rhienelleth: (mass effect shepard)
 This is going to be a long post. I know it's been awhile, journal. I've been pretty busy. With what, you ask?

With this:

Yep. That is the print cover of my first published book. It is a novella, and it is, of course, the first publication in what will be known as my Telepathic Space Pirates series. You may remember it from my many posts and tags. It is currently up for pre-order on Amazon, here: 


But this post isn't about telling you where the pre-order is. This post is about the journey it took me to get here. I know a lot of the old LJ gang isn't around anymore (on LJ or Dreamwidth), but I think a few still are. And I would be very remiss if I didn't post here and talk about how very instrumental your role has been in getting me here. When I joined LJ back in 2003, I was very active in fandom. I was writing fic and visiting forums and participating in chats with a lovely group of ladies who were also huge fans of the TV show, Alias. I started writing Sarkney fic before it was a thing (seriously - there was only one other writer at the time writing genuine Sark/Syd that didn't involve ugly rape-fic, and I wish she was still around to be reading this. Wherever you are, Rach, your stories gave me the confidence to write again.) This was during a period of my life when I had lost confidence in myself as a writer. I'd gone to a writing con, and a big time NY editor ripped my work to shreds in front of a room full of people. At the time, I thought I was okay. What was one woman's opinion? But I stared at a blinking cursor on my screen, and didn't write another word on that WIP. Ever. I didn't write another word of original fic for a very long time. Only discovering fandom and finding a safe place there allowed me to pick myself back up, dust myself off, and write again. I wrote, I posted, and people gave me instant feedback! They asked for more, they were positive and encouraging, and many of them became my friends. Without the confidence they gave me, I would not be here, looking at my book up for pre-order, looking at that gorgeous cover with my pen name on it. 

For a long time, Livejournal was the center of my writing world. Not just for fic writing, but for my own original work. I posted progress meters, snippets, and talked about what I was doing when I finally started writing my own stuff again. The agent who originally asked to see the full manuscript of my first draft of the first Telepathic Space Pirates book, did so because someone she knew had pointed her to my Livejournal, and told her "I think you would like this." Even though I journaled anonymously, when I queried her for something else entirely, she recognized me, and asked to see the full draft of Nemesis when it was finished. 

That was my first lesson in "you never know who is reading you online". A good lesson, thankfully. 

That book, the book that was Nemesis, will be going up for pre-order in March, and will launch in June. I already have a gorgeous cover that is so stunning, I cried when I saw it for the first time. It wouldn't be happening if not for Livejournal, if not for those fandom friends who supported me, encouraged me, cheered me on, acted as beta readers, told me I had what it takes, and were generally the best damn group of friends a girl could have. Maybe someday, some hopeful writer will be writing fanfic of my worlds, and won't that be a kick? Words will never express what this community has done for me. Even though most of us have moved on, I will never forget it, and I do not regret spending the money for a "lifetime" Livejournal account. At times as I wait out this pre-order period, I am happy, excited, so anxious I want to throw up, and filled with self-doubt. And I remind myself, "This is no different than putting your fanfic out there for the world to read." And I take a deep breath, and know it is all going to be okay. Thank you, members of the Harem. You know who you are. I still think about you all. Some of you, I keep up with on Facebook, and some of you, I have lost touch with completely. But you are never, ever forgotten. 

This is a copy of the acknowledgements I wrote to include in this first book. It doesn't say everything I wanted to, because I was limited by word count, which is why I wrote this post. I love you ladies. I hope you are all having excellent lives, and achieving your dreams. 


May. 20th, 2015 05:48 pm
rhienelleth: (Default)
 I'm reading this awesome writing book called Save the Cat, and it's changing the whole way I approach structuring novels. I have been restructuring Nemesis, and I think this is possibly the best thing to happen to my writing in some time. 

Anyway, one of the steps is coming up with a logline for your book. This is a one line summary that identifies your protagonist, and what they must overcome, and it should contain a sense of irony and emotional impact. A sample one for the movie Die Hard goes like this:

A street-wise cop comes to L.A. to visit his estranged wife, only to find her office building taken over by terrorists.

An enhanced, more detailed logline would be something like: On the brink of a divorce, a bullheaded, street-wise, New York cop is trapped in his wife’s office building by terrorists, and teams up with an L.A. “desk cop” to stop them; but when his taunts of the terrorists risks exposing his hostage wife’s identity, he must learn to adapt and change to outsmart the lead terrorist and prevent the true goal of a billion-dollar heist.

