This week’s writing adventures have been limited as I prepare for my graduation. I started to work on a new short story, inspired by Madeleine Smith and her poisoning her lover with arsenic laced cocoa. I have written two thousand words in the story, but I am uncertain about the tone and direction. I was aiming for a romantic tone with smatterings of suspense throughout, but it has taken a much lighter, sarcastic tone thanks to one character. That character is Thomas.
Thank you, Thomas, for upending my entire plot.
I’ve also done research into Thornseat Lodge, which I will be writing a blog post for this coming Thursday. As requested, by popular demand. Well, by the kindly request of one reader.
I am also reading a book called Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese O’Neill. This is a surprisingly hilarious nonfiction book. It takes a subject you would not think humorous and makes you snort with laughter as you read about the oppressive, and what we now know as ridiculous, rules and attitudes towards the social lives of women, female sexuality, and marriage. I highly, highly, highly recommend this book.
But, the one thing that has been troubling me all week. Where are all the beta readers? I have six short stories in need of critiquing and beta reading, but I cannot seem to find anyone. I had the fortune of finding two beta readers who are not family or friends, who do not care about me or my work in any way, and who will provide unbiased opinions.
Unfortunately, I need more than two beta readers for six short stories. Not to mention the need to have more than one opinion for each work. It’s like beta readers, and good ones, at that, are like unicorns. Mystical creatures difficult to track down.
You know what, I think I will also blame Thomas for this.
Thank you, Thomas. You, Thomas, a fictional character of my creation. You have upended my story, and you have also upended my search for beta readers.
Bravo, Thomas. Bravo.