Romantic Paranormal Fiction reader needed

Critique partners are worth their weight in gold. So (checking financial page) like $20,000 a pound.
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Steph.s
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Romantic Paranormal Fiction reader needed

Post by Steph.s » December 12th, 2010, 11:54 am

I'm finally done! My first novel is in very early stages. I've made it to the end but it is only about 40k words. I know that beefing it up is going to be a priority, but I would really like someone who doesn't love me to look it over in this early stage. It is a little off-beat and hopefully humorous. I'll attach a brief synopsis below. Anyone who is interested, please let me know. Thank you in advance.

Eleanor Figg is a woman on a mission to pay rent, buy cute shoes and to have as good a time as possible. When she finds herself working for stuffy Lian Cairn in his bar that rarely sees customers, she's intrigued. Even more so by the steady parade of neighborhood psychics requesting an audience with him. When the local voodoo queen comes to see him and the next day her grandson ends up dead outside of the bar, things get interesting.
Figg is thrust into a world where the creatures that go bump in the night are real. There is a zombie on the loose, and Lian and Figg are up to their eyeballs in hostiles, friendlies looking for help, vampires, magic, a cross-dressing psychic and a mystery that has to be laid to rest before all hell breaks loose!

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wordranger
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Re: Romantic Paranormal Fiction reader needed

Post by wordranger » January 11th, 2011, 11:57 pm

Steph: I saw that no one else replied, and I felt bad, so I thought I’d drop you a line.

From what you’ve said, it doesn’t seem like you are really ready for a beta read. That may be why no one has responded.

Are you actively working on it still?
Do you know what it needs to “beef it up?”
Are you concerned that maybe it might not be good, so you’re not sure if it’s worth the time? (and you’re looking for someone to tell you)
Do you think it’s good, but you’re confused because you think it’s too short, and you don’t know what to do about it?

Just curious where you are coming from.
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

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Steph.s
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Re: Romantic Paranormal Fiction reader needed

Post by Steph.s » January 19th, 2011, 9:43 am

Hi, thanks for the sympathy post. :-) You're absolutely right about it not being ready for a beta read. Definitely not then and probably not even now. I have been working on it steadily since I posted this thread. The problem is that most people think their writing is awesome and people who love you are not likely to tell you that what you've written stinks. In my experience anyway.

Luckily, I did find a group of writers that were willing to go over my opening. I had my rear end handed to me over some common mistakes and I went back to rewrite. The critique stung a bit, but it was probably the best thing that has happened to my ms so far.

As far as beefing up the story goes, I've read that it is easier to add than it is to delete. I've not found that to be the case personally. I'll add a scene and then inevitably I notice something that needs to go. It's still around 40K words. I'm not sure that it will ever grow beyond novella length.

My main issue is that I'm not sure where to go from here. I don't have enough experience to be able to see what is really wrong.

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wordranger
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Re: Romantic Paranormal Fiction reader needed

Post by wordranger » January 19th, 2011, 7:53 pm

Steph: Funny most writers have the opposite problem. They are "Busting" with ideas, and have to decide what to get rid of to make the manuscript shorter.

You are right about family and friends not necessarily telling you the truth. It's hard to hurt someone’s feelings. Those writers didn't mean to be mean to you (I hope) they were just telling you, I am guessing, what you needed to hear.

What you should probably do is try to expound on what you've already done. Make a few more things happen. Think of a new twist that might add depth to the story. Really get into your main character's head. You might be surprised what you come up with.

Tell you what... Go thorough your entire manuscript and make changes keeping in mind everything they said about the first few pages. Try to make it better. Look for character development and setting. Do the first several pages smack you in the face and make you want to read more? If not trash then (neatly in a file to refer to later) and start over.

Once you have something significantly better (start to finish) than you think you first had, drop me a line. If I am not drowning in beta reads (which I admittedly am at the moment) I will take a look at your beginning and see if I can help you out.

Good Luck!
Words are your friend.
Don't be afraid to lose yourself in them.

Jennifer Eaton, WordRanger
My Novelette LAST WINTER RED will be published by J. Taylor Publishing in December, 2012

Take a Step into My World and Learn From My Mistakes http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

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Steph.s
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Re: Romantic Paranormal Fiction reader needed

Post by Steph.s » January 19th, 2011, 8:21 pm

Thank you very much for the offer. I will most likely take you up on that sometime in the future.

For sure, the nice folks that looked over my stuff were not being mean. They gave me exactly what I asked for and needed.

I've posted a couple of revised pages here on these forums and there seems to be a little more work that I could do. Every little bit of advice helps me along.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3189

AMRiley
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Re: Romantic Paranormal Fiction reader needed

Post by AMRiley » February 12th, 2011, 7:12 pm

Hi Stephan,

I'd love to take a look at your book if you'd like. I could simply give you a 'need more here' notes as I read? I can also give you personal reactions to various characters.

My one issue is time. I'm slower than heck because I can only work on weekends. I could get through it in a few weeks, though.

Let me know if you are still looking.

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Steph.s
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Re: Romantic Paranormal Fiction reader needed

Post by Steph.s » February 14th, 2011, 1:12 pm

AMRiley wrote:Hi Stephan,

I'd love to take a look at your book if you'd like. I could simply give you a 'need more here' notes as I read? I can also give you personal reactions to various characters.

My one issue is time. I'm slower than heck because I can only work on weekends. I could get through it in a few weeks, though.

Let me know if you are still looking.

Thanks a lot for the offer. I am currently rewriting, so there's not much to read at the moment. Thanks so much for the offer. I really appreciate it.

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