Here is what I have come up with for Nemesis:

A galactic courier with the outlawed gift of telepathy is searching for the mother she lost fifteen years ago, when she is kidnapped by pirates - the family who tried to kill her as a child, but now need her to embrace her gifts if any of them are to survive. 

What do you think? Would you be intrigued and want to read that book? Yes or no. All feedback is appreciated. Any suggestions for tweaking it further?

ETA: (new version)

A resourceful space pilot with a troublesome telepathic gift is searching for the mother she lost fifteen years ago, when she is kidnapped by pirates outlawed by the government for their own psychic abilities; but when she discovers her kidnappers are also the family who once tried to kill her as a child, she realizes the mystery of her mother’s disappearance holds deadlier secrets than she knew, and she must embrace her gifts if any of them are to survive. 

On writing

Oct. 2nd, 2014 08:58 am
rhienelleth: (Default)
So, yesterday I wrote 2000 words. It wasn't anything epic. Just a short ficlet based off a prompt. But I wrote, and I fell right back into the rhythm of fitting words together to say what I wanted to convey, and it didn't completely suck! I could feel myself being a little bit creaky and rusty, but not anywhere nearly as bad as I had feared. When I finished it, I felt a sense of victory and relief; maybe this will finally convince whatever part of myself is doubting that I can still write despite the last few years of academia interfering.

I am on to the next prompt today. Please feel free to leave me a prompt if you are so inclined. :)

rhienelleth: (Default)
It's been a really long time since I've done this. I asked for prompts earlier today. And you guys, I wrote. It's not much. Just a little ficlet. But I wrote! Small steps.

This was the first prompt:

Regina tries to get the town to celebrate Arbor Day, but people are wary of planting saplings from her apple tree.

Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Characters: Emma, Regina, Robin, Marian, Hook, Leroy et al.
Pairings: Regina/Hook (alluded to)
Rating: Um...I forget what ratings fandom uses these days. PG?
Spoilers: Through the end of S3
Author: Rhien Elleth

Words: 2,126



rhienelleth: (Default)
So, yesterday [personal profile] ariestess was offering free rune readings as a part of celebrating the Fall equinox, and I went ahead and asked for one. I couldn't decide how to frame my question, so I just asked for a general reading. I wondered at the time if I would be able to tell what in my life it was really addressing when she gave her answer, but as it turns out, it was blazingly obvious:

Your rune :: Kenaz [reversed]

In a reversed position, Kenaz indicates exposure and being laid bare. At the same time, this means that you will lose any sense of false hope about the situation plaguing you right now. This is the time for being practical and pragmatic about your options. You can continue to wallow in instability and a lack of creative spark, or you can take the initiative and find a way to turn this situation around to your benefit.

Tip It! rune :: Tiwaz [reversed]

In perfect connection to the previous rune, reversed Tiwaz points toward a major blockage in your creativity and energy flow. Don't allow yourself to be paralyzed by the negativity that seems so oppressive. Take a step to the side, tilt your head, and look at the situation from a different perspective. Think outside the box and find new ways to conquer this demon plaguing you.

I'm creatively blocked. I can continue to wallow or do something about it, basically. So.

I need to write, people. And I'm allowing my own self doubts to paralyze me in a ridiculous kind of self-fulfilling merry-go-round of negativity. I'm going to start small. Someone, anyone, please give me a fic prompt. Something where I can write maybe a short little character driven vignette. Unusual situations for the character are fine. The prompt can be something like a whole sentence to springboard from, or just a set of words.  People who know me know my tastes, but for those who don't, I tend to like darker characters or those with a bit of an edge best, but that doesn't mean I won't write about others. For example, Hook and Regina are two of my favorites on OUaT. Dark!Ward on AoS is awesome, but I also love Fitz and Simmons, and so on. Here are fandoms I feel comfy with for the moment:

Agents of Shield
(pretty much anyone)
(I have not yet watched the season opener for Sleepy Hollow, so for now, let's leave this one off the list.)
The Originals
Once Upon a Time
And of course, fandom of old:
Alias (I wrote Sark a lot back in the day)

rhienelleth: (inara-shadows - ladytirimasu)
I almost started crying at work just now and had to step away from reading my f-list. Let me explain.

