Fantasy writers often ask:
“How far outside the box can I go?”
No box in the ‘Verse can contain fantasy. I love that fantasy can’t be contained! It has so many wonderful and exciting sub-genres.
BUT – you must have rules to define the reality you are creating and you must stick to them. If you break any of the laws of reality you established, you need to have a darn good explanation. Then, you need to explain it to the reader in a way that makes them accept it as logic. Otherwise, you create a disbelief with the readers. This means they won’t trust you or your story any more.
Questions? Comments? Let me know below!
Guess who got a signed copy of Dauntless by Thomas G. Atwood Jr. *squeee*
Just a quick update on a past FriendDay author, Thomas G. Atwood Jr. Tom is nearly done the rough draft of his second book, Titan. I’ve had the honour of reading what he has so far and it’s pretty awesome. I’m so excited about this series and will be sharing more updates on Tom’s progress.
If you’re a fan of YA urban fantasy, check out Dauntless by Thomas G. Atwood Jr. Reviewer, K.J. Simmill of Reader’s Favorite wrote, “If Grimm, Supernatural, and Buffy had a love child, it would be something like this.” (read full review)
When Kacey Alexander received an inheritance from her late mother, she had no idea that it would plunge her into a world of magic, wonder, and danger. Now, with an unlikely group of allies, she has to face down an army that threatens to tear her city apart.
To keep-to-date with Tom and his releases, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Amazon….
A while back, I wrote about How I Found My Beta Team for Eyes of the Hunter and promised to share the guidelines I provide my beta readers with to help them give me useful feedback. This is that post 🙂
When looking for beta readers, I target honest and dependable people who enjoy the manuscript’s genre. I also make sure they are familiar with both good writing techniques and important elements to the craft.
To make sure everyone is on the same page, I need to know exactly what I want from my beta readers. Then, I make sure that they know by providing them with a clear list.
Below is the basic letter I give my beta readers, which I tailor per project and person. You can also download the template for the Beta Reader Checklist [pdf] for future reference.
Dear Beta Reader;
Thank you for being part of my Beta Team! I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to help me make improvements to [Book Title]. Please, don’t worry about grammar, spelling, and punctuation issues; an editor is helping with those. The feedback I’m concerned about centers on continuity, character development, dialogue, flow, and completeness:
- Is the story interesting?
- Does it make sense?
- Any plot holes?
- Does the story flow?
- Is the continuity okay?
- Did I miss any important information or opportunities?
- Do you get a solid feel for the setting and people?
- Do the characters unfold well?
- Do any of the characters need more development?
- Is the pacing okay? Does it lag anywhere?
- Is anything clunky or awkward?
- Are there problem areas that need more attention?
- What worked for you? What didn’t work for you?
- … And, of course, anything else you feel I should know.
Specific concerns I have for this book are:
- [Specific feedback needed]
Please, be as specific as possible with your answers. Your honest comments will go a long way in helping this story be a success. I need your notes by [date]. I look forward to reading them and thank you, again.
Download the Beta Reader Checklist [pdf]
Need more information about what a beta reader does? Check out Duties of a Beta Reader, which includes a handy pdf to download.
I really like green seedless grapes.
Over the past few years, they have gone bad before I could finish eating them. So, I started buying smaller bunches. They still wouldn’t get eaten. I couldn’t figure out why. If I like them so much, why wasn’t I eating them? It was disappoint and frustrating.
A couple weeks ago somebody posted in Facebook that she’d discovered a trick to avoid reaching for junk food when she wanted a snack. She started to keep fruits and healthy snacks on the counter by the cupboard that held their junk food. I’m not a junk food person, but my healthy snacks do get overlooked more often than not.
I decided to try that trick. I washed the grapes, put them in an open container, and left them on the counter. They didn’t last more than a couple of days. I ate them that quickly.
What was the difference? There is the “Out-of-Sight Out-of-Mind” rule, but I always reach for fruit to put on the side of the plate for at least one meal a day. I always passed on the grapes. Why?
….. Ahhh. Because when the grapes are refrigerated, they’re too cold for my teeth and the make my stomach cramp. At room temperature, I can snack on them anytime I want … And I do. I’m out of grapes again 😀