Beta Readers Wanted! + Writing Updates for the First Time In Months!

betas header

Guys, remember how I’ve mentioned 300+ times that I’ve been editing The Stars Fill Infinity? Well, guess what! This week, on 18th July, I finished the second draft! It was an awesome feeling, and I’m glad to have (hopefully) the major edits done.

And of course, in honour of this, I’m putting a call out to find some awesome beta readers who would like to take on the task of reading through my novel and pointing out every single inconsistency and grammatical mistake.

So, here’s some particulars:

  • I’ll be sending out the document on August 1st, so you’ll have nine days to sign up using the form I’ll link below.
  • From August 1st, you’ll have until September 30th to read it and return the document + answers to questions that I’ll give you. That means you’ve got two months 😀
  • The Stars Fill Infinity is 100k long, appropriate for ages 14+, and a dystopian YA retelling of Les Miserables. Here’s the blurb 😀
  • A storm is brewing in the air, disrupting the fragile peace.

    Chessy Verde has lived a lonely life, with only her adopted father for company, ever since her sister ran away, breaking Chessy’s heart. But she has secrets of her own, secrets that involve sneaking out at night to care for the poverty-stricken of the town, against her father’s wishes.

    Then a fiery, charismatic young man, calling himself Justice Rift, arrives in town, bringing with him talk of revolution. The young people of the town, including Chessy, find themselves drawn to him—and the cause he is willing to lay his life down for.

    But when Chessy makes a foolish decision in defence of someone she loves, she puts herself on the radar of a deadly and determined law officer and finds herself asking hard questions. She is willing to die, but is she willing to forgive? She is willing to sacrifice everything, but she is willing to show mercy to those who have hurt her most?

  • I’m looking for about ten readers (though I’ve already secured a few). If you can’t commit to the deadline though, don’t worry, they’re will be plenty of other opportunities to beta read for me 🙂
  • If you’re interested, sign up here

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments!

Now, onto a writing update! I haven’t done one of these February, so hopefully there’s plenty to tell you about.

Chessy Collage (1)
Pictures from Pinterest

WIP—When Infinity Is Empty

Last time I talked about this one, it was merely a concept idea I’d had on New Years Day. Of course, a lot of you probably already know that this was my April NaNo project and I wrote the whole first draft in April.

I love this story, but I feel like something’s sorta missing from it. It doesn’t really capture the same grandness as The Stars Fill Infinity does. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but I’ll work that out at a later date when I start on the second draft.

For now, it’s chilling in a metaphorical drawer while I lavish attention on its big brother.

WIP—The Author of Infinity

This is the third book in the Infinity trilogy and I was planning for it to be my July Camp NaNo novel, but instead I ended up focussing on the second draft of Stars and I’ve got this one set for November. It’s somehow got to wrap up the whole thing in something that vaguely resembles satisfying and that’s no easy feat. Beside I only have the barest scraps of a plot at the moment.

*sigh*

The life of a writer, no?

WIP—Comrade

Remember how in my last writing update post I mentioned doing a blog serial? Well, people, the time has come! (Mostly because my mother keeps pestering me about it :P) As of the 26th July, I will be posting one chapter from my novella, Comrade, a week. I hope you guys enjoy it 😀 (I’m slightly nervous. I won’t even pretend I’m not!)

Other Projects

So, currently I’m tossing up between a number of secret projects that I want to work on before November’s NaNo, but I’m indecisive and haven’t been able to decide which one to work on. However, I found a competition that finishes next year and calls for a 40k novella, so I’m thinking of writing a novella for that.

But, like I said, I’m indecisive.

Other than that, I’ll continue to work on short stories for competitions and that sort of thing.

Those who outlast Infinity 4
Pictures from Pinterest

Snippets

And in case you’re not quite convinced that you need to read The Stars Fill Infinity, here’s some snippets for you 🙂

I shook my head and kicked a lump of bitumen, sending it skittering across the road and into a dirty puddle. “No. I’m never talking to her again. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, she’s dead. You hear that? Dead! I’m not having anything to do with her at all. At all, you understand?”

