Project TFL: Beta Request


Steven Poore - Epic Fantasist & SFSF Socialist
Feb 4, 2005
Sheffield, SoYo
Hola all,

After several years and as many false starts, I finally have a full (104k) version of TFL, and I'd like to ask here for one or two readers to see if it holds together and makes any sense at all. TFL is a more modern fantasy than my previous novels, set partly in 21st Century Shropshire before a sudden swerve away into the unreal. It follows two people who inherit a narrowboat from "Uncle" Pat after he passes, and they discover that Patrick Skey was not that he seemed to be. I understand that a full-length novel is a big ask, so I'm more than happy to let readers go at their own pace.

Cheers and cakes,

Steve P

Venusian Broon

Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity
Dec 7, 2011
Hi Chopper Steve,

I'd be willing to give it a go. I like to think I'm fairly harsh - but fair. (How else can an author get better, no?), and although I'm not sure if your genre is the one I'd write as I'm: SF and 'dark weird urban'. However, I have been known to beta all sorts, as I read all sorts. I can supply referees on my beta-ing work if required ;) :).

I am definitely not a line-editor - although if I constantly pick up grammar mistakes I will mention it and probably mark some of them ongoing as I read. I'd put myself as more of a content editor. :)

I only really critique any work if complete and try and view everything "holistically" as I think that's the only fair way of getting your story, ideas and characters out, although I think it's valid to also put down first impressions as I go through it - as that will be the main reading experience of your readers also and may be valuable for you. Although, I usually temper those when I reach the end, depending if my viewpoint is changed by the end of the work!


Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2021
Hello @chopper , if you're happy with a very slow reply ...and one that'll be just the opinion of a random punter on the net (so not a proper critique) I'll give it a go too. Have to get some historical fiction read first (the author was not messing about with beta readers ...checklists every couple of pages, questions on each chapter, so will be another couple of weeks). Sounds like a good story though.

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Nov 10, 2008
nearly the New Forest
Hiya Steve

I don't know how much free time I'll have in December, but from Jan onwards things should be calmer, so if you don't mind waiting 6-8 weeks for any feedback, and you're happy to get sharpened talons ripping through it, send it over. (I'm more of a nit-picker, but I would try and restrain myself and just deal with overall issues of structure etc.)

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