Over three years ago I made the super important decision to go back to school and finish my BA. I had lost my day job with no others in sight. I felt like it was something I needed to do for my future and financial security. Then I finished that, and made the hard choice to do another year+ of school to get my Masters, because in order to go into teaching, I need one. I did these things. I am done, I have my MATLT. And I don't regret it, exactly, but I resent the hell out it.

Allow me to explain: I used to write ALL THE TIME. I wrote fic. I wrote books. I wrote every day. I wrote a book you all might remember about telepathic space pirates that garnered me a really awesome phone conversation with an agent who read the whole thing, and gave me invaluable feedback about hoe to make it better. I had another story I wrote rejected, but with a wonderful personal letter from the editor asking me to expand it into a full length book. I feel like I made this choice about my financial future at a critical moment in my writing career, if you want to call it that. School happened, and it demanded so much reading and well, academic writing time that I just didn't have the energy left over to write creatively. I barely had time to read anything. I kept telling myself "When school is done". Well, it is, and I still haven't picked up the gauntlet again.

I read about friends of mine, writers doing the things I used to do - finishing books, querying agents, working on things - and something inside me breaks a little bit. I mean, I'm happy for them, I am. But I just seem to sink deeper into my own personal writing depression. I miss it SO MUCH. So why am I not doing it? Why haven't I picked up that pen again and started being creative?

Honestly? I'm scared. I am terrified in some deep part of myself that I've somehow "lost it". That in the three years of academic writing, my ability as a fiction writer has somehow vanished. While I might be a tad rusty, I know logically that that is ridiculous, and that if I just do it, I will soon be churning out words and characters and stories to the level I was at previously. But the fear is paralyzing in a way that I cannot explain. I WANT to write, but forcing myself to actually do it is proving to be this huge hurtle I never thought I would EVER have to overcome.

The longer this goes on, the worse it is. Fandom and fic writing helped me get back into writing the last time I experienced an issue kind of like this. But it wasn't this...much. It wasn't as intense, and hadn't gone on for as long. I know the answer: write, stupid. But I am really, really struggling with how to make myself just move past the fear and do it. And in the meantime, I am almost crying when I read about how happy writerly friends are, or the strides they are making in their own writing.

This can't continue. I have to do something to move forward. But fandom isn't what it once was, and I don't know if writing fic will give me back my confidence the way it once did. I am sad, and afraid, and I don't know what to do to kick myself in the rear and move forward.


Feb. 2nd, 2011 09:57 am
rhienelleth: (wardrobe - jinxed_icons)
 So, this morning one of MSN's headlines was something like "jobs that make $30 an hour", so curious, I clicked on it.  It's an interesting, but I suspect not exactly conclusive list.  Why?

Well, #10 on the list was:

Writers and authors write material for scripts, magazines, books, websites and other publications.                 

Hourly pay: $31.04         

Annual salary: $64,560

Really?  How did they come by that number?  Is that an average of some kind?  Like, take all the script writers in Hollywood, some of whom might get paid six figures for a single script that may never even get made into a movie, and average them with all the authors out there who can't afford not to quit their day jobs - something like that?  (Disclaimer: I'm sure there are script writers out there who can't quit their day jobs, either.  I'm just saying.  Usually a script sold in Hollywood goes for a LOT more money than the average book contract.)  

Just how did you get those figures, MSN?

Also as an aside, I happen to know that a teacher equipped with a Master's degree and seven years of teaching experience doesn't even make the National average income.  At least in this neck of the woods.  How freaking sad is that?  Teaching is ridiculously low paid.


Dec. 31st, 2010 12:34 pm
rhienelleth: (Reaper)
 Hey guys.

Cutting to the chase: It's taken me nearly two years and a handful of rewrites, but I think Nemesis is finally where it needs to be.  Or, you know, firmly going where it needs to be.  It bears such faint resemblance to the original draft I sent to beta readers, I marvel now that I ever thought that draft "done" and "polished".  Along the way, I've gotten invaluable advice from beta readers, critique partners, industry professionals, and friends.  But at the end of the day, I'm the one that has to decide what makes the story good, and when and how to implement those changes.  I've cut so many pieces that didn't really belong in the old draft, and beefed up and concentrated on others I never thought mattered.  

Mercy as a character has come so far.  I hope it's far enough.  At some point, a writer becomes too close to the work to really know.  I never realized before, that people weren't able to connect to her emotionally as well as they should.  A fault in how I wrote her.  A lack of the reader's ability to know what Mercy was thinking and feeling, because I just didn't put it in there (even though I really thought I did.)  