“Chess—”

“Never mention her again. Okay, Rain? Please?” My anger drained away as I spoke, leaving only the cold numbness I’d lived with for the past two years. “Promise me you’ll never talk about her again?”

I could feel Rain’s gaze on my back as I walked and I could almost hear her shrug. “Whatever,” she returned.

“Thank you,” I breathed. I dashed the tears from my face, tilted up my head and kept walking.

****

I brushed my hair out of my eyes and glanced over Dad’s shoulder. Yes, there he was. The tall, handsome revolutionary. He stood on a crate, as he always did, and around him stood his supporters. They were young, like him, mostly men, though a few women were scattered among them, but there were no more than five or six of them.

No one paid them the slightest attention. The few people out hurried past without giving them a second glance. Of course, the ridiculousness of preaching revolution to the very people who benefited the most from the ways things were, had occurred to me several times before. He surely would have been better off gathering an army from outside the walls of the New District and then forcing the government to listen would have been a better strategy.

But I hadn’t fallen in love with him for his strategies.

****

Justice looked up from the pamphlets he held in his hand. A brief expression flickered over his face, one that could be interpreted as a smile. “Good morning.” He nodded his head slightly to Rain, who returned an infectious grin.

“Good mornin’, Justice. Good mornin’, Quillon. Good mornin’ Jonas.” She shook their hands one by one, then shoved me forward and let go of me. “I’ve a friend I’ve been wantin’ you to meet for a bit. This ‘ere is Chessy.” she gave me another shove, and this one sent me flying practically into Justice’s chest.

Justice took a step back, as if confronted by Rain’s lack of regard for his personal space. He watched me with a frown, and then he held out his hand. I stared mutely at it, until Rain nudged me. I hurriedly grabbed his hand and shook it. What have you done, Chessy Verde, you stupid fool? You’re acting like a lovesick, tongue-tied penguin!

“Very good to meet you,” Justice said, giving me the same brisk nod he’d given Rain. As he spoke, his voice betrayed a slight accent which I couldn’t place. I loved it anyway.

“Yer collar’s crooked, Justice,” Rain went on, her tone sounding suspiciously…flirtatious.

“That’s its ordinary state of existence,” Quillon spoke up, laughing. He, too, spoke with a slight accent, but I could place his. Irish. “It’s really a fortunate thing that Justice does not live in a time period that expects him to tie a cravat properly.”

Rain laughed and rolled her eyes, before standing on tiptoes and smoothing out the collar of Justice’s loose white shirt. I coloured and glanced away, unsure of what I was doing, or what she was doing. Unsure of whether or not I was still breathing.

“That’s better,” Rain grinned at her handiwork. “Very ‘andsome.”

Justice stood in front of her, as stiff and straight as an officer of the City Guard on parade. His eyes closed, as if he wanted Rain to simply disappear. “Thank you.” His tone was as stiff as his posture.

Rain nudged him with her elbow. “No worries. My pleasure.”

I’m sure it is, I thought, unable to keep back the frown that touched my mouth as I watched her. Rain cast me a glance, and then she winked at me and stepped up to Quillon.

“You promised you’d teach me yer accent,” she said, flashing him a smile.

Quillon smiled, opened his mouth and started to speak, but Justice suddenly came back to life and held up his hand. “Ladies, we must go. We’ve wasted far too long standing here. Thank you for…fixing my collar.” He gave Rain a quick, rather withering glare.

This whole scene is kind of a dig at the fact that in some musical productions of Les Mis, Enjolras tends to have a crooked collar and a pretty lousily tied cravat.

Rain’s eyes glinted with mischief. “Course not. Justice is ‘bout as emotional as a well-carved statue. I can’t see why anyone’d fall in love with ‘im.”

