Alpha Readers & Whole Cloth

As I’ve mentioned, I use a few alpha readers to help me along with my second edit.  They’ve been a real Godsend.  This last week I sent off to them the middle build and have gotten some feedback so far that has been… well… overwhelmingly positive to say the least.  That’s a very hopeful sign in my book.

I keep mentioning that I’m too close to know if my work is any good, and its hard to be humble when you have a passionate desire for it to be fantastic and think maybe, just maybe it is.


But now, with less than 2 weeks left in my self imposed deadline, I am writing new material again.  Creating from whole cloth, and it is stuff I do not want to write at the moment, or I keep feeling like I’m being sidetracked.  Its setting up what is to come and be the big finish of the 3 act structure.  All the guns drawn as of the first and second acts will ultimately go off or be explained or be set up for the next novel.  (Yes, next novel.  The way the story is progressing, I suspect it may be a 7 novel series I’m in for.)

I have whole characters I have to create too.  Earlier this week, I was not sure how this was going to happen, but a set of wild inspirations happened on the scene, and birthed a whole herd of notions.  I now know the set up I have for specific things, and how the key events will occur and even how, (after reversing course entirely on what I thought I was going to do and back to the original idea, but with a twist) they are going to get out of it.

What has me worried is that the two chapters I wrote today do not advance the story to my satisfaction.  Or rather it might be going down a bunny trail I should have left alone.  On the other hand, if I do not lay this groundwork, I cannot have a proper climactic battle with internal struggles, and the denouement becomes… well flaccid.  Come on now.  It’s a fantasy novel in the end!  You gotta have more fantasy to it, not this more common world building stuff and building up the backstory and motives.

“Cast Magic Missile and be done with it!” screams the emotional ‘get to the good stuff’ portion of my brain.


“The times are past where you just lop off someone’s head and blame it on the Vikings.” the Blackadder rational mind part reminds me

“You can’t?” asks  the stupid prince part of my brain again.

“No.” Rationality says disapprovingly.

“Bollocks.  I am being asked to eat 10 raw pigs for breakfast.”

“Worse.  You’re writing.”

“Double bollocks with a side of bugger on top.”


For now, I’m going to rest in the comfort given me from the early reviews back from the Alpha Readers that I’m doing something right, and using that to fuel my drive to finish this bad boy off so I can hire an editor, and cover artist and hopefully… Dear Lord help!  Publish by Christmastide.

Hope springs eternal.



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