Now, things are different.  Now, the reader gets to know not only Mercy's innermost thoughts, but also Reaper's.  (Something that has made my beta readers very happy.  His POV did not really exist in the original drafts.)  

I know I've mentioned occasionally here that I'm working on the rewrite(s).  That has had a few starts and stops, as I've struggled with what to get rid of, and what to keep and expand.  But the extra time it took me was worth it, because it allowed me to put some space between the old draft and my connection to it, to look objectively as some things I would never have considered getting rid of before.  

Now, here I am on the fourth (fifth?) rewrite since that old draft, and I'm feeling better about the book than I have since I was so certain that old draft was the draft.  I'm rewriting scenes I never thought needed to be rewritten before, and cutting out whole chapters, and adding new ones.  I think only a handful of scenes from that old draft even resemble themselves anymore, and that's not a bad thing.  It's a better book.  A stronger book.  

So, have a word count meter:

I'm averaging about 8K a day, and hoping to keep that up until school starts on Tuesday this next week.  

Oh, and have a snippet:
 Brotherly affection. )
**end snippet**

Oh, and just a note that I am looking for a couple of additional beta readers.  If anyone feels up to volunteering.

Hello hello

Oct. 2nd, 2010 03:07 am
rhienelleth: (Default)
 I know, I know.  I said I was going to be better about posting regularly.  Writing for school is eating my brain, mostly because I hate my current class, and thus writing for it takes WAY too much energy and effort.  And if I'm not writing for school, I'd like to be writing, you know?  I miss writing my fiction stuff when I'm not, more than I can possibly express, which puts LJ at a very sad third on the writing priority list.  

On the good front, not being able to work on the book means I spend more time thinking about it, and I've worked out some things that (I think) put all the final pieces together, in some ways for the whole series, but most especially for how everything works together in Nemesis.  (Right - that's what I should have been doing with the villain(s) all along!)   So...maybe this rewrite will be the last!

For now, anyway.

And to think, I used to privately laugh at those authors who talked of doing three, four, or God forbid a dozen rewrites.  *wipes tear from eye*  I crack myself up.  You know, once upon a time, I couldn't move on from a book.  It's a classic blunder - write a book that is in some way broken, or just not there yet, probably because you as the writer are still learning your craft and just not there yet, and then keep rewriting it and never actually working on anything new, ad nauseum, never submit it, and thus never really have a chance at publication.  I used to be that writer.  And then a bunch of things happened that kicked me out of that horrid cycle, I wrote a couple of new books, stopped rewriting altogether, and now I find myself come full circle, back to multiple rewriting.  Except it's different.  I don't know how to adequately explain it.  And right now, at almost 3:00 in the morning, I'm too tired to try.

I think it comes down to, these rewrites have a purpose.  The first one I did because someone in the business, someone who looked at it and said "this is good, but it could be so much better, and here's how" advised me to.  I did it thinking I understood, and knew what I needed to do.  But I didn't actually.  I fixed some things that needed fixing, but the core problem, the one that really needed addressing, escaped me until a beta reader came back from the rewrite saying almost exactly the same thing that earlier person had.  Only this time, it clicked.  I got it.  It was a forehead slapping moment for me.  So, yeah, now the rewrite is about fixing that core problem.  If I could just find extra energy from writing academic papers (ugh!) to work on it.  I asked my beta readers to kick me the other day, and they did, but it didn't work.  It wasn't enough.  Now, increasingly, I find myself angry at my own lack of personal writing time.  Is it important I finish my degree?  Yes.  But it is, if anything, vastly more important to me to finish Nemesis, but good.  So I need to find a way to balance it out and make it happen.  

That means I will probably remain somewhat scarce around here.  Still lurking, but not posting as often as I once did.  We'll see.  I miss it.  I miss the community here, and the daily updating.  So here's a brief bullet list:

Things Currently Happening in My Life (other than school):

~ Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3 is so far as awesome as I expected it to be!

~ That Criminal Minds ep saying good-bye to JJ was totally ironic, am I right?  Like, the writers were making some very not-subtle parallels there.  Damn if they didn't do it well, even if I am still angry about it.

~ Does it mean something, that I have visited the Dragon Age II website often enough for it to be a permanent fixture on my Safari homepage?  You know, the one made up of all your most frequently visited websites.  Google...and Dragon Age!  Ha!

