editing stage it is the preliminary. Before I hand over any works to my editor I always do an editing session of my own to make certain that it is as close to what I want as possible before he makes his own professional changes.


  • Aemore1314 wrote:

    Yes I am aware of the usefulness of a professional editor, and I already have one for this book in particular. When I reference my own editing stage it is the preliminary. Before I hand over any works to my editor I always do an editing session of my own to make certain that it is as close to what I want as possible before he makes his own professional changes.


    Good plan!

     

    However, let me point out that a professional editor never makes changes to a manuscript. They will only tell you where changes or corrections need to be made. It is up to the author to implement these. There are good reasons for this. Perhaps the most important is that a good editor realizes that a book needs to be in the author's voice, not theirs. Another is the fact that you are not obligated to make any of the corrections an editor suggests (though it is always wise to think long and hard before dismissing any of these). Or you may find a different way to accomplish the same end. That is up to you.

     

    I should perhaps also explain that there are two different kinds of editor. There is a copy editor, who is responsible for making sure that the grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation are correct. (This is not the same job as a proofreader, by the way. Their job is simply to make sure that all of the corrections that you and/or the copy editor wanted made have been done.) An editor's concern is the content of a book as a whole. They look at characters, story, plotting, dialog, sense, etc. For instance, is the story told in a coherent way? Are there places that require more explanation for the reader? or less? Are the characters depicted consistently? Things like that.

     

    But what I said at the beginning holds true whether we are talking about an editor or a copy editor: neither will make changes, corrections or revisions to a manuscript. It is up to the author to do that.

  • The only way to promote, is to promote often. So herein lies the second part to my open preview.

     

    https://www.wattpad.com/411519797-a-rise-of-descent-1760-sequel-to-preview

     

    images.jpg

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭

    Let me see if I can complement the guidance that Ron has been giving you here:

     

    Your writing style is convoluted and tedious. "It was not with ease that he..." -- Okay, I understand what you're trying to do: you want it to sound like a tale rolling off the tongue of a silver-tongued narrator. But you're sacrificing clarity for style, and for a style that sounds clunky.

     

    Don't get me wrong: You could make this sort of a thing work, but it would take a lot of refinement. A mere editor is not enough. Even a beta-reader is too little and too late. You need an alpha-reader: someone who is reviewing the work in progress and giving you frank feedback on a page by page basis.

     

    And that's not to belittle your work, you understand. You've written a story in English with an good grasp of normal grammatical and spelling rules, which places you above 80% of folks who try this sort of thing, right from the starting gate.

     

    Here's the thing: It reminds me a little of, say, Mark Twain on his Prince and the Pauper soap-box: Some parts of that story were exciting and interesting. Others were a bit dull, because Twain tried to moralize without breaking his style. The net result is an uneven tale that drags in many places.

     

    Consider this scene, that you've just given us. You're telling us that the protagonist has just been released from prison, which results in jeering and abuse from his betters, and he lacks the toll to follow the roads used by his peers, so he has to walk a long ways to get where he's going. Is that the best way to give us that information?

  • I can only second Skoob_yM's comments.

     

    I think throughout this sample you are trying much too hard to sound "literary" and the result appears wordy, forced and artificial. 

     

    Perhaps as a result of this there are, as in the first sample, too many odd-sounding phrases. For example, "Only 17 years old and the owner of a great deal of property, though it was hollowed out now."

     

    "Hollowed" is certainly an odd descriptor.

     

    Likewise, "interrogative questions" sounds very fancy, but it is also redundant.

     

    I might also point out that the first two sentences are sentence fragments. You do this throughout the sample chapter.

     

    And, again, do not rely too heavily on Spellcheck: it can only tell you if you have misspelled a word, not whether you have chosen the wrong one. In this case, it allowed you to write "manors" when you meant "manners."

     

    I agree with Skoob_Ym that you are telling a very interesting story about an interesting character. I also agree with him that you need to relax a little and take your time in telling it. This includes perhaps telling the story in a more natural-seeming style and language.

  • Others more versed than I have commented on structure and nuance.

    I think the story line, once developed, will appeal to many readers. However I am concerned you may lose them with the second promise - religious based and demonising the Church of England. Firstly, what is your readership target? Will they appreciate the difference between Catholic and CoE? Secondly, without stating there is a religious element/ battle in the opening, you may inadvertently offend or disenfranchise readers - who may not trust your future books. 

    I do look forward to the next exciting iteration.

  • Hey. I am excited to read your book. How can I access it?

Sign In or Register to comment.