Tag Archives: alpha reader

Got Shining Approval From Alpha Reader on First Chapter: Naked Alliances

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I’m so excited I have to share. *giggles*

The rocket scientist read my rewrite of chapter one and he said, “This is great!” He went on to say that it really changed his perspective on the interrelation of the two plot lines. He really likes it!

I tightened it up and was able to work the first chapter in a way that it not only starts off with intense action, but introduces both the murder mystery and crime thriller at the very beginning. This way, you are not reading through to chapter three before ever getting into the crime thriller part. Originally, I had started off with info about the cold case. It was interesting, but did not have the necessary punch to grab a reader and pull them into the story.

A bonus is that four main characters are introduced in the first chapter, so you get to know them all from the very beginning.

This will make for a much better “Look Inside”.

I started off planning a prologue, and wrote what ended up being a complete character profile of Cara Kieu and her history. It did NOT work at all, but gave me some really good ideas for a chase scene.

I scrapped it and started reworking the first chapter. It has guns, villains, the P.I., a high speed car chase, Brandi, Cara, the murder victim’s surviving husband, and introduces both cases in 2793 action packed and informative words. There’s also a small amount of revision to be done in subsequent chapters, so it does NOT necessitate a major rewrite.

AND, most significantly, the alpha reader loves it!  🙂 

Okay, I’m done. *breathes*

Now for this entertaining commercial break:

An important message about gun safety!

White Wolf in My Dream

I stopped trying to interpret dreams many years ago. When I studied religions, I also studied dreaming. (Psychology, sociology, political science and a host of other inter and intra personal relations.)images

The spiritual symbolism of the white wolf goes back eons. For a wolf or wolves to appear in a person’s dream we can learn about our subconscious. “From singular or family groups, we can learn about the nature of the dreamer or people that the dreamer is connected to in their life. It can also reveal information pertaining to their spiritual growth and internal changes such as emotional growth, decisions surrounding personal relationships or even career goals.”

Last night, around 2 am, I was dreaming. I don’t often dream. My meds knock me out and my mind goes blank. I may be dreaming, but I am not aware.

38a795fa605d27d38620603422ebec2cMy dream involved my characters in a book I am editing and I can’t recall much about it. In an instant, an aggressive white wolf image was up close, his face in my face. It startled me and I jerked to jump two feet off the bed. My heart was racing and the fight or flight response kicked in. I was scared! More like a flash of nightmare than dream.

Of course, as soon as I opened my eyes, it was gone. That didn’t take but a second. The ordeal was short lived, but quite impressive.

This morning, with the internet at my fingertips, I found this really neat article on wolf dreams by Debbie Edwards, a psychologist.

WOLVES in Dreams – Meanings and Interpretations

I like the way Ms. Edwards lays it out on her page.

  1. Wolves are surrounded by notions of mysticism, magic and folklore.
  2. Color: black, gray, white , red.
  3. Lone or Group.
  4. Behavior: timid, aggressive, protective, playful, sleeping, invisible.
  5. Environment: day or night, clear skies or storms, stars and moon

Here is how my dream interprets:

Regarding the dreamer: A white wolf can represent someone or something that is directly influenced by spiritual communication or teachings. Someone that would be very knowledgeable or connected spiritually could be represented by a white wolf. It can also represent the purity of a message that is delivered by a spiritual presence. It can also represent someone who is pursuing a stronger connection to their faith, spiritual practices or ceremonial activities.

[One thing in my book I have been trying to do in my writing is offer insights in the narrative. I’m also trying to develop more of a spiritual connection to my characters. My alpha reader is giving me guidance.] 

The lone wolf: If a wolf appears to the dreamer without the company of his or her pack, it is important to pay attention to a specific person or situation that is relevant to the dreamer which would describe more of an isolated or detailed situation or person.

[I am still processing the alpha reader’s impression of my book and its characters. He has been giving me examples over the last few days.]

Aggressive- An aggressive wolf can represent defensive postures or fear based movements in life. Is the dreamer feeling under attack by someone or others? Is there an aggressive person in their life who is trying to intimidate them?

[I’ll say. I’m defending my baby.]

Night or day- A wolf appearing at night will reveal things either hidden in the subconscious or things that may not be “visible” in the dreamers perception. Something is happening that the dreamer is given an inside view on that otherwise has been elusive from view.

[My alpha reader is most likely right and I am wrong. Like it or not!]

This was my dream interpretation, whether accurate, or not.

Do you dream?

Have you ever felt a need to have a dream interpreted?

Do you dream about writing, or your characters?

The Alpha Reader and Doubt’s Arrival

RegalRaven01

It really started Saturday. The rocket scientist finished a book and picked up my manuscript.  A few hours later, I noticed he had set it down and crawled between the sheets to watch some TV in bed. I checked his reader, where I had put a copy of Naked Alliances for his convenience. He had only read the first two chapters.

Me: So it wasn’t intriguing enough to make you want to keep reading.

