Page 1 of 1

Looking for Beta-reader/copywriter for personal project

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:28 pm
by HalcyonLioness
It's 2 AM as I write this, so... hello, various people perusing this forum. How are all of you? Hope you're doing well. As for myself, I've got a lot on my mind, and I hope you'll indulge me as I share some of my thoughts with you.

So, a little under two years ago, I started penning a very, very long fanfiction ... partly for practice, partly for personal challenge because of the length of the story and the particular format chosen for it, and mostly because there was a huge gap in the fandom this story was inspired by that needed to be filled. I talk about the fic and a possible audionovel based on it in this video... oh, and pay attention to the annotations because I don't like being rude or worse.

Long story short, I put the whole project on hiatus due to a combination of writer's block, haphazard organization, and life generally rising up and biting me in the rear end non-stop. So, a few weeks ago, I tried to get back into trying to make some headway into the story... and to do that, I tried to read through what I had already published and had my team of handpicked copywriters edit. [Warning! Read at your own risk. Though censored to a degree, there is a lot of swearing and intense imagery. You have been warned.] Don't worry. I'm not planning to post that story here in its own topic thread because I know its contents are all against the rules.

I'll be frank, I personally think the whole work is totally unreadable now. A lot of the meaning and imagery, in my own opinion (biased it might be because I am the creator and lead author) has either been disguised, dumbed down, or cut out altogether by my current team of beta-readers/copywriters for the sake of making it 'palatable', especially for the particular audience I thought I was aiming the story towards. Forgive me for saying this, but I think the current members of my beta-team (picked out because they were a cross-section of what I thought was my intended audience) are a bunch of politically-correct pansies with their own agendas muddying up what I once believed was a set of clear and thought provoking messages.

Which leads me to why I'm here. I'm looking for new blood to help revitalize the this project, and I'm looking for a special kind of person to step up and pull this off.


Lately, I've been of the mind to make a definitive 'Director's Cut' version of this story that is unhindered, pulls no punches, and no-holds-barred... just as I had originally envisioned this story to be. It is not a story that supposed to be 'palatable', 'soft', or 'easy to take'. It's brutal, bloody, and base. Because of the nature of material the story is derived from and the semi-realistic setting I developed for it, the characters involved aren't going to see the end of this tale unscarred; mentally, physically, or both. They will find combat, torment, madness... and death. It's dark, gritty, vicious, and unrelenting... and I wouldn't want it any other way, because in the midst of the abject horror and darkness, there is hope.

I'm looking for a beta/editor that won't flinch when my writing gets heavy, unforgiving, and riddled with profanity (the last bit can't be helped with the characters being what they are...) and are willing to be a backboard to bounce ideas off of. It takes a special kind of person to make sentences that are readable and still honoring the original intents of the original author, to the point of being so trusted they're basically a second mind. I've found these qualities in another copywriter that I've worked with for years, but she lacks one crucial aspect I desperately need now: I need a beta-writer that is also a believer. ... because I want to involve mentions of God and His involvement in this fictional world with utter and abject shamelessness, because He is involved in everything I do, and it feels wrong for me to sweep Him under the rug no matter how bloody, base, or high-profile this fiction may wind up becoming.

I pray that beta-writer I'm looking for is here among you gentle lot. I realize that my personal tastes in writing are a little more 'metal' than what most people here are comfortable with, and I'm hoping that whoever steps up to help me make drafts a bit more readable are just as 'metal' and can keep up once I start getting this ball rolling again.

TL;DR -- I'm writing a story that would be classified as upper PG-13/lower R, and I need a Christian beta-writer that can handle content at that level of dark and uncomfortable.

*looks at clock* Now it's 4:30AM and I should be resting for Worship in a few hours. Better sleep. Thanks for indulging me, guys and I hope I didn't scare y'all off.

Stay Awesome,

Re: Looking for Beta-reader/copywriter for personal project

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:31 am
by Sstavix
Consider me curious, if anything. :wink: You mention that this is a fanfic, and in the video you posted, something about a "Minecrack" server... so will this be set in World of Warcraft? I haven't read the other link you posted yet, because I wouldn't want to alter my perception of what you intend (vs. what other people have shaped it into).

I can't say that I can devote enough time to all 90 chapters of your proposed audionovel or dramatic reading, but I can certainly take a look and provide feedback, if you'd like. Take note though - I tend to be blunt in my assessments. Then again, if you're serious about writing (like I am) that's exactly the kind of approach you want.

