My Search for Beta Readers Begins

So, good news, everyone. I finished that book I was writing. Here are some obligatory celebration gifs:

cheer hooray happy excited celebration

excited seinfeld happy dance exciting celebrate

FOX International Channels reaction dancing happy simpsons

celebration will ferrell paul rudd steve carell anchorman

Alright. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business. What’s the book about, you ask? Well here’s a synopsis I wrote in ninety seconds:


Fifteen year old Rosie is dead, as far as the rest of the world is concerned. She lives in an underground facility with the rest of the discovered mutants. It’s not so bad. She’s made herself a favorite of the man in charge, and hopes to take his place when he retires. Then she’ll be free to come and go whenever she pleases.

Nick Slater’s never heard of mutants. He’s just coasting by in a world with constant surveillance and a strict national curfew. He has no friends or self-confidence or any real aspirations, until a fight with another schoolmate opens up some unexpected opportunities.

Charles Nolan is a killer. A kidnapper, really, but in his case there’s not much of a difference. He gives each of his victims to his boss, and none of them ever make it out alive. When Nick ends up on his list of targets, the lives of these three strangers begin to intertwine. The results are world-changing.


(I’m really trying to figure out another way to end that summary besides, “The results are world-changing.” I almost went with catastrophic, but that doesn’t quite apply.)

A few other things about the book:

  • The Anomalies,” is the current title.
  • It’s the beginning of a trilogy, and I’m afraid it feels like too much of a “part one.” I know you’re generally supposed to pitch a book like this as “a stand-alone with series potential,” but that sounds like a lie in my case. We’ll see how it goes.
  • I’m never really sure what genre to label it as. It’s Young Adult, sure, but I don’t know if it’s Sci-fi or Fantasy, or Urban Fantasy, or a combination of them both. Or if it would be classified as Dystopian. I don’t know. I’ll figure it out some time soon.
  • Of course, I should probably make sure the book’s actually, y’know, good, before I start worrying about trying to get published.
  • It’s currently clocked in at at 81,000 words, which would be about 324 pages in paperback form. 
  • I’m also concerned that my characters aren’t interesting enough. think they’re interesting, but I’m biased. 
  • There is a lesbian character in this novel who wasn’t quite important enough to be mentioned in that synopsis above, but is nevertheless very important. (And only gets more important in the next two books.) So if there’s any LGBTQ+ beta readers out there who’d like to help make sure I don’t mess anything up, that would be great.
  • Edit: in retrospect, I should warn that the level of violence and profanity is kinda pushing it a bit for the YA genre. It’s never gratuitous, (IMO, at least) but yeah, it is there.

As you may have noticed, I’m a bit nervous to start sending a whole manuscript out to people, even though I shouldn’t be. After all, I sent the first three chapters of this out to Destructive Readers, a subreddit designed to mercilessly critique samples of your writing. These people did not hold back, and not once were my feelings hurt or my dreams crushed. I know I can handle criticism. I’ve just never had to deal with it on this large of a scale.

Anyway, I’m looking for beta readers. I’ll plan on looking at other sites for them too, but I figured I’d start here. And if anyone wants to send me their own manuscript, I’d be willing to swap critiques with them, too. (As long as it’s a reasonable length.) If you’re interested, please either comment below, or message me at mboyle988@gmail.com.

(Also, what’s the deal with Wattpad?)

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I Finally Saw the New Star Wars Movie and it Was Glorious

I’m gonna be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Star Wars. I watched all of them multiple times as a kid, and I read the surprisingly-really-good novelizations for all of them. But then I lost interest around seventh grade and I’ve barely thought about them since. I watched a bit of Attack of the Clones a few months ago and had to turn it off, because those Anakin/Padme scenes were just so painful to watch. 

And then I found out that The Force Awakens was supposed to play in December of 2015, and I just sort of shrugged at the news. I had stopped caring about that franchise a while ago, and this new movie would need to be really, really good in order to get me back into it.

I remember seeing the first teaser for it, and I honestly thought it was a joke trailer at first. For a few reasons, really:

  1. For some reason I had trouble imagining a legitimate Star Wars movie with a black guy as the main character. I’m not sure if this says more about me or the franchise, but I’m ready to admit that I was a tad bit somewhat kind of extremely wrong.
  2. I figured that the stormtroopers were all clones of Jango Fett, so it was impossible for any of the stormtroopers to look like non-Jango Fetts. As it turns out, I was totally wrong on this regard. (Abysmal, my Star Wars knowledge is.)
  3. BB-8 looked like an adorable soccer ball, and when I saw him I started to wonder if this was some sort of advertisement for FIFA.
  4. Also, something about the music made me doubtful.

Then I watched the main trailer, and I was feeling pretty meh about it until that score started playing. You know the one. (Da, daaaa, dah duh daah, duuhhhhhh. Duh daaah duh da dah dadadaaaahhh.) And suddenly I was hyped.