RS: I’ve been reading all day. It is fine. I need a little break from reading.

Me: Okay, I don’t want to rush you. (But really I do.)

Sunday he was reading it again. He pointed out a couple of typos and told me I needed to add back a small scene I had taken out. He liked it better with a little foreshadowing of something that is to come later in the book. I made some notes on the paper manuscript. Later in the evening, as I set supper on the table, I noticed he had quietly read up to chapter ten.

Me: You’re up to chapter ten.

RS: Yeah. It’s moving right along.

Me: So, you wanna talk about the book now or wait until you’re done.

RS: I’ll wait. I’ve highlighted a couple of places where things seem a bit disjointed. We’ll see how it all comes together.

Me: *sigh* (The only word that I really heard was disjointed.)

When he went to bed last night, I saw he had gotten up to chapter sixteen. I followed him to the bedroom.

Me: It’s not ready for publication, is it?

RS: No, but it can get there.

Today, after he left for work, I looked in his reader. Naked Alliances is in there with Tim Baker, Michael Connelly, Jonathan Kellerman, Tim Dorsey, John Sanford, Tony Hillerman, Sue Grafton, and Carl Hiaasen. Dozens and dozens of books by these prolific authors.

About that time, I heard a ruckus outside. The yard cat, Boozer, was going nuts. A package had arrived UPS all the way from Idaho. Yes, Doubt is here. The Raven from Entertaining Stories. Lisa and Craig packed him up and sent him to me because he was pecking up Craig’s left brain. So now he is here to work on mine for a while. I thought it would do Craig and Lisa, the Robot, some good to have a little vacation from Doubt. Craig needs some reviews. He doesn’t need Doubt around right now. If you are looking for a couple of quick, clever reads, look up C.S. Boyack on Amazon, here and here, and give him a try.

I brought Doubt inside and took him out of the bucket. Lisa had packed him in there with some water. He was nestled on a bed of peanut shells. When I lifted the lid, he started flying around the room, dodging the ceiling fan blades. He lit on Sunny’s cage, our little yellow cockatiel. Sunny began to sing. Doubt didn’t seem impressed.

The rocket scientist had to go up to Ocala today, so he’ll have a long drive home from work through rush hour traffic. I hope he is up to company. I knew Doubt was coming, but I don’t think the RS did.

The-Birds-at-Hitchcocks-Beach

I don’t know what to do with myself right now. Wait to do edits. Start on the next manuscript, Book Two in the series. Or, just hang out with Doubt a while on the back porch. It is screened in. There’s a nice perch out there that once belonged to a parrot we had. I could teach him how to talk southern. Maybe we should just go to the beach for a couple of days. Doubt could hang out with the gulls.

raven_n_western

 

* I have to add a note: RS did laugh out loud a couple of times as he was reading. That’s not a bad thing. I had  few attempts at humor in there, so it must have punched him a little, like it was supposed to. At least I am hoping that is why he was laughing 🙂

Sunday Synopsis: First Draft Accomplished

Hi folks! You may have been wondering if I dropped off the edge of the earth as I haven’t been floating around as much as I used to. That’s because I have been very busy writing for the past month and four days. I started this project in November at 2340 words and parked it until May 4th, when I felt a strong need to get back to it.

Today I wrote my final words in the first draft on my first crime novel.

It is sitting at 57, 678. Yay me!

Now the real work begins. I haven’t done my first read through, but I thought I would jot down some notes about what I’m feeling about where we are.

I have few things I am eager to hear from my beta readers about. Mainly having to do with POV, the number of suspects, and running two major interrelated plotlines.

There is murder mystery and there is organized crime, each aspect offering flavors of crime fiction that can be very different. I know some people like solving puzzles, putting the pieces together, and others want high thriller action and suspense. My hope is that I provided both without disappointing one reader or another.

There are a number of people involved. There is a family law firm, and there is a nudist resort where the ancillary characters come from. That’s a lot of players, and I am hoping it isn’t too confusing.

I basically went in alternating POV between my two main characters, the detective, Richard, and his sidekick, Brandi. At about the mid-point, it is primarily Richard’s POV. I do have one chapter dedicated to my villain. There were things you, the reader, needed to know about the villain that neither Brandi nor Richard could tell you. Things only the villain could know. I also wanted to show the wickedness in a way that was indisputable.

Now, I am wondering if that might come across as too jarring, and I am thinking that to balance this, maybe I should give my murder suspects their own POV chapters. I dunno.

At any rate, it is what it is. Honestly, I didn’t set out to write the next great masterpiece. It’s genre fiction and I hoped to be entertaining.

My Alpha Reader is my husband, who reads two or three crime novels a week. He loves it all. I have told him to expect a cross between Charlotte Bronte and Tim Dorsey; Sort of a Charlotte Dorsey or a Tim Bronte. I don’t know if my writing style works with crime fiction, but the project is fun.

If you are not having fun, you need to be doing something else. Life is too short.