I’m looking for a few good beta readers for ELEMENT 42, the third Pia Sabel/Jacob Stearne thriller.
Here are the details: ~92,000 words, delivered to you by Friday, needed back 04-March. I’m looking for stream-of-consciousness comments (likes, dislikes, reactions, clues, ideas, critiques, etc.) as you read. Any other corrections would be at your discretion. Interested? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Why the long silence? As AG Riddle proved, the only element for success in fiction is a great story. I’ve been working on that having spent too much time on errant missions and experiments.
From now on, I will focus on writing the most compelling story I can put on paper.
My website and blog will evolve this year. Subscribers to my email newsletter will get the insider’s view of my works in progress. I’ve not yet determined what my blog will be, maybe a semi-daily journal of the things I use to build characters and situations.
My social media presence will continue in a diminished capacity. I like to keep in touch, but I’m too easily distracted — and I’ve had my fill of LOL Cats, inspirational quotes, and fascinating memes.
Why the changes?
For three years, I’ve been intentionally experimenting. I’ve written two books that pushed my craft forward. The first, The Geneva Decision, was a good effort. My second book, Bring It, accomplished my second goal: I articulated a moral point and changed the minds of readers.
My third book, ELEMENT 42, reaches for a more complex goal. I want to develop deeper characters in a more resonant world. And I’m >< this close.
I was ready to publish when my first set of beta readers returned widely varied concepts about the story. After getting eye-opening feedback from Lance Charnes, Pam Safinuk, Louis Kirby, and Jane Turley, I delayed production and fixed the problem.
What life lesson did I learn from the exercise? I need to write more detailed outlines before I start. The heroes were fine, it was the bad guys that needed work. And every change to a bad guy has a ripple effect in the plot.
At this point, I’m confident I have all the problems worked out. And that’s what bothers me, “confident” can be spot on or an illusion.
With the help of a few fresh beta-readers, I’ll have ELEMENT 42 launched by the end of March.