~ My sloth is not just limited to writing!  We had out of town guests recently, and when thoughts turned to snacks whilst we watched some DVDs, I dug into my pantry and served....stale girl scout cookies!  Because I am just that awesome of a hostess.  You totally want to come visit me now, right?  On the other hand, I did provide some very nice alcoholic beverages, if I say so myself. :)

~ Guardians of whatever-it's-called, aka "that owl movie" was very, very pretty!  It is every epic fantasy story ever written, and thus extremely predictable, but still enjoyable and well done.  

It took me four tries to properly spell 'guardians', so I think it's off to bed for me, finally.  I blame Seanan McGuire for keeping me up.  Not only am I behind on my writing, but I am hopelessly behind on my reading.  I had no idea the new October Daye book was out until about 10:00pm tonight.  "I'll just stay up a couple of hours and read", i thought.  Yes, well you see the time.  I stayed up until I was done reading.  Haven't done that in...since I can't remember.  I do have one very vaguely spoilery thought on the book at this sort of sleep deprived, punch drunk juncture: click! )Okay, now I really am going off to bed.  I have officially turned into a pumpkin. Night!
rhienelleth: (coffee)
After yesterday's epiphany, I thought I'd post an example as I work on fixing it.  Also, unexpected things about one's characters often come out on the page when you aren't looking for them.  Apparently, Drug (a minor character) is devoutly religious.  And Mercy (my MC) isn't.

Since I myself am of a religious bent, this is an odd realization to have.  Especially given that this counts as the third rewrite of this book, and religion has never particularly played a role before.  But what do people do when faced with death?  If they believe in a God, often they pray.  

So, without further ado:

The old (from draft 2) opening to Chapter One. )

See how, not once do I mention how Mercy feels in this situation?  Everything is conveyed through dialogue, or a description of her doing something.  Even though the story is told from her POV, we aren't really in her head here.

And here's the new opening.  Same scene, different approach:

New Chapter One opening. )

See how adding bits about what Mercy's feeling makes the situation more immediate?  At least, I hope it does.  In fact, I think it changes the entire mood of the scene.  Let me know if you agree, or if you don't! :-)
rhienelleth: (Mercy Kincade)

Recent feedback from a beta reader has, as the subject line suggests, given rise to an epiphany about my writing, and my characters, and I think I've just realized something that has plagued me for two books.

My MC, my POV character.  I believe, as I said to another beta reader in working through this epiphany this afternoon, that I'm using Mercy too much as what I call "the author's telescope", or lense, and not enough as herself, with her own identity, thoughts and feelings.  Too much: "Look here, see this situation, and these interesting people?"  Not enough of what Mercy feels, or thinks about it.  

Thinking back, I'm pretty sure I did the same thing in Dark Vision, with Elysia.  But not, I think, in the more recent novella, Veritas.  Also, there are places in this draft of Nemesis where the problem does not exist.  The prologue, for example.  Chapters from Reaper's POV, for another.  It's really in Mercy's POV that the problem makes itself really known.

So, the good news: I can fix it, especially now that I'm actually aware of it.

The not-so-good news: lots of rewriting looms ahead of me.

Sometimes I feel like I will never be done.  At the same time, I see how this will make things better.  I actually think this, more than anything else, is what the agent was talking about when she gave me feedback on the old draft.  When she had trouble connecting to Mercy.  I've had this doubt in the back of my mind for awhile, that the rewrite hasn't really fixed enough.  I think this is why.  I think I was going about it from the wrong direction.  

It is by turns depressing, daunting, but also exciting, to contemplate another rewrite. I really think this is it.  The major problem, more than any other, that needed and continues to need addressing.  

You know what's really funny?  I used to read about other authors rewriting entire books, and shake my head at the very idea.  And those authors who rewrote the same book multiple times?  CRAZY.  

I guess that tells me where I'm at now, as opposed to back then.  :D
rhienelleth: (cats at play)
Okay, LJ.  I need a good name for an alien feline-esque species of intelligent hunters who may-or-may-not be empathic, and may-or-may-not be able to either phase through walls, or teleport.

They are slightly larger than the average house cat, and range in color from coppery-red, to silvery-blue, with darker rosettes. 

