The Child of the Volgs Beta-Read


I am seeking beta-readers for my novel, The Child of the Volgs! As a beta-reader, you get the opportunity to read the book one chapter at a time and provide me with feedback. It's an opportunity to be involved in the writing process, and (hopefully) enjoy a good book in the process. Read on for details.

About the book:
Felitïa just wanted to be a wizard—so much so that she was willing to run away from a life of wealth and privilege to become one. She never expected it to be a simple life, but she also never expected to develop unreliable telepathic powers, or for worshippers of the god of darkness and death to come after her, calling her “Will-Breaker” and seeking the location of someone she doesn’t know. On top of this, her best friend harbours dark secrets, and she’s started having memories of people she’s never met before. Everything starts to come together when she meets a young boy with unexplained powers. When Volgs, creatures out of legend itself, kidnap the boy, Felitïa decides enough is enough. If her enemies are going to keep calling her Will-Breaker, it’s about time she lived up to the name.

The Child of the Volgs is the first part of The Will-Breaker, an epic fantasy series of magic, mystery, adventure, and romance. It contains a diverse cast of characters of various personalities, races, and sexualities.

Content warnings: violence (some graphic), swearing and other harsh language, sexual references, and some (mostly implied) sex.

This is not a first draft. There have been several previous drafts (particularly of the opening chapters). However, it has not yet had a professional edit. I am currently revising the chapters in the second half of the book, but they should be ready for reading by the time the beta process reaches them. The book has 30 chapters and is approximately 200 000 words long, although revisions to the later chapters may alter these numbers. Chapter lengths vary, with most in the range of 3 000 to 8 000 words, though several chapters run longer (the first three chapters, in particular, range between 10 000 and 15 000 words each).

My Beta-Reading Process:

If you are interested in beta-reading for me, the process will be as follows:
  1. I will send you the book one chapter at a time in pdf format. You agree to read each chapter within a week of receiving it.
  2. When you finish reading the chapter, let me know as soon as possible and I will send you a questionnaire for your feedback on the chapter. If you would prefer to do an interview instead of a written questionnaire, let me know and we can arrange something.
  3. After you send me the completed questionnaire, I will send you the next chapter.
  4. Be honest in your responses and feel free to say as much as you wish. Try to provide reasons with your responses, though your responses do not need to be long. “I don’t know” or “I have no opinion” are acceptable responses.
  5. You may stop beta reading at any time, no explanation needed. I ask only that you let me know that you won’t be continuing. The question “Do you wish to continue beta reading?” will appear at the end of every chapter questionnaire.
  6. The expected time-frame of the process is 6 months at one chapter per week. You may choose to proceed at a quicker pace by completing each chapter and questionnaire in under a week, although I may not always be able to send the next chapter immediately if I haven’t quite finished revisions on it.
  7. Please note that The Child of the Volgs is my property and by beta reading, you agree not to plagiarise or steal my work.
If this looks like something you’d like to be a part of, please send me an email at michael@ofdiceandpen.ca, direct message on Twitter (@MRayJohnson), or message me on goodreads, and I’ll send you the first chapter. Please include an email address to send chapters to.

Thanks so much for your interest in my writing. The Child of the Volgs has been an on-and-off labour of love for me for many years, and I’m excited to be reaching the final stages. For those of you who take part, I hope you enjoy the ride!

Michael Ray Johnson
June 2018

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