1. KokoN
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    KokoN Active Member

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    Alpha Readers...?

    Discussion in 'Collaboration' started by KokoN, May 20, 2016.

    I have no idea if this is the appropriate section to post this. I apologize if it is wrong (if it is someone please let me know!)

    Essentially, I think I'm looking for a couple people to read through a rough draft of the beginning of a novel I'm working on. It's approximately 11K words so far* and is a very, very, very, very rough draft. I have done zero edits because I know when my manuscript is done (if ever) it will need MAJOR rewrites and so I see no point in nitpicking right now when I know I'll just have to completely redo it later.

    (*If you get bored while reading or simply don't have much time I will not in any way be mad if you quit before reading all 11K words)

    If anyone is remotely interested, here's more information about what's going on. Actually, if anyone doesn't want to read my manuscript but wants to give other advice based on my problem, I'd love to hear that as well.

    My problem is this: I wrote a loose, 5 part outline for my novel, and have finished writing the first draft of part 1 of 5. Now I feel like it sucks and the action doesn't pick up soon enough, and I'm questioning if my plot is even gripping enough to keep anyone's attention. I think I need to at the very least rework my outline but I'm not sure where to start. It could be that the entire thing sucks and I've wasted a month of my life (it could be worse though, not complaining), but more likely there are some parts that are good and some parts that need to go. Even if I only keep one interesting character and scrap the entire rest of the book that's okay and would be worth the feedback. :p

    I tried to reread it myself and do just this but my viewpoint is not fresh, obviously, so it's hard for me to say which parts would grab people's attention and which parts are snoozers. Would anyone be willing to skim over my draft and tell me what grabbed their attention (if anything) and what parts seemed too cliche or incredibly dull? If anyone is interested, I would PM you the draft.

    Warning: a lot of the writing is clumsy and awkward due to it being a first draft. I'm interested in feedback about the plot, characters, setting, and pace, NOT about typos, word choice, how realistic the dialogue is, or anything to do with my specific writing style. The draft is not a good example of my writing style because I was just trying to get the plot down on paper. (Is it possible to distinguish plot from the actual words used while critiquing? If not, someone please let me know!)

    If anyone wants to know more about the plot or anything else before agreeing to this, let me know. It's not a specific genre and I'm not sure if it would be better to give a plot summary or not and how much detail to give without giving away too much to take away the suspense while reading it. I would write up what I would put on the back of the book if it got published but I'm not quite sure how I would even write that. See, this is why I need help. :cry:

    Thanks for consideration!! :D
     
  2. Lorena
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    Lorena Active Member

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    This might sound tough, but a writer really needs to be their own best alpha reader if they hope to have a chance in hell of being published...

    My suggestion is to go over the first chapter and edit it to the best of your ability. Then, and only then, post it as an excerpt. you'll learn much more from editing your own rough work.

    if you feel you lack confidence in editing, try giving some critiques here on the site. then apply the same merciless editing to your own work. read it as if you're your own worst enemy. if you don't hold yourself to some sort of standard, your writing won't improve...

    and most importantly, keep reading. reading is the basis of everything. by reading voraciously you can learn the absolute fundamentals of the creative writing process.
     
  3. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    @Lorena the purpose of an alpha read isn't to edit the work, or know where it needs editing. It's to know if the story is worth pursuing at all. There's no point spending hours perfecting the wording if the plot and characters are failures.

    @KokoN, what's the genre? I'm happy to read through for the things you mention, but there are some stories I'll be bored by no matter how good they are. I won't be helpful to you unless I'm a fair judge!

    Edit: Just saw you said it has no genre. Duh, I fail at skim-reading. Maybe a one/two sentence overview?
     
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  4. Talisien
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    Talisien Member

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    Happy to do a quick skim read through. :)
     
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  5. KokoN
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    KokoN Active Member

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    @Lorena Thanks for the advice! I think Tenderizer pretty much summed up what I was going to say. I appreciate all opinions though :)

    @Tenderiser Haha that's ok! Basically, the main character has a wake up call from the life he hates when a doctor diagnoses him with cancer, but instead of making good choices to turn his life around he makes a bunch of selfish choices which end up affecting his family and he also ends up getting mixed up in a bunch of stuff he didn't plan for. There are also some other subplots and other characters that tie into it as well. If you read the first page and change your mind about reading the rest, for any reason, I won't be offended at all.

    @Talisien Thanks so much!! I'll PM you the draft :)
     
  6. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    @KokoN did we talk about it before? It sounds REALLY familiar. Anyhow, I'll PM you my email address. :)
     
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  7. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Hey @KokoN - For you, I'll happily skim anything. Just PM me if you're interested, I'll always offer an opinion. :)

    I'm really distracted by real work this weekend and also other writing projects. It might not be until next weekend before I get back to you, so as long as it's not a rush.
     
  8. KokoN
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    KokoN Active Member

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    That's entirely possible. It's been my current WIP for about a month or more so I talk about it the most here. Thank you!

    Awesome, thank you! There's no rush, take as much time as you need. Hopefully you find it more interesting that Dune, lol.
     
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  9. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    *another sharp wack*
    I repeat - Dune is good. It's just a shame in reading it, I want to write and do useful stuff.

    I skimmed the first few lines and it was engaging to me even though I know not what is going on.

    Shouldn't be a chore to skim. :superagree:
     
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  10. KokoN
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    KokoN Active Member

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    :superlaugh:

    I'm glad you found the first few lines engaging! I did something right! :D
     
  11. Gerald Bunch
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    Gerald Bunch Member

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    I would love to read what you have, so send it on over, if you still need thoughts.
     
  12. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    I am up for a good read, send over when ready.
     
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  13. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know if @KokoN is still looking for readers but I enjoyed the excerpt. It definitely wasn't a chore to read. :)
     
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  14. KokoN
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    KokoN Active Member

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    I'll happily send out more alpha reads! I've been pretty busy lately but when I get around to it I'll send them your way @Gerald Bunch and @Raven484 thank you for offering to read! :)

    @Tenderiser thank you for the positive comment! It means a lot!
     
  15. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    As I'm currently only mildly occupied, if you still want alpha reads, i'm happy to do so (if you want pm me for my email add to send it over.)
     
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