"Flynx" pretty much the perfect name if ever I heard one, was suggested by a beta, but bears an unfortunate resemblance to "Flinx" a character in a SF series by Alan Dean Foster, which I have never read, but apparently my universe already bears one other unfortunate similarity to his.  His entire series is based in a Commonwealth, the very term I have used to describe my own galaxy spanning body of government.  *le sigh*

So, one similarity can pass, but two?  No.

I'm keeping Commonwealth.  But flynx has to go.  Suggestions?
rhienelleth: (Mercy Kincade)
Yes, research is very important for the writer. At the same time, one has to be careful not to let it kill the story.

I'm writing SF, but not hard SF, which requires a particular level of scientific accuracy. I'm writing space opera, which is more romantic adventure, and while I won't say if doesn't need any of that accuracy, it's just enough to springboard into suspension of disbelief, not enough to explain every nuance of the universe with actual, you know, science. :)

Why am I posting this? Because today, in a fit of "how will I make this new thing I'm doing fit into my book's universe", I made the mistake of doing some additional research into psychic phenomena. Instead of finding that springboard I needed to fit this new thing in, I instead found all these articles about how telepathy and telekinesis are not technically possible according to all the laws of physics we currently understand. And forgetting briefly that I'm writing a fun, totally fictional adventure story set in space, I got depressed and thought "wait, what if down the road, someone asks me to explain the science behind my telepathic space pirates? OMG, what will I do??"

No, Rhien. Just no. Down that road lies despair and fits of keyboard bashing frustration, and possibly giving up on something that is too awesome for you to just give up on.

Remember Star Wars? Remember how awesome and cool the Jedi were, and how you never asked what made a Jedi sensitive to the Force? No, you just accepted that some people were special, and went forward from there.

And then came the prequels, and this thing called midi-chlorians, and you were disgusted when you heard this for the first time, because it took the magic of the Jedi and made it this mundane thing with an explanation that you didn't care about, that in fact, tried to break your acceptance of and love for the universe.

So, in conclusion, Rhien, your pirates are just telepathic. THE END. (And telekinetic. And some other stuff.) They just are. No laws of physics need apply.

M'kay? Moving on now.
rhienelleth: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] jackiekessler answers questions people have about the Harlequin bruhaha and everyone's response to it. In case any of those questions might be your questions.

Kudos to the Mystery Writers of America, and the Science Fiction Writers of America for both following in the RWA's footsteps, here. While I'm sure Harlequin is most affected by the RWA's response, the show of solidarity is nice.

I feel bad for all the Harlequin authors out there. What must they be feeling about their publisher right now? Confused, hurt, angry? I'm sure the response of the publishing world is very dismaying as well. The way I see it, RWA and others didn't have a choice.

And no, Harlequin removing their name from the imprint isn't nearly enough. Read Jackie's excellent post if you wonder why.


Nov. 19th, 2009 02:42 pm
rhienelleth: (Mercy Kincade)
Thank. God.

I am past that stupid block the book was giving me. The problem, as is so often the case, was not what I thought.

But now, the words, they flow.

I give you a celebratory snippet.

~snippet~ )
rhienelleth: (wtfavatar - fearfulwarrior)
I was going to comment on the Harlequin self publishing vanity press bruhaha, but Jackie Kessler says everything I could have/would have, and so much more.

The upshot: money should always flow toward an author for having your work published, not away.


Nov. 16th, 2009 03:40 pm
rhienelleth: (Mercy Kincade)
Confession time: yes, I was sick, and it was awful, and yes, things have been busy lately. But now I have no excuses for avoiding work on Nemesis except a new video game, and how lame is that?

The truth is, I find myself stuck. I've reached a point in the novel where I've caught up to the "old draft" - meaning I'm actually keeping some of the original chapters, and not wholesale rewriting every line, like I did for the first, well, several. And I'm second guessing myself in ways I didn't before, and for many and varied reasons, several of my beta readers are unable to read right now.

(Message to those betas: I am totally okay with that, really and truly. I understand that some of you prefer to read the whole thing at once, and some of you have Life Stuff happening, and some of you aren't in the best mental place at this exact moment for giving feedback, and I totally understand. I really, really do. When you can pick it up again - AWESOME! I will be excited to see/read your feedback. I don't want to put pressure on any of you, especially a couple of you going through some tough stuff at the moment, and thus, I am doing this post.)

So, I need a couple of new beta volunteers, if anyone is interested. I am just too damn close to this work to be able to look at it and go "yes, this is totally working, and the rewrite is accomplishing exactly what it was supposed to!", or "no, this is starting to not work, and you should go back to X scene and hack away from there".