This next scene is from Sapphire’s point of view.

The voice was so soft, so…caring. A lilting and melodious accent—for a moment, I felt something twist in my chest. Then I looked up and found myself looking into the faces of two people who I knew. The girl with the blue hair who’d helped Chessy save me two days ago. And the boy with the curly black hair and the eyes as bright blue as the girl’s hair.

I flushed. “I’m sorry,” I repeated.

“Don’t worry about it,” the boy said, giving me a quick smile. “What’s wrong?”

“You…don’t need to know,” I replied, becoming defensive again.

The girl nudged his arm with her elbow, then whispered something into his ear. The boy frowned, thoughtfully, then straightened up. “Your son is sick?”

I nodded, unsure of what else to do.

The girl rolled her eyes, then whispered something else to the boy. His face grew more thoughtful, and I thought I saw something else, anger maybe, in his blue eyes.

“And no one will take you to see a doctor?” he added.

I nodded again, wondering how the girl could guess my predicament so well.

He pursed his lips. “Well, then…” for a moment, he seemed to struggle, then he gave me a quick nod. “Would you let me help you?”

I shook my head. “Sir, you don’t know what sort of girl I am. You wouldn’t want to be caught dead helping me. You’re a respectable person.”

He laughed. “I do know what sort of girl you are.” His eyes alighted on my shaved head and lingered there for a brief second. “And that is why I want to help you.” He laughed again, a laugh as pleasant and melodious as his voice. “As for me being a ‘respectable person’ as you put it…well, I’ve worn the same pair of trousers for the past two months. There isn’t a lot of money to be made translating books. Who reads books now anyway?” he started toward the doors. “Coming?”

This one is from Sapph’s POV and the “there’s not much money to be made in translating books” bit is pretty much straight from the Les Mis book.

Are you interested in being one of my beta readers? What do you think of my writing projects? What are your current projects? I’d love to hear all about them!

19 thoughts on “Beta Readers Wanted! + Writing Updates for the First Time In Months!

  1. Whoo!! Congratulations on finishing the second draft! I’m drowning in the editing madness with Clemency so, I salute you! Already signed up to be a beta reader!
    So excited to get to read Comrade; it sounds like a really amazing story!
    Ahh… the messy collar and cravat with Enjolras. It’s really grown on me over time but I still imagine book Enjolras–and even musical Enjolras being more put-together than that! 🙂 My image of how Enjolras would dress is kind of reflected in my character design for Julien… Julien would never be able to leave the house with his shirt even just a little creased, much to the amusement of Danaé and the others. 🙂 Anyways, I loved that you added that detail in that excerpt! I loved it!
    Anyways, congrats again on finishing that second draft! I’m throwing all of the imaginary confetti that I can muster up in my brain right now! Best wishes for everything else that is to come with this project and all of your other ones!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CONGRATULATIONS!! That is a major accomplishment (and I’ll be you’re glad to be done with editing now!) And that’s an intriguing synopsis. I would love to beta-read, but I’m actually editing the novel of another friend until September. So I’ll have to wait for another time!

    Vague/unfinished plot ideas are so frustrating *sympathy* But I’ll bet you’ll figure out the problems in time. 🙂

    OOH. I’m interested in the novella, and I’ll look forward to reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh so much congrats for finishing that 2nd draft! THAT’S AMAZING AND GO YOU!! I think 2nd drafts are sometimes even harder than 1st because you have to fill all those things you were ignoring in the 1st draft.😂OK totally talking to myself who’s writing a 1st draft right now and keeping on going “eh I’ll fix that later”. (Later-Cait is going to hate Present-Cait.😂)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I need to get back to writing my children’s fantasy. I had taken a bit of a break- now all I can do is just write and then edit. I took a break to just develop characters and try to think more of the story arc. But I realized that what’s best for me is just to write- I think that is what works best for me when writing is just to write and not think about it. I have characters I strongly dislike and ones I really love.

