Beta Readers, Away!

Yesterday afternoon, I finally released Fugitives from Earth into the wild lands of the beta readers. Five gentlemen (and one lady) of discretion and class  now hold in their hands my labor of the last two thirds of a year. It’s pretty fulfilling to finally get to this point; I was starting to think I had Zeno’s Curse. On the other hand: terrifying. The novel isn’t good, at least not yet. I know that. I told them that in the email. But still…holy crap. It’s hard to escape the fact that I’ve made myself very, very vulnerable.

Still, I need the criticism badly if the novel is going to succeed. I can only hope that the two to three months between getting the critique back and reaching my deadline are enough to fix whatever it is they find. Crossing my fingers.

So, now that I don’t have to work on FfE for four weeks, it’s short story time! First up is a little piece I’m calling Finagle’s Law, that is being written with an eye for submitting to Machine of Death Vol. 2. I’m intrigued by the concept of the anthology; basically, there’s a machine of some sort that can, with 100% accuracy, determine one’s cause of death from a blood test. It’s not realistic, sure, but it’s a good jumping-off point for stories, and the first volume did pretty well for itself. Here’s hoping!

I want to get the first draft of that story done in a week or less. Hopefully, I can get three full (that is, possibly publishable) stories done over the next month. Certainly, I’m very much looking forward to writing something a little different. Fugitives from Earth is fun, but man cannot live on bread alone, you get what I’m saying?

In future plans, the wife and I are going to Mary Robinette Kowal’s book signing on Wednesday, at the Cedar Mill Powell’s, feature the Oregon Regency Society and a puppet show. I’m really liking all these book signings I’ve been going to; they make me feel more connected to the community.

Finally, the submission deadline for the NIWA anthology is Wednesday! If you want to submit something but haven’t, now’s the time! Better something than nothing, certainly. Tomorrow evening the submission committee is having a short meeting to hash out the review process. I’ve only read about half of the submissions, but don’t tell anyone.

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2 responses to “Beta Readers, Away!

  1. Seeing as I’m stuck in front of my computer with my back out. (Can’t get to work as I can’t even lift my foot enough to get in the car, much less drive) thought I’d check out the forums and saw your blog post. I hear you about the pain of beta readers. My latest book got such a cruel critique it put me off writing for a month! Then I realized it was that person’s style that wounded, more than the content of the criticism; which was actually dead on. Once I was able to see that I got past it, fixed the problems and ended up with a much better product. Change hurts, especially growth pains. Wish I had time to be a reader for you. Just a bad time right now. Finished formatting novel 1 as an eBook last night. Working on novel 2 and also trying to finish the spec-fic novel in time for Orycon33. Crazy? Oh yeah.

    • I’m kind of resigned to the pain, since it’s kinda gotta happen. I know the novel has flaws, and I need them pointed out to me; I’m just my own worst enemy here. I can take anything but ANYTHING too hard.

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