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Reader's Reaction

Reader's Reaction

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Published by Edgar Bajana

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Published by: Edgar Bajana on Mar 29, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/23/2012

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Beta Reader's ReactiontoMy Writing Project
MORE BLOG POST AThttp://edgarbajana.blogspot.com/
I just wanted to share my Beta Reader's reaction to aninitial draft of my current writing project. Thisproject is a novella titled "Only the Madmanlaughs."
 
Thank you for your time and comments betareader!BETA READER'S COMMENTS BELOW:March 25, 2011>>>> Edgar,>>>> Forgive me for being so slow about getting all thesecomments together>> and thank you for being so patient! Thank you forsharing this draft>> of a very interesting, moving and mysterious novel.ONLY THE MADMAN>> LAUGHS leaves me with some powerful images from thevery first page: a
 
>> fractured moon, a haunting nightmare, a brokenfamily, a burning horse>> painting. I like where you begin the novel, at theend with William >> as an old man in an institution as well as the paceof the>> narrative—it sucks you in from the start. I likethe characters—they>> are all a bit strange in their own ways and I likethe gothic>> atmosphere you create throughout thechapters.
 
Halloween
 
seems to be a>> recurring theme and time marker. This being said Ihave a few>> questions/comments that could make the noveltighter, more readable>> and believable.>>>> 1. I’m not sure how I feel about it always being“Halloween” in this>> novel. I think it works in the beginning but nearthe middle and at>> the end it seems a bit contrived. Yes, everythingchanges for>> William’s world when his father Edgar disappears onHalloween and he>> also gets beat up in subsequent Halloween nights.Maybe think about>> exploring other days and events in the life ofWilliam and his father.>> Ones that they share from the past. Even morelighthearted and happy>> ones to contrast with the dark, moody “Halloween”ones. Also, if you>> include additional scenes it will add more varietyand diversity to>> the narrative. Make it more “well-rounded”?>>
 
>> 2. You have a tendency to allow certain events inthe narrative to>> happen “all of a sudden…” Just be more conscious ofwhen you use this>> technique and don’t overuse it. Be clear about causeand effect.>> Basically try to take out an randomness andcoincidence that just>> “happens” if it doesn’t serve the thrust anddirection of the overall>> story.>>>> 3. You need to establish in a much stronger andclearer way what the>> stakes are here—for both William and Edgar. Whatmotivates William to>> go away? I know there is this horrible nightmare butwhat else? People>> have nightmares all the time but don’t abandon theirwives and>> children unless they are mentally unstable? Ill? Itis very very>> difficult to write a novel from the point of a viewof a “madman”>> because it becomes that much harder to establishtrust between the>> writer and reader.>>>> 4. I am much more interested in William’s storyof his “search” for>> Edgar, his farther rather than Edgar’s “guilt”. Iloved your>> description of William’s descent down the passagewayand his discovery>> of the book with his name on it. Go deeper here.What is in this book?>> Is it all descriptions of crazy nightmares that cometrue? What if the

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