So, I've found myself up a rather peculiar smelling creek, noting the prominent absence of a paddle. As with most questions of this nature - I'm playing "ask the forum". I'm nearing the end of my first draft of my first novel - and have been trying to figure out how to wrap it up since December. I keep writing forward, but due to some alterations I made earlier in the draft (namely cutting my story in half and turning the midpoint into the ending), I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out exactly what I need to deliver at the end of this thing - and my plot is getting squirrelly and disorganized. Part of the problem, from my perspective, is that none of my alpha readers are anywhere close to caught up with me. My writing group is great for feedback, but they only get a crack at two or three chapters every six weeks, and the length of submissions they want keeps getting shorter. They won't be where I am now for at least three months, probably longer. I have two partial manuscripts out to "betas" reading the whole thing - but obviously I can't control their schedules, how fast they read, or whether they're interested enough to keep reading. Now - none of that is necessarily bad - and I don't blame them. But my question is this - how do you all brainstorm and bounce ideas off people if no-one is current on your manuscript? Or alternatively, how do you find the type of alpha reader who actually reads roughly at the same time you write? Or maybe the question is how do you plot forward from an impasse without feedback? Any thoughts?