Naked Alliances Coming Out of the Closet

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Not reading. Not writing. Lying in wait. In a place of limbo. With nothing much to do.

I have a couple of new beta readers. A man who works with the rocket scientist wants to read, and a nice lady in the Caribbean who has written a crime fiction book. That brings the total to twelve.

I threw the net wide. A dozen opinions. I won’t be taking anymore. I thank you all for your participation!

I took two more readers because two potential readers, a male and a female, have said the book is not for them, and that’s okay. It is not a book for everybody. I knew that going in. Everybody who has provided feedback loves Brandi, she’s a kick arse companion. (She’s been compared to Chablis in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.) Richard is a likable character and the Dragon Lady is despicable.

Those are three things I wanted to accomplish with book one. Most have found it thoroughly enjoyable, a few have called it, “A great read,” and all who have read said it was entertaining and they liked it.

With two ones (I’m assuming because they could not read), and four solid fours, and two fives, my average for this book sits at 3.5 and I just don’t think that’s good enough. But, if I drop the two who could not read, it sits at 4.3 and that might be worth publishing.

Several mentioned that they enjoyed the characters enough to want to read more and would love to read the next book in the series, so that’s a big positive!

There were no plot hole, continuity or plausibility issues that couldn’t be easily resolved. Very minor things that just make the read a bit better. Nothing requiring any major rewrites.

We’ll see what the next four say based on the editing. I am also taking into consideration that these readers are not typical of Florida regional crime fiction audience. Only one reads it regularly. (Even though he was one of the fives.)

The edits have been done based on eight reader’s feedback and there are four more to go.

Most all of the narrative slang has been pulled out and put into dialog.

I reread it over the weekend with all of the fleshing out and editing and my only problem is that the things that seemed funny when I wrote them don’t amuse me anymore and sometimes they seem silly and trite, but I wonder if that’s because I already know the outcome. It’s hard to go back and read your own laughs. There are parts that seem tacky, even offensive. But my husband also reread it and he was laughing out loud.

I am not nearly as clever as some of the wacko regional Florida authors I have read, but in many ways I feel it is better than some.

Here is an interesting observation to leave you with: Most of the men liked the nudity in the story and wanted to see more references to it and most of the women said it was distracting and sort of pulled them out of the story.

So that’s a wrap on where we are with Naked Alliances today.

I should have the final wrap up next week.

43 thoughts on “Naked Alliances Coming Out of the Closet

    1. Thanks Rosie. My beta readers have given me clarity I just could not have achieved by myself.I have cleaned my house. My book is edited and revised and waiting to hear from last few readers. I am feeling so lost right now, with nothing to do but wait.

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  1. I like that the readers told you upfront they weren’t interested in the book. Saves you weeks of waiting around to get their opinion, only to have them finally go, “Well, I … uh … didn’t quite get around to reading it …”

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    1. Oh, me too! One is a writer and one is an avid reader. I think it is tougher when you are changing genres also, because people may have liked your old style and anything new is going to put them off. So I really get it and was glad they were straight forward. Especially if they aren’t readers of the new kind of writing you are doing. I would much rather hear it upfront than be hanging on without a clue…even if it stings a bit. 🙂 It’s all good feedback.

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    1. The guys that noted it wanted more references to help them stay in the mindset of the nudist resort and the girls said they sort of ignored it. I thought that was an interesting observation.

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  2. That is an odd final note. I guess it depends on the nudity considering I’ve heard the opposite with books like 50 Shades. 3.5 isn’t a big number too considering it was a small group of volunteers. The book sounds like it will have a great variety of reviews too, which can only help it. Not sure what you mean by ‘could not read’. Were they the ones who said it simply wasn’t for them based on the description? If so then I wouldn’t really count them because a reader like that wouldn’t get your book in the first place. They’d read the blurb and move on.

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    1. Yeah, without those two, whom I wouldn’t really consider part of the reader audience…they couldn’t relate to characters or location references, it comes to 4.3 with fours and fives. More fours than fives though, but that was without any of the changes, which will hopefully make it a better read.

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      1. Personally, I like 4s a bit more than 5s. Both are great, but in terms of potential readers, they’re more likely to read a 4 than a 5. In fact, I’ve been told by many that they mistrust a book that is ALL 5-star reviews.

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      2. I’ve heard that too. I tend to be more lenient with known indie authors. I know that’s probably wrong, but I’ve noticed that about my reviews. I guess a five should only belong to a flawless book that really rocks your world.

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      3. I wouldn’t even say flawless because every book has some flaws. I’d say a book that you loved, would recommend to everyone, and read again within a year of the first run through. That’s my personal take on it.

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      4. I have broken away from my typical genres to read lots of indie works. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it has given me some much needed confidence to be involved.

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  3. I’m excited for you. Changing genres is hard. You’re never sure what the old fans of the previous works will think, but there’s also a big and exciting new audience waiting in the wings. You taught me things I didn’t know about the US.

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    1. We’ll see how it goes now that it has been officially updated. I pulled a couple of slang words out that nobody was getting and rephrased some of the slang into amusing dialog with references in the narration that clue the reader in. I like the idea of a big and exciting new audience waiting in the wings. I’ve been going through some Florida regional writers reviews on Amazon and I feel like NA makes the cut. They can be viscous when they don’t like a story, they want a little humor, but they can’t stand when a serious crime novel comes across as YA or teen…so I think I’m going in the right direction with this. I don’t think it is nearly as complicated as some author’s work which was voted down for being too terribly convoluted and difficult to follow. I can’t deny that it is not cliche, but that’s okay. It will seem more original as the series moves along.

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      1. I think you have handled the humour really well. My pet peeve is when an author starts out with a character that is dull and dry and then suddenly they become the life of the party. It makes them feel unreliable. Richard already has a bit of brash humour when we first meet him.

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      2. I told Greg when I was first writing that I wanted small doses so it didn’t come across as an attempt at a comedy caper but had enough to give a chuckle now and then, more comic relief to quell difficult situations than outright laugh out loud comedy caper offers. I’m just hoping I can be consistent with that in the next book. Funny is hard to pull off without being somewhat offensive to somebody.

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      3. I am an open minded person and not at all prejudice, but I get so annoyed by the words “politically correct”. Who decides correct? right or wrong? And who wants politics in every aspect of their lives?

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      4. Men have gotten away with the sort of fiction I’m writing, but I have never seen a woman do it before. Can’t think of one female author who writes this. They mostly stick to cozy mysteries or funny cozy mysteries. Anxious to see how this goes over to the public. I may have a new a$$hole by the time it’s out.

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  4. Interesting results so far. 😀
    The nudity did neither turn me on nor off. I just accepted it for what it was. Great story, great characters – very entertaining. That book got what it takes to be entertaining. ⭐

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  5. Good luck! It sounds like everything is going well.
    That’s an interesting observation about reactions to nudity based on gender, though this was only from your Beta readers, I think, which are only a few people?

    I like the photo–really cool!

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  6. I think the characters were very compelling. I wish you a lot of success with your book, Susan! (And the Dragon Lady may have seemed despicable, but she was an intriguing character.)

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    1. Thanks, Kate.Once all of the beta reading is done, I will sit on it a while, write a couple more, then decide what I want to do. I do appreciate all of your time and effort. It is good for villians to be irredeemable sometimes.

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