Author Topic: Seeking Beta Readers for Adult Spec Fiction 93k Words  (Read 298 times)

Offline Grokker

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Seeking Beta Readers for Adult Spec Fiction 93k Words
« on: February 15, 2022, 12:09:05 PM »
I'm seeking a CP/mutual beta reader for my second novel, "The Pieces of My Self" (adult speculative fiction, 93K words). Here is the blurb:

Against the backdrop of change in climate, culture, and politics, the novel is a detective and adventure story that is as much about exploring human identity as it is about finding treasure.

Lillian Fray is an adjunct professor at a community college in Loumissala, a nation-state joined from the fragments of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama that are still above water in 2174. Fray has an unexpected flair—even brilliance—for mathematics and cryptography. Neither helps her make ends meet as a single mother of two. When she’s offered a reward for solving a cryptogram tied to a murdered billionaire’s lost fortune, she leaps at the chance that could change her life. She does not know the danger involved. Others believe the puzzle contains a secret more valuable than money: the identity of a dictator’s missing granddaughter.

The dictator rules Loumissala with an iron hand. He does so through a network of avatars created by the murdered tech tycoon, avatars that control and monitor every aspect of human life in the nation. His loyal supporters see him as a hero—a Black man who stood up to and toppled the insufferable inequities of a white nationalist regime. But for all his power, the dictator stands on shaky political ground. His daughter had a child out of wedlock with a man of Native American stock. The dictator’s base would never tolerate such a violation of ethnic purity if they knew about it. He must find his granddaughter and make her disappear.

Fray and the dictator aren’t alone in their quest to unlock the cryptogram. A third party is chasing the puzzle: another sentient avatar with an agenda and power of its own. It is the vengeful echo of the dead billionaire.

With a hurricane tracking toward what used to be New Orleans, the three figures find themselves entangled in a race to break a code that redefines who they are.

Offline RuneofAia

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Re: Seeking Beta Readers for Adult Spec Fiction 93k Words
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2022, 06:18:58 PM »
Could be interested. Would love to see how it starts.

Offline Grokker

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Re: Seeking Beta Readers for Adult Spec Fiction 93k Words
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2022, 08:39:26 PM »
Thanks for your interest in my novel. I've attached the first three chapters. Let me know if you'd like to see the rest. Thanks.

Offline RuneofAia

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Re: Seeking Beta Readers for Adult Spec Fiction 93k Words
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2022, 10:13:45 PM »
Great  :)

Offline RuneofAia

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Re: Seeking Beta Readers for Adult Spec Fiction 93k Words
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2022, 06:10:59 PM »
There is a lot of "telling," but with the film noir type narration, it kinda works. I like it. It seems like it might be more difficult to have fully in-depth exposition, but I figure more of it could add to the richness.
Example: "The monitor remained a dim glowing black, which contrasted against the plain white walls. The screen was bright, however, and twinkled off the tweed of the old carpet I imagined would get replaced after my departure. She had not activated her video feed. It felt cold enough for me to open my curtains to let in the morning sun. Damn, I forgot all about those curtains, left behind just like everything else. It was five seconds before she said anything, I was about to hang up when she spoke ..."  Or something. :)

Quote
I was a fix it man.
Perhaps give an example. "I once ..." and then have him tell a quick story of something he 'fixed'.

Quote
I suddenly became hyper-aware of my surroundings and my situation. The gun with my
fingerprints could incriminate me. I wiped off the blood with a tissue, put the weapon in a leg
pocket of my cargo pants, flushed the tissue down the toilet, and washed my hands.
Next, I picked up the wailing child. The bassinet had puncture holes on both sides. The
bullet must have missed the baby by a fraction of an inch.
The noir 'telling' narration can only go so far, and scenes like this should be pure exposition. Bust out your best prose.

Quote
She lived in a section of Irvine called The Rambles—between the edge of the University Town Center, and the expanding San Joaquin Marsh. The apartments were small and shabby, but
livable, populated mostly by grad students and young professionals. Despite the demography,
the place always seemed dead except for the occasional bark of sea lions that drifted from the
direction of the water.
This is another example. Instead of merely saying livable, we could see something that shows how the people here live, etc. There are a number of intriguing things in this paragraph that could be explored more.

I feel like the whole thing could take a big breath, be more intimately presented, as I don't feel like I'm as entrenched in the world you're creating as I want to be. And I want to be because I can see it leading to some good adventure, and I love a good adventure.

Cheers.