Dear Beta Readers:

Half of the Scold of Jays beta manuscripts are in, and the feedback has been tremendously helpful!

There were two issues I was worried about, and both concerns have been nullified by beta feedback. I’d like to just apologize in advance for underestimating my readers. I stand corrected. I’m so sorry for doubting the story, otherwise you would have gotten a manuscript that was 80 pages longer.

Prior to sending Scold of Jays out, I took out seven sections, nearly 80 pages of content.

Why? Why would I do such a thing?

  • I was worried shifting back and forth between characters would be difficult to understand.
    1. Unanimous consensus was the current POV shifts are understandable and trackable.
    2. 60% requests for more muses and stories relating to them. YAY!
  • I was worried about pacing, and thought the extra content would speed too much up.
    1. 50% requests to speed up front end of manuscript and keep the current pacing in the back half. (Now I know where to insert the extra content)

On a side note, I’m also restructuring the overall larger series plot point to shift it up into Scold of Jays. Why?

As I was working on the central question in Plague of Gargoyles, I realized my original arc on the novels was to release the central crux in book three, which at the time was Plague of Gargoyles—then I wrote the prequel, Sinnet of Dragons. The crux then shifted to book four if the reader goes in order, which is too late in the game to be glimpsing the central question arc.

Dagnamit. I didn’t replot the central crux timing when I wrote the prequel, thereby shifting the reveal down a whole novel. Rookie mistake. Timing is everything.

Quick adjustment–whip out story board—tinker—nudge—twist and stuff leads for central crux into Scold of Jays to smooth out the full series trajectory, at least lay the groundwork.

Long story short, I’ll be digging into Scold of Jays revisions this week and next. My plan to add in the seven removed chapters of Maya and further overall series arc will shift lot of the timing and upset some of what you read. Then, to bring in the central crux sooner, means altering the prologue somewhat…

The book that will go to the editor, will not be the same book you beta read… and this is a good thing.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHY BETA READS ARE SO VALUABLE AND HELPFUL!!

I hope someday to be to the place as an artist where I’m not second guessing myself, but until then, I hope you’ll all be here to help keep me on the right path.

Thank you for participating in this beta read. Thank you for helping me gain perspective and find a better story balance. I realize it’s not a small amount of time and dedication to the beta process, and I’m very grateful for your time, energy and feedback.

Thank you!!

Sincerely,

Athena

P.S Some really great reader feedback and requests have been heard and will be added.

  1. A) A request for a character and world glossary
  2. B) A request for a world map of Aria (depending on cost, may need to be added to the Aria Wikipedia)
  3. C) Request for world extras (I’m on it!)

 

Speaking of extras: here’s a glimpse at the first round of candles being designed for the Dragon Ryder scent!