“I will watch this movie,” I said to myself. “For the music, mostly.”

The soundtrack was beautiful, by the way, but that wasn’t even the best part.

No, the best part was this little guy:

I was rooting for this guy the moment he showed up on screen. He was just so loyal, and sweet, and hilarious. He’s like a dog, except smarter and cooler and significantly rounder. The only droid who’d give him a run for his money is R2D2, so that scene where the two of them interacting was one of my favorites in the movie. 

The second best part of this movie was Rey:

Image result for rey star wars

This girl was great. So great, in fact, that she started leaning towards a Mary Sue pretty early in the movie. Oh who am I kidding, she totally was a bit of a Mary Sue. She’s great at everything, doesn’t have any real flaws, and she can hold her own in a lightsaber duel with a trained Jedi despite having no actual training herself. (Or does she?) 

I don’t even care though, cause she was fantastic the whole way through. There’s a whole bunch of theories regarding her parentage, but I for one am hoping she’s not related to anyone important. This whole, “Every major character is the parent/child of another major character,” thing is getting old real fast.

And then there’s Finn. Finn was likable and funny the whole way through, although I must say that I find it weird that he doesn’t seem to have any guilt after all those stormtroopers he kills during the movie. He knows that these are people who’ve been taken from their families when they were young and programmed to fight for the First Order, just like him. Some of them may be feeling the same things he felt in the beginning of the movie, but they don’t know how to get themselves out because unlike Finn, they didn’t have a handsome smooth-talking pilot dude nearby to help them escape.

He should’ve been a bit more conflicted, I think. This is a man who’d been conditioned since childhood to serve the First Order without question. He shouldn’t be able to break free from that so easily without any lingering doubts.

I don’t give a hoot, though. Because all of the main characters were decently well-written, likable, and well-acted, which is more than I can say for any of the prequel characters. And I think we should all take a moment to appreciate the fact that there is now a Star Wars movie centering around a woman and a black guy. This shouldn’t be impressive, (#nowomenofcolorinsight) but it sort of actually kind of is. 

This movie was also something that the prequels totally forgot to be: it was fun. So much fun. I was enjoying myself from the very first scene to the very last, whereas the prequels just sort of dragged on forever and ever. The movie was apparently 2 hours and 15 minutes long, but it felt closer to an hour and a half for me, and I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing. 

Overall rating: 9/10.

Keep in mind that I’m easily impressed.

The Day of the Doctor: A Quick Review

[Warning: HUGE Spoilers Below]

Even though I tried to lower my expectations, they were still pretty high before I watched this episode. Luckily, they were surpassed. Others will disagree with me, some will agree, and more than a few people will be thinking “I don’t care. What’s Doctor Who?”

Because I’m too lazy to come up with an actual review, here’s all the positives I thought of the episode, and all the negatives.

The Good: 

  • Billie Piper was terrific. I didn’t want her to return because I felt like Rose had com back too many times. I think series four would have been a lot better if Rose hadn’t been there. But luckily, Piper wasn’t playing Rose! She was playing a much better character/plot device.
  • All the Doctors were exceptional.
  • Peter Capaldi and Tom Baker made a cameo!
  • I liked the Zygons, and the paintings, and how it tied into John Hurt’s decision to press the button or not.
  • The squabbling between the Doctors was well done. That’s some nice protagonist vs protagonist conflict right there.
  • The humor was great, and perfectly balanced between the darker parts of the episode. Did anyone else find that unlocked door part hilarious?

The Bad (Mostly Nitpicks):

  • The opening scene was funny and all, but seriously, why didn’t anyone knock on the Tardis door just to make sure no one was in there? That would be the first thing I would do if I was in charge of Unit. And even if they didn’t, they only got lifted up about a minute after Clara drove into the Tardis. Assuming it takes at least thirty seconds for the helicopter to successfully grab onto the Tardis, the people in the helicopter should definitely have seen Clara drive in.
  • The ninth (tenth?) Doctor wasn’t in the episode. I can’t blame the show for this since Eccleston simply didn’t want to be a part of it for some reason. It’s a real shame because it would have been nice to see his regeneration,
  • I’m a little confused as to how the Zygon story-line ended. Are they all still sitting around in that room?
  • How exactly did they get out of the Doctor’s time-stream in The Name of the Doctor? Did he just walk out of it the same way he walked in? If so, why couldn’t Clara just do that?
  • As much as I like Murray Gold’s score, there were a couple times where it seemed overused, or not appropriate for what was going on.
  • I wasn’t in it.
  • Matt Smith is leaving in the next episode, and that sucks.

Overall Rating: 9/10.

So what did you guys think? Did you like it? Did you not like it? Are you not sure what Doctor Who even is? Comment below. (Or not. It’s not like I could make you do anything.”