1. DromedaryLights

    DromedaryLights Active Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    Beta Reading Readers for a Strange and Difficult Project

    Discussion in 'Collaboration' started by DromedaryLights, Sep 13, 2014.

    I have a 61,000 word experimental piece here that probably isn't very interesting. I will let you be the judge of that.

    It is a "story" about a young man who appears to be struggling with some form of mental illness. Bipolar? Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder resulting from some mysterious childhood incident? The specifics are unclear.

    Together, he and the reader will seek to make sense of an apparently meaningless life in an arbitrary universe—replete with the usual bewildering tangle of failed careers, failed relationships, and inscrutable fellow humans—as he descends tragically deeper into an incoherent and isolated madness, perhaps never to return.

    My goal as a writer has always been to find a way to genuinely claim Michael Bay as an influence while, paradoxically, not being completely terrible. I'd like to think I've accomplished that here.

    Please let me know if this sounds like something you'd like to subject yourself to. I can pretty much guarantee it will be an utterly confusing and uncomfortable (think Todd Solondz or the British version The Office—at least that level of discomfort) slog. Odds are good that you will hate it. It does not have a happy ending, or any ending for that matter. A lot of it is stream-of-consciousness. It is in the present tense, but almost nothing happens. There are footnotes. It is inexcusably self-conscious and "post-modern"—the fourth wall isn't broken so much as it is never built in the first place.

    Anyway, I am most interested in getting feedback on what details need to be added to make the whole thing hang tougher; a lot of the action happens "off screen", so I'm wondering which events / non-events need clarification, and also wondering what, if anything, readers are able to piece together from the clues in the text.

    I also have a whole bunch of "chapters" that are probably pretty redundant. The idea is that I will cut some and then replace them with new chapters that will elaborate on whatever aspects people find interesting.

    Please keep in mind that this piece is still a long way from being finished. I've done a few editing passes, but I expect the writing to be much improved by the time I call it done. Perhaps I shouldn't be sharing it so early in the process, but I'm finding it difficult to stay focused on it without having some sense of what a reader's reaction / ability to make sense of it might be. And I fully understand if anyone starts but is unable to find the will to finish.

    Thanks in advance! And If anyone wants a read on something of theirs in exchange, I'm down for that.

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