After a hectic week I finally got some time this weekend to look through some past stories, and in doing so ran into a conundrum. There’s this one story I recently wrote that I really really like; its got drama, pathos, unexpected death, weird sic-fi future stuff, everything you could want in a story. Except for one tiny detail, its not any good. Oh there are parts of it that work, but as a whole the story fails.
Which leads me to my dilemma. See when I’m in the middle of a story, I really LOVE that story. I have to, or I can’t write it. The problem is, some of my stories are of the “only a father could love” variety (like this last one), and some of them are pretty good. Only I cannot tell the difference when I’m writing them. I need several months away from a story, pretty much to forget most of it, in order to have enough distance to tell if its working or not.
Perhaps every author does this as well. I don’t know. What I do know is that I need a way to tell if my stories are working or not. An outside objective source. In other words, I need beta readers.
What I’m looking for is a straight thumbs up or thumbs down. If a story isn’t working, I need to know. You can tell me where its not working if you like. You can point it out exactly what you think the flaw is (that guy with the peanut up his nose just doesn’t work for me). But if you can’t, that okay to. I’m not looking for expert literary criticism, and I’m not asking for help with copy editing (grammar and spelling). The former because I don’t know enough to care, and the latter because I spell so bad its only fair that I pay someone to fix it. I’m just looking to see if the story is up to snuff.
And note: Honesty here is requirement. If you’re too worried your going to hurt my feelings, then please don’t sign up. I’d rather have a friend tell me a story sucks than have an editor wonder why I’m sending her crap stories.
If you are interested please comment here, or send me a private message on Facebook. I’ll be needing your email addy and that’s it. Stories will go out via email, as posting them here is considered publishing. (I’m not interested in publishing my own stories if I can get someone else to do it for me.) I promise not to send out more than one story a month at the very most, so its not a lot of commitment.
Thanks for helping.