To be clear: I'm not looking for cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are great and serve a purpose, but I need to know if this middle part especially is working. I also don't want line by line feedback. This will get an editing pass or two when I'm done. What I need is honest story/character feedback.

If it really, really works for you, great, tell me that, even if it ends up sounding like cheerleading. :) If it works for you BUT-- even better, definitely tell me that! I need to know!

I am confident enough to say, if it totally doesn't work for you in any way, shape, or form, that's fine, tell me that, but that probably means this isn't the right story for you, and that's fine. (Unless it is, and I've just totally broken it in the rewrite, but I think one of the betas who've read those first chapters would have said something, if that were the case. *g*)

I am, simply put, too involved in the individual trees to clearly see the forest right now, and I desperately need some feedback from someone who hasn't read the first draft, and doesn't have any preconceptions about it. Someone who, preferably, enjoys reading genre work, in this case space opera with a non-traditional romance flare (it isn't hard SF - if you usually prefer reading fantasy, but have, for instance, enjoyed Firefly or BSG fanfic, then this would probably be right up your alley.) If you can read and respond relatively quickly, even better.

And no obligations - if you start the first chapter and hate it/can't get into it, please do walk away without any guilt (just let me know that's what you're doing!) There is nothing to be gained by forcing yourself to read something you have no interest in.

So. After all that, anyone interested? If you're reading this and have no idea what I'm talking about, you must be VERY new to this journal. But, on the off-chance you have no idea what Nemesis is supposed to be about, a three word blurb:

Telepathic space pirates.

What, that wasn't enough to hook you? Okay, how about this:

As a Rescue pilot in the Commonwealth Navy, Mercy Kincaid swore an oath to save lives at the risk of her own, even if that means relying on a deadly secret. Mercy's a telepath, an outlawed Talent that puts her sanity at risk each time she uses it. Worse yet, being a telepath carries a death sentence in the Commonwealth, if she's ever discovered. But Mercy will use every gift at her command, in order to find and save a life. Until that life turns out to be another telepath, and Mercy is forced to choose between loyalty to everything she's ever known, and a group of Talented pirates who have their own agenda.

Any takers?


Oct. 19th, 2009 11:36 am
rhienelleth: (Dem)
The things I get to write, now that Dem has a wife and cute little daughter in the new draft:

Reaper suddenly stiffened, his attention turning to the hallway ahead of them. A large, muscular figure stepped around the corner. His head was shaved, his features strong and masculine. Dark skinned and blue eyed, he wore a neatly tailored suit in pale gray.

Dem, Reaper’s brother, and the only other killer on the ship.

With a smudge on his collar of something that looked suspiciously like peanut butter.
rhienelleth: (Mercy Kincade)
I am well over half way, and things are moving really quickly now for the rewrite. I'm finally to a place where some things can stay...but most scenes still have to be rewritten, regardless of that.

For example, I posted this snippet of the original draft, way back when.

And in the rewrite, it's the same...but not.  You know, in case you were curious about things like that.

rhienelleth: (australia love)
 Spent a very satisfying three day weekend.  There's really only one way to tell it - a bullet list!

~ Saw my new baby niece again!  I shall upload  a photo of her cute self soon.  My sister and fam came down to visit my Grandpa and introduce him to Rosalia.  I haven't been to see him since my Grandmother's memorial, and while I know his sons and daughters have been regular visitors and keeping him busy, I could feel the loneliness there in the house, and Mark and I have resolved to visit more frequently.  I love my Grandpa a lot.  It hurts to see him lonely.

Later, Rhien!Sis brought Rose over to our place and we spent a quiet evening.  I gifted her w/a crockpot to make cooking easier (I was appalled to find she didn't have one.) And, of course, gave her more cute little outfits I'd found on clearance.  

~ I finished a milestone of the Nemesis rewrite!  I am officially halfway, and the chapters are now whizzing by, finally.  I anticipate finishing, if not this week, then certainly very shortly thereafter.  *does dance of joy*

~ Some friends from up north spent the past week in one of my all time favorite places - Disneyland!  On the drive home, they stopped off here last night and stayed over.  It was one of those fun, warm times when you wish people could stay longer.  Very good, indeed.

~ Um.  I think that is all?  It was a good weekend, if not much really Got Done.  :D


rhienelleth: (Default)

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