After about three months of non-stop editing, rewriting and even more editing, I’ve reached a point where I’m ready to write a final draft before finding a professional editor to help me polish it.
Before I do that, I need fresh eye’s, people who can view the story objectively; who haven’t stared at these words over and over and over… and over, for months… years, actually.
I thought I’d throw out a question to you all and see if anyone would be interested in being a test reader. What do I mean by that?
What I’m looking for: is not a Beta. You do not have to be good at grammar. You do not have to edit anything, and you do not need to be profound and insightful.
What I want is an average reader; someone who’ll read my manuscript and give me feedback. Feedback like:
- What you liked and what you didn’t like.
- Could you connect with the main characters?
- Did you care about the side characters?
- Did the characters feel well rounded or did they feel flat and one dimensional?
- Was there a character/characters you felt got too much room in the story, or were there characters that felt underused?
- Was the plot interesting?
- How was the pacing, was it too slow or too fast?
- Did all chapters feel relevant or did I stretch something out too much?
- And anything else you think of while reading…
You don’t have to write an essay, but maybe a few notes in the margins and some thoughts at the end. I’m not putting any restrictions on who the test readers can be, although I would love to get a diverse group of individuals. What I need is people who are willing to read with an open mind and who are willing to actually give me some good feedback or constructive criticism.
As for turn-around-time, I need people who can read and get back to me with their feedback in 4-6 weeks from receiving the story.
What I’m not looking for, is a test reader who’ll say or do one of the following:
- It was good, bye – As I said, I don’t need an essay, but don’t volunteer only to read the story early or because you’re curious. You have to be willing to give me a little more than that.
- It sucked, bye – Give me constructive criticism, I can take it, but again, I’ll need more than that and I would prefer a little more eloquence.
- I found x number of grammar or spelling mistakes – I know, this is only the second draft, it’s not finished.
- Nice story, but I prefer the fan fic version – Yeah, so, it’s fine if you do, I hope you’ll continue to enjoy my fandom work. But, putting my original writing out there for people to see is scary, really scary, I don’t need to hear that you prefer my fandom work. If you can’t read this with an open mind, you’re not what I’m looking for.
- Where’s the porn? – There’s no “on-screen action” in this story and very few exposed dangly bits. That’s how I like it, that will not change, no matter what anyone says.
- What are you paying? – I’m not.
Finally, and it goes without saying, you’ll keep the manuscript for yourself and won’t spread it or share it with anyone. Any public gushing or cheering is, of course, lovely, but don’t spoil my story, please.
I haven’t decided on a max number of test readers, right now I’ll be happy if anyone volunteers. If by some miracle, I somehow hit over 20-30 volunteers I’ll stop there, but that seems unlikely.
So, yeah, if you’re interested and it’s something you’d like to do, leave me a comment on this post or you can contact me directly at email@example.com
So, what do you think, are you my new test reader?
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