Friday, May 28, 2010

Beta Readers

Well, it is way past due for me to be writing a blog post. My days have been busy with end of school/kid stuff, beta reading, editing, and so forth and so on.
Basically the same excuses you have. :)

I wanted to speak just a little about Beta Reading. What does it mean to do so? What is expected for you? What should you know?

I haven't one answer for any of these questions. My interpretation of Beta Reading is probably a lot different than yours.

So, I thought I would tell you what I do.

When I Beta read, I'm doing so for two reasons. To help someone out and to learn. Reading---is just a good thing. And when you read someone's story, and you see mistakes, I believe it helps with recognizing the same mistakes within you manuscript.

Things I look for:

Grammar and punctuation mistakes. This is just a courtesy I do. I don't think it is required to look for these types of mistakes. But when I see a mistake like that, I point it out.

Timeline of story. I try and make sure the time coincides with the story.

Sentence structure. If the sentence is all flubbed up, I'll point it out.

Flow of story. Of course the story has to flow. It's gotta make sense.

Most important though is to try and remember that this is said writer's story, and not mine. I try to think of it as a book I bought at the store.

I feel taking on the project in this fashion gives the author a reader's perspective of what does and doesn't work. It also stops me from thinking....If this was my story....and then telling the author.....Well, you should do this or that.

To me, telling the writer that does not help them. That defeats the purpose of being a Beta Reader. After all, it's not my story.

With that said...I will suggest to the author...Hey, it be kinda cool if you might add this in. I think it might add tension, detail, color, or whatever to the story. OR You should delete this, because it really doesn't add to the story or whatnot.

What about you? What do you like in your Beta Reader? What do you do when you Beta Read?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Perfection Query ---take two

As promised, here is a second attempt at my query. I really hope this procedure might help others (and me) to see the development of a query from ground zero...see post this one and possibly to others as it develops.

So please leave comments for everyone to see, so that we can help each other out.

Please note, this is just the body. Every query will be personalized to the agent.

Dear Wonderous Agent X,

Normal does not describe Ellyssa. She is superior, a picture of perfection. Genetically engineered to be faster, stronger, more intelligent, and emotionless. Not to mention, she’s a telepath. One of the few lethal soldiers of tomorrow.

But when she crosses paths with a dark-haired prisoner, the only world she's ever known, a world built around the concept of Aryan purity, crumbles. He speaks to her, not vocally, but in her mind. An inconceivable possibility according to her indoctrination.

Unable to resist the allure of his unspoken words, Ellyssa finds herself in turmoil, feeling emotions and running away from her life. What’s worse is she doesn’t even understand why.

PERFECTION is a young-adult, dystopian fantasy complete at 100,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.