I am judging entries into the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Competition. It’s very well organized and has a fine, clear format for judging. Entries are closed for this year, but if you have a novel, story, poem, non-fiction piece, it’s a good contest that (probably) opens in early February, 2020. See https://floridawriters.net/competitions-awards/royal-palm-literary-award/. The welcoming memo pointed out that judging would be a form of education for me as a writer, and it was right. Other people’s strengths call out my weaknesses. That probably should have been obvious … it certainly is now.
I have been silent for a month. We traveled from Minnesota to Florida and have been visiting friends and enjoying St. Augustine. I’ve been finishing rewrite of my third novel, Fail Deadly and am about ready to deliver it to several beta readers. These folks read a draft copy and tell me where the plot and/or the characters go astray. If you are interested in the Thriller genre and would like to be a beta reader, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am almost finished with Alpha, soon to need Beta. Which is to say, I am near the end of the rewrite of my third novel, Fail Deadly.
The first draft was the easy part … six months on a roller coaster ride, wind in the face, screaming along the tracks of the plot. Unalloyed joy. Then began the hard part: Rewrite. I am truly fortunate to be a member of three critique groups, so the chapters have gone before a jury of talented writers. Line by line, character by character, week by painstaking week, they have stayed with the story. They are, in the parlance of writerdom, the Alpha readers. I am almost through integrating many of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of suggestions.
The next step is the Beta. The Alphas can’t do it — they’re too familiar with the detail. I will need several people willing to read the manuscript all the way through, looking for character flaws, plot inconsistencies. Or perhaps most valuable to me (as well as most painful), saying, “I got bored at page X and couldn’t finish.”
If you, dear reader are interested in being a Beta, let me know through Contact page or straight to email@example.com. I’ll have the manuscript in Word and PDF files, e-books in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as a few paper copies.