I'm not done. I'm still in Book 1, with 9 chapters out of 20 written. We are not in beta territory. Beta territory does not happen until the writing is complete and a cover is done. (Which I have in my mind, but not on a screen.)
But I could use some alpha readers. People who are willing to be sent a "chapter bundle" every so often as I get them written and who could sound off any questions, concerns, happy thoughts, etc. A big help would be things like:
- How did the chapter make you feel? (Happy, sad, hopeful, triggered, etc.)
- How do you feel about the characters?
- Is there anything that could be done to tighten up against the potential for Ism Fail?
Etc. The goal here being to get some gentle feedback whilst in the Utterly Ridiculously Rough Draft phase, before any major fail sets in by accident. This is usually what writing partners are for, but right now I only have one dedicated writing partner and I feel bad sloughing off all the feedback responsibility on her, so I'm opening this up to volunteers, since at least a few of you were kind enough to tell me that you'd be willing to do this sometime. (And I don't want to ask anyone directly and put anyone on the spot. This way everyone can claim they didn't see the thread. I have no way of proving otherwise. *wink wink*)
I had planned on just posting chapters online as I went, but I'm not comfortable doing that now for a variety of reasons, most of them steeped in Rough Draft Shame. So if you're willing to go on an alpha reader mailing list, let me know via email and so it shall be done. Random thoughts:
- I will not share your email with others. All emails will go out with the addresses set to BCC.
- All emails will contain Content Notes for triggering topics. (The content notes will be ROT13, in case you find them distracting/spoilery to the experience. I know some of you do.)
- There is zero obligation to provide any feedback whatsoever and you can unsubscribe from the list anytime with a simple "stop" message. I'll just assume that life isn't leaving you with spoons right now.
- Seriously, if you just want to sign up to this for reading and have no intention of providing any feedback other than "sparkly!" that would still be very helpful for me.("Sparkly", of course, being the universal Twilight standard for all that is good.)
Demographically for this particular novel, I would especially be helped by alpha readers who identify as current-or-former (1) teenage girls, (2) pregnant persons, (3) secular Jewish atheists, (4) Chinese-Americans, (5) persons from oppressive conservative religious backgrounds, (6) Wiccans, (7) agnostics, (8) bisexuals, (9) African-Americans, (10) adopted children, (11) lawyers, (12) textbook editors, (13) persons who have administered or attended private Catholic schools, (14) software engineers, and probably a lot of other people I'm missing.
Send me an email about joining the Alpha Team if you're willing to read my rough scratchings and provide feedback as the mood takes you, and/or comment here in thread (I can view your email via Disqus). And thank you so very much in advance, as I imagine this is a bit of an unusual request.
Update: To clarify, anyone is welcome to join this group, regardless of demographics.