Get Ready, Alpha Readers!

So today’s post is a little late. Can you guess why? It’s not much a guess, nor is it a trick question. If your answer was “Starforge” in any way, you’re right.

More specifically, it’s because this finale is lit. We’re talking full-speed, barely stop to breath awesome that is … let me check … over two-hundred pages long.

Oh don’t worry. That’s not bland “blow for blow” recitation. There is stuff happening here. This is awesome. Awesome enough that it’s kind of hard to pull myself away from it sometimes.

But not hard enough that I couldn’t duck over to make this post. Which is basically an overblown news post concerning two things, one obvious, one not. Well, three actually.

First things first, then: LTUE 2022 nears with each passing day! I just got notification that my books for the con bookstore have shipped and are on their way, which tells us all how near the event itself is. Next week I’ll do a full post of my panel schedule, as well as other panels I plan on attending, along with some other details for the convention for those that are going.

Hit the jump for the rest of the news, about both this Monday’s upcoming Being a Better Writer and the Starforge Alpha!

Part two of this post! This Monday Being a Better Writer will be live! That’s right, it’ll be another live Q&A session where I’m at the mic answering questions from the official discord channel. Which also means there will be new invites for that channel open that day (so if you’ve wanted to hop into the site’s Discord, this will be your chance).

These are pretty straightforward. I’ll be on my mic, and the audience will be asking questions. Writing as a core focus, but in the past we’ve expanded out to cover a variety of other topics as well, from upcoming books to little bits of lore and other side projects.

Currently the planned time for the Q&A is 5 PM MST, which seems to be the best time for hitting a “middle” between fans in nearby time zones—though it does make it hard for those in other countries, something that’s tricky to avoid. So this Monday, don’t look for a new post, but rather a live one! And come with questions!

Now, onto the biggest bit of news for some of you: Starforge is almost out of Pre-Alpha. That means that yes, all prior Alpha readers will soon be receiving an invitation e-mail detailing the project and making the usual invites.

But this also means that if you’ve wanted to be an Alpha Reader for a while, the call will also be going up on the site soon enough. Let me clarify, first however, what an Alpha Reader is: The Alpha Reading is the step of the editing process looking for structural problems. We’re not talking typos or homophones here. That’s Beta Reading. If spotting typos, grammar bugs, or similar is what you want to do, you want to wait for the Beta Reading.

Alpha Reading is all about things like plot holes, conversations, paragraphs, etc, where things don’t make sense or perhaps weren’t clear. Finding sections of the book that dragged or broke pace and fixing them up. Structural stuff! There’s no point in going “Hey, there’s a typo there” if the whole paragraph is getting axed anyway.

Alpha Reading is about discerning how the audience reacts and responds to each chapter. Were the mysteries too easy to figure out? Too obtuse? Was the action confusing or well-regaled? Did the character motivations line up in a reader’s head? That kind of thing.

It’s a very important part of the editing process, gathering all the Alpha Reader feedback and putting it together deploying little fixes to things that made sense in the author’s head but didn’t quite click for some readers.

If that, along with the secret glee of being one of the first to read a new, unreleased book—though very obviously this comes with a vow of silence against spoilers—sounds appealing to you, then keep your eyes open for the Alpha Call. Starforge will likely have at least two, just to really polish it. In addition, I am going to want to expose those that haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy—preferably neither of them—to see the first few chapters, just to give me a good idea of what a “recap” section needs to cover most of all.

All of this will likely happen next week, hopefully allowing the Alpha Reading to start while I’m attending LTUE. So if you’re a prior Alpha Reader watch your inbox and check your calendar to see if you’re able/willing to participate, and if you’re thinking you’d like to be a new one, watch this space!

With that, I’ve got more to do!

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