    Ones I love:

    Sparkle: she is 12 yrs old and is the protagonist. All the Fairy Frogs are artistic and her skill is in drawing and she is very invested in it. That is what makes her so adventurous, courageous, and rebellious. You can see her compassion when she begins to learns about Marge and soon becomes her friend. It is kind of against of against the rules for the frogs and toads to interact and be friends, but Sparkle showed compassion to Marge.

    Marge: I have this soft spot for her. She feels like this outsider and she is abused her uncle, Sarge. She has to stand up to him on multiple occasions. She keeps on telling him that maybe they should clean up Graysloup to make it a better place to live, but he never listens. Despite being 12, she is quite wise. All because of what is going on in her life, it is Sparkle’s decision to befriend her.

    Misty: I love how protective she is of Sparkle. Her craft is singing, but she doesn’t have time to write songs. She has to make sure Sparkle does not get in trouble so sometimes she has to lie to Airies when she knows Sparkle is with Marge or in Grayslup or something like that.

    Tweetsie: she is one of the minor characters I love. She is a 5 year old frog who is still discovering her artistic craft, who will figure it out by the end of the novel.

    Ones I strongly dislike:

    Sarge: he is my antagonist. He is this bully. He is Marge’s uncle. He treats her poorly and other toads among the Fairy Frogs.

    Norg: he is another reason to dislike Sarge. Sarge hired him as a spy to spy on Marge and any Fairy Frog activity in Graysloup

    Those are just a chunk of characters in my book

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s so exciting, congratulations!
    Your synopsis and snippets really intrigued me, so if you need another reader I’d like to participate.
    (I just signed up)
    Also, I really really love the title of your project; that alone is a good hook! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m very glad to have the editing done (hey, look, I have a life now!). Well thank you, I definitely think the blurb needs some working on, but I’m quite proud of it 😀
    No worries, I’m sure there’ll be other opportunities! I hope your beta reading goes well!
    I’m sure I will. For now I’ll just pretend that it doesn’t exist 😛
    Thanks! I hope you enjoy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Taking a break is always a great idea, especially to develop characters. I find developing characters a lot of fun and it sounds like you’ve got some good ones! I think Sparkle sounds like a great protagonist!
    Good luck with your writing!

    Like

  8. Thank you!
    I’m glad that they were intriguing enough to tempt you into becoming a reader! I really appreciate you signing up.
    I love the title too (I’m super proud of it, merely for the reason that I am TERRIBLE at titling, but actually feel like I did this one well 😛 )

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Aires is the frogs leader: he made the leader to to not interact with the toad or to enter Graysloup. Aires made that rule to protect the frogs. He knows the toads are known to be rude and disrespectful: he knows the type of bully Sarge is.

    Sparkle broke the rules anyways: she only did to finish one of her favorite drawings: that is why she met Marge in the first place. All fairy frogs are deeply compassionate and Sparkle is going compassionate by befriending Marge: Marge doesn’t deserve to be going what she is going to be through: Marge after all is only 12; what is interesting about Marge is she is very wise for age.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You can do it!! We’re all waiting for Clemency to be edited (at least, I am!) Thanks so much for signing up! It means a lot to me 😀
    Ah, I always thought the messy collar and cravat matched Enjolras perfectly 🙂 I guess we all have different opinions, but it definitely seemed to reflect to me that he wasn’t concerned with the things other people of the day where, like nice clothes. 😀 I’m glad you liked it.
    Thank you for the confetti. My dead brain much appreciates it. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Haha, thank you! I can’t wait until it’s done being edited as well… knowing me, though, it’ll probably take a little while. 🙂
    No problem! Editing always breaks me down so celebrating other people’s successes with it is always a must for me! Congrats again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yay, I CANNOT wait to read those chapters! 😀
    Girl, you need to get your ‘infinity’ books published so I can be on your street team and tell my whole country about them. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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