Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Shout-Outs and Something Fun

Wow! 333 pages of manuscript (in 12 point font) times three beta readers equals 999 pages of feedback to go through. And since I'm at the halfway point of the second manuscript, I thought I'd send a shout-out to my readers.
  • Kristin read both of my novels. She enjoyed Forging a Legend, but I think she liked Starcaster better. Her feedback was much more enthusiastic. Kristin is a relentless grammar Nazi and has a profound love for the serial comma. She marked up my manuscript with gusto.
  • Lisa also read both my novels. I think she liked Forging a Legend better. She made all these comparisons to well-known authors that makes me blush to think about. Lisa has an eagle-eye for potential plot knots, and is making me do a lot of thinking!
  • Katie is my newest beta reader. Katie has the neatest handwriting I have ever seen, and she had an eye for stuff that didn't make sense. For about the first third of the novel, she also wrote her reaction to what was going on, which were really fun to read.
Thanks everyone! With all the feedback I now have two new scenes (Sam and Robert's story, plus a raid of the place where they manufactured the umbrellas), plus one scene where I switched characters (Reba chews out Tory at the banquet, instead of Bradburn). And I'm up to 92,000 words! And still going!

* * *

As I was going through my files in my Starcaster folder, I found something fun. I have this concept in my novel of something I call the identity chit. It's similar to a military dog tag, but it's bigger. Since my novel takes place in an era equivalent to about 1810, there was no photography and I had to think of a way to be able to identify oneself to other government entities.

Well, I found a Word file with some identity chits that I wrote out and forgot about! I took a screenshot of them because they won't paste properly in Blogger.

The top two lines has the operative's name, his or her Corps, year that current term started, sex, height, weight in stones, hair and eye color and date of birth.

The description is meant to be read from left to right, while skipping over the empty space in the middle. The empty space is supposed to be where a silhouette is cut out of the metal. It's meant to go into a projector and compared with the person that it's supposed to identify. (More often, the viewer would simply look at the profile and see if it matches.) Maybe one day I'll attempt to draw the silhouettes.

The beta readers will probably be able to guess where Cecil got his bite scar.


  1. Neat handwriting - oh that would be lovely. You think it would be easy, just make an effort, but still I write slop.

    I'm not sure which I can say that I like more. Forging a Legend was longer so I got to enjoy it for a longer period of time, but it sounds like Starcaster is moving up there.

    In any case, they were both great fun reading, I look forward to having a hard copy and reading them again, with all the changes. Let me know if you need more Beta readers!

  2. Yes, I did like Starcaster better, although that doesn't mean I didn't like Forging a Legend, which I enjoyed.

    I feel, though, that your writing has definitely improved--it has a nice flow, your dialog is very real and true to the characters, and the pacing was great. I was wrapped up in the story all day. And you owe that improvement to all your hard work on Forging a Legend. I had a lot of fun reading both, and can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  3. Thanks, both of you! You are both awesome!

    I'll be sending along the three added/changed scenes soon.


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