Calling beta readers!
I’m looking for beta readers for Misshapen, my adult literary fiction novel set in 1880s Scotland. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate anyone who wants to help!
A decade before Oscar Wilde opens up about his homosexuality only to be tried for gross indecency and imprisoned for two years with hard labour, Scottish teenager Gill Macduff discovers he’s gay.
Already hopelessly alone at his small-town school and on the family farm he’s expected to inherit, the last thing Gill needs is more reason to collapse into himself. Every time he finds a friend or mentor he admires, they slip through his fingers. And, when someone reaches out to him, he pushes them away. It’s a bad habit, being a threat to himself.
If you had asked Gill, last year, how he’d feel if his father found him a scholarship to attend an elite, all-boys private school in Edinburgh, he would have jumped at the chance. Now, he isn’t so sure that boarding at Glenallen Academy, away from home and at the mercy of two-hundred rich, cut-throat—and, if you ask Gill, handsome—boys, is his path to happiness.
On the surface, Gill’s life is as wholesome as an episode of “Little House on the Prairie.” Beneath that, it’s as gritty as a Carson McCullers novel. In 99,000 words, I look into a forgotten piece of history: that of the gay people who never come out because they were born in the wrong time. They molded themselves to fit in so well that we easily forget how many stories went untold.
Who am I looking for?
Anyone who wants to read this is WELCOME, but specifically: historical and literary fiction readers, nerds and outsiders, and gay male readers (for accuracy). These are the kinds of people who would enjoy my story.
There are a couple of sex scenes, but they aren’t too explicit. You may not want to read it if you are uncomfortable with reading sex. There is one instance of sexual harassment, and several instances of corporal punishment (all but one are not graphic).
Readers aren’t expected to provide line edits. I will have broader questions about the content at the end of each chapter for you to answer. If I have questions about your feedback, we can email or Skype chat to clarify.
I would like betas to read 2 chapters (7,500 words, on average) a week, but if you can read only 1 chapter per week, we can work that out. If you can read more than 2 chapters, please do.
Please message me on Tumblr
with your email address
if you’re interested. I will send you a couple of questions about yourself and the first chapter as a taste. If you like it, I will send you 1 chapter at a time from then on. When you are done a chapter, email me the answers to the feedback questions, and I‘ll send you the next chapter.
If, at any point, you don’t want to continue reading, I won’t be offended. If it’s for a reason you’re comfortable sharing, please let me know so I can improve my novel, but you aren’t obligated to tell me anything.