– my new (for-writers) web project!

After a great many design revisions, programming crash courses, and yet another critique group that didn’t quite meet my expectations, I’m pleased to announce that development on is officially underway!

Geta-Beta— a bad pun based on the term ‘beta-reader’.

After trying a good number of writer’s critique circles and websites, I have to say that I’ve had my share of disappointments. Hobby writers clashing with determined professionals, fantasy die-hards trying to read cozy mysteries, groups of older women with loudly stated political views that… well, don’t quite match up to your taste.

The online critique circles have their failings, too. You have a bigger community pool… but how do you really know who is giving you feedback? And if you miss a week’s queue, you miss a chapter. Great for short stories, but terrible for novelists.

The main theory behind is that the authors ought to be the ones directing who gets to see their stories. A user on the site will be able to browse projects, all of which are publicly displayed in query letter format– description, credentials, notes, and the first three pages. Find something that you enjoy, request to be a beta reader. The author will receive notice and decide whether to give you access.

Write some thoughtful critiques, earn credits for posting your own stories and chapters. If you want to focus on plot and not style in the first draft, great. Go browse the user directory and find some plot junkies who like your genre. Need a grammar sweep? Say so in your notes.

It won’t be a fair system. Better writers will get more attention. The site won’t be right for everyone. But I need something like this for my work, and I hope others agree.

I’ll post news when I get closer to finishing. I’ll need some test readers and writers to try out Geta-Beta-beta, and while I know html and css, my design’s not quite inspired. Anyone interested?

obligatory new year’s post

A quick note on the new year. It’s hardly original, I know, but why fight tradition?

Major things done this year:

  • Started a new job teaching computer science at the local college.
  • Met my boyfriend, got engaged. Did I mention the engagement?
  • Wrote the second half of Blue Crystal, version 3.0. Revised to 3.1.
  • Let betas tear apart version 3.1. Started 3.2.
  • Started ‘The Artificer’s Angels’! Currently have 56k on v1.0.

Goals for 2010:

  • Finish Blue Crystal 3.2. Edit for typos.
  • Take Blue Crystal agent shopping.
  • Get married. One week in Germany, the next in Italy.
  • Finish The Artificer’s Angels.
  • Finish my Beta-Reader website. I’ll tell you guys more about that later.

Anyone else have any ambitious plans for next year?

3 days left

1350 words written, typed on a ten-year-old laptop on my bedside.

I paid for that all-nighter by immediately catching the bug that my boyfriend came down with recently. I had a fever and a killer sore throat; we’ll see if I’m fit to teach tomorrow. I’m not sure. We’ll move my supposed percentage count up a bit more and see.

7 days left – about 95.7%

Rylan sat back in his chair. His manacles dug into his back. “I think she’d rather die than marry you.”

“Are you certain that you’re not speaking of yourself?”

“I’d rather die than marry you, too.”

1500 words by midnight. (And the snippet amused me. Rylan doesn’t get to be funny nearly enough.)

With all of the changes I’ve been making to the plot, my traditional progress bar is less than effective. Since my typical chapters run about 5-8k, I’m guessing that tonight’s effort is about 22% of the last chapter (ish). It’s progress, at any rate.

9 days left – 92.4%

9 complete 24-hour days until November.

Progress: 171/185 pages. 92.4%– was 90.8%.

I should note that this progress bar is not always accurate. Since major revisions changes my wordcount, I’m pacing myself with the same ‘events’ in draft 3.0. It’s mostly on-track, but if I need a new point… yeesh. I could write two thousand words in a sitting, and that bar wouldn’t move one bit. I already know that I’m adding in two extra pages to the end of chapter twelve, and the last chapter needs a complete rewrite.