In case you haven’t been paying attention to the other 18,367 forms of social media in which I participate and have been not-so subtly dropping mention of it, I finished draft zero of my very firstest novel last week. So, I’m done right? Time to demand an obscene advance from a publisher and pick out a nice tweed jacket with the elbow patches for the book jacket Author Picture?
Not so fast, Quickdraw. My novel isn’t finished, not by a long shot. Draft zero is a collection of near incoherent ramblings that might contain the unpolished nuggets of a story somewhere deep within the apparent random utterings of a pack of feral, tweaked-out meth-addicts. I wouldn’t show this draft to my mother, lest she denounce me as a half-wit and disown me. Over the next month or so, I have to go back over the draft word-for-word, line-for-line and cull out the festering nonsense while carefully brushing away the sand from the fossilized good stuff with a water-coloring brush.
After that, and only when I’m mostly satisfied that the revisions have taken my steaming pile of word-vomit, cleaned the gunk off, and polished what remains to a high shine, will it be ready for others to view for the purpose of critiquing. Which, of course, brings me to the abject begging portion of our post; I’m looking for 4-5 “beta” readers to give my freshman work a thorough physical examination, including the awkward turn-your-head-and-cough test. I think I have a couple helpful volunteers lined up already, but am still in the market for more. So, do you read and enjoy books? Are you capable of evaluating one, ruthlessly, if necessary? Are you willing to delve into the depths of my dark fantasy machinations (dark fantasy is a genre, not a reference to whips, chains, and the gimp outfit), and then, even seeing that tender glimmering shine of hope in my eyes, squash my dreams like a roach beneath your impartial and unyielding boot heel?
If so, I would love to know what you think. Nothing would make me happier than being confident in the knowledge that I’ll hear about it if the best thing you have to say about the book is “meh”. So, if you like to read and want to hurt me, shoot me an email here or send me a tweet or a facebook message or and let me know.
Also, statistically speaking, people who read and offer helpful feedback, even if it’s to spray the manuscript with lighter fluid and set it aflame using a Macintosh Yankee Candle, are much more likely to earn free beverages (anything legal in the continental US) than a control group. Just, fyi.
My overinflated ego is looking forward to a good-natured beating.