Those of you who are regular readers of Blog de Perry know that I have been working on an urban fantasy, working title of which is Champion of the Dead. I posted a short scene from it earlier, in which Our Young Hero finds his martial arts Master.
Well. I have gotten through a first draft on the book. It is lean and it is also still pretty rough -- I haven't gone back to smooth out the prose, no rewrites, not done nearly enough to run the spell-checker. However, the skinny version of the story is there. Before I send it to the weight room to pump some iron -- it needs another ten thousand words of muscle, I figure -- I wouldn't mind hearing from more objective folk as to where it should bulk up or stay thin.
Here's the deal: I am looking for a few good first readers. What I need from them is a quick hit on the manuscript. "Quick" is a relative term. I don't need it tomorrow, but within a few weeks to a month would be helpful.
What works, what doesn't work, what a reader would like to see more of, or less off; what they love or hate. The usual.
If you have the time and inclination, and IF YOU NORMALLY READ THIS KIND OF STUFF, lemme know if you are interested. (I capped that phrase because if you don't know what an urban fantasy is, you aren't going to know the tropes well enough to be much help. You don't have to be a writer, but you do need to read in the genre.)
What you get for this is your name in the acknowledgments and a chance to see the early version of book before the rest of the world. And my thanks, of course.
I can send the file in one of several formats: Pages, PDF, Word, or .RTF. I'd rather not send a plain text file because that strips out all the underlines and formatting that show where I want italics, plus any non-text thingees, like the Tibetan word that is a .jpg.
If you are interested, email me, or post a note here and leave an email address and a preferred format, and I'll send you a copy.
(As an FYI for those of you who read the doorstop fantasy Reaves and I did, a couple things: First, this book is going to be half that long. We did send the Dreadnaught out into the seas of submission, and a few editors were interested, but we didn't much like the offers our agent got, so we pulled it. We expect it will find a home and see print some day, but the current economic storm has blown through the book industry, too, and we'd rather just batten down the hatches and wait it out.)
ADDENDUM: I put this in the comments column, but not everybody bothers with those, so ...
This is a rough draft -- odd commas, typos, like that, don't worry about. I know the ms is full of those, there are doubled words, and some awkward phrases. I will be making at least two more passes through the book before it goes to my agent, and maybe another one after she reads it.
What I'm looking for isn't copy editing, but story things you like or didn't like that I can address on the next draft. (If the book sells, I get a copy editor as part of the deal. And I'm not writing for Mrs. Cowsar's English IV class, so my appreciation of grammar is looser -- you might see some split infinitives and sentences ending in prepositions and em-dashes and ellipses in funny places. Most of the time, those are on purpose.)
ADDENDUM THE SECOND: The number of folks who volunteered to read and comment on the ms rocketed up faster than I expected, and in the interests of not overwhelming my tired old eyes, I'm going to shut down the list before the focus group turns into a general audience. I just sent the last one out. Thanks, everybody.
The balcony is now closed ...