As you know if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, I’ve been working hard on my novel, Dire Fate, for several long years. But it’s finally that time. I fully expect to have finished the manuscript by the end of July (hopefully before, so I can have all of the edits done by then, but we’ll just have to wait and see).
With an expected Finish Date coming up soon, I’m in that stage where I need to start looking around for beta readers. It’s kind of nerve-wracking, knowing that I’m about to finally show other people this project, letting them tear it apart while hoping too that they’ll love it and appreciate it as much as I do.
I want a lot of betas, though. Hence my current blog post, and the two tweets I’ve recently tweeted. Yes, guys, I’m looking at you, and hoping, hoping, that you’re here because you have the same wants and needs in YA novels that I do, and that you’ll find my novel fills those wants and needs. So I’ll talk first about Dire Fate, and then chat a bit about what I expect from my beta readers.
Dire Fate is a high fantasy novel, set in a world with dragons, magic-wielding Fay, humans (of course), and shape-shifting wolf/humans called daiyer wolves. There is a rather intense hatred between humans and daiyer wolves based on fear and blood shed by both sides.
One main character, Petros, dealt with loss by a daiyer wolf’s hand when he was younger, and trained to become a warrior to protect people from the same fate. He travels all over the kingdom each year to find any conflict between humans and daiyer wolves and end it. Permanently. The other, Simone, is a daiyer wolf alpha who wishes to find her small pack a safe place to live and thrive. It is a young pack that has already dealt with loss, constantly on the move to avoid danger.
Through an unfortunate twist of fate, Petros owes a life debt to the alpha. The novel follows the two characters as they struggle to determine how much they’re willing to risk to make peace, a difficult task when the town at stake is Petros’s own and when Simone learns exactly who Petros is and what he’s done. (My Current Novels in Progress page on my author’s site has a more book-blurby description, and I also update my progress from time to time.)
There are several romances included in the story, but you know how much I hate inorganic love plots, so all of them deal with romances that are pre-existing. It also has several major plot points, of course, but focuses mostly on the in-betweens and the characters’ internal struggles. I also tried very hard to have three dimensional characters and a very rich world, but whether or not I succeeded will be a thing you’ll have to decide for yourself.
For Interested Betas
Following the wise guidelines of Jenna Moreci, I’d like to have as many betas as possible so I can compare all of the thoughts and reactions and figure out what is best for my novel.
It will be a chapter-by-chapter process so that things aren’t overwhelming and so that we can take things one step at a time. You get one chapter, you read it when you can, and then I’ll have questions for you.
Miss Jenna Moreci suggested talking directly, through a phone call or through a chat, and directly afterwards, but I’m going to assume we all have busy lives. If we can chat directly after you’ve finished the chapter, that’d be preferable so I can ask follow-ups if needed. If schedules don’t look like they can match up well enough for that, though, I can attach the questions at the bottom of the chapter for you to answer. My only request is that you try to answer them immediately after you’ve finished the chapter so everything is still fresh in your mind and all that.
Questions will generally be things like character interpretation or feelings on the plot and/or pacing, etc. You’ll also have a place to add any random suggestions or problems that you found that I might not have thought to ask a question about.
Lastly, as I stated above, I’m not quite finished with the project. I have an estimated 20k words left (13 chapters, unless my current outline ends up needing another minor adjustment). If you want, I can start sending chapters immediately, going through some basic edits before handing them over. I’ve done that for a friend of mine who wanted to start reading right away. However, my preference would be to finish it, print, and make the adjustments I need all in one go so I know I didn’t miss anything big.
If you are interested or intrigued at all, let me know in the comments. I can answer more specific questions there, either about Dire Fate or about the beta reading process, if you have them. Or we can get you set up to receive chapters. Even if you don’t want to be a beta reader, let me know in the comments what you think of the project or if you’re an author who has tips on the beta reading process. It is my first go at it, after all. 🙂
A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
I’m just as surprised as you are. I really loved Feyre’s development and the effects the events of the last book had on her and all those involved. I absolutely adored the ending, because it went entirely against expectations. A lot of what I loved happened in the middle, which means spoilers, but ah well. I only had a few problems with it: 1) the beginning was a bit weird because character actions didn’t make sense; 2) the climax was a bit weird because the “villains” were acting in a way that really didn’t fit with their character; 3) some character interactions felt off because one would crack a joke that wasn’t even that funny in a tense situation and there would always be some form of rumbling laughter. That one’s a minor thing, though. And I think that it was worth it to see Feyre where she ended up the very end. I was grinning like an idiot.
“What if a story starts with this?
It was a hell of a way to die.”