Feel free to PM me if you want more information and don't want to make it public. Your call! :D

Re: Looking for Beta-reader/copywriter for personal project

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:32 am
by HalcyonLioness
Nope. It's not based on World of Warcraft. (though that was what I was playing while I was rambling incoherently). Sorry if that caused confusion. I'll take the time to clarify as best I can in print what I couldn't eloquently say in the video.

First, a bit of background:
The Mindcrack Server is a Minecraft server that was established in 2010 by one Guude Boulderfist (a YouTuber who coincidentally once played WoW on the Boulderfist (US) server, but he doesn't like to talk about that... moving on...) It was originally established because Guude wanted to share his shenanigans in Minecraft and he missed the multiplayer aspect he enjoyed in other games. As a result, he actively encouraged the people he invited onto the server to do the same, leading to the server spawning some high profile YouTube personalities like Etho, DocM77, SuperMCGamer, BdoubleO100, and so on. Mindcrack has since evolved beyond the Minecraft server Guude established, garnering a rather wide audience over 30 individual channels, and the Mindcrack 'brand' has come to include other notables like Aureliyan, Paul Soares Jr, and Sethbling.

My involvement:
I was introduced to the Mindcrack group roughly a year before I began this project. This meant I was aware the group existed, but I didn't want to touch the content the group provided because I was aware of the sheer volume of their offerings to the YouTube audience was (and I was, admittedly, intimidated by that.) It wasn't until I was led to reddit because I stumbled upon some fanart on DeviantArt of previous UltraHardcore tournaments the Mindcrackers hosted, (UltraHardcore is PvP game the Mindcrackers developed and that inspired the addition of 'UltraHardcore Mode' to Minecraft... it's a really long story) that I started to take notice in regards to their influence; specifically in the area of the Mindcrack Fandom that was dedicated to writing fanfiction.

Which led to me encountering the complaint that the fanfiction being written involving the online personas of the various Mindcrackers was (and I'll be blunt here because I had to dance around the topic in the video) mostly smut, as is infamously on par with most fanfiction on the internet, and any general audience, safe-for-work (or at least non-sexual) fanfiction was poorly written and not carefully thought out. For a connoisseur of fanfiction of my particular tastes, in regards to Mindcrack fanfiction, no matter where one bites into the dish, it still tastes awful... and I wanted to change that for the Mindcrack fiction sub-community.

And so "UHC:Foundation" was conceived as an answer to the unspoken challenge described above, and an opportunity to stretch my skills as a veteran hobby author of 20 years for the first time in a long time. (and that meant watching a lot of videos in the name of research, because I'm a stickler for being respectful and accurate to the source material...)

So what is "UHC:Foundation" beyond what you've told us?

"UHC:Foundation" is a serial, episodic fanfiction set in a semi-dystopian alternate universe based on the established lore, mythos, and community of and surrounding 'Minecraft'. This alternate universe is called the 'Severance Universe', a world I've been building and developing since early 2011, and it explores how different people and things would be if the 'infinite' world we know here on Earth as a simple computer game was actually another reality altogether.

I've prepared a primer to give anyone interested a in taking cursory glimpse into the Severance Universe and introduce a handful of the key characters involved in the "UHC:Founcation" serial. Beyond this primer, I have about 19 chapter/episodes of "UHC:Foundation" published on two sites, about 5 or 6 short stories published, 400+ pages of additional (private) worldbuilding/lore in various stages of organized, plus a load of other content that I have yet to write down/draw out that's all still stuffing up my mind. I may not be Tolkien, but I love a world that proves it's alive by growing up on its own. ... and I don't plan to actually record the chapters into audionovel format (yet! There are some things that need to happen first before I'm comfortable giving voice to words.)

The setting of the Severance Universe itself is a world that is steeped in war and tragedy, and it extends beyond the time humans had come to colonize the separate reality they call 'Minecraftia'. Because of how I had developed this world, its nature pretty much demands almost any story told in this setting to be in-your-face dark and gritty, sad, or at least somewhat introspective. It's also a deeply psychological setting, digging into the minds of the characters in an effort to grant them more substance than being merely action heroes swinging swords and shooting guns, or more than simple bystanders, forced to watch from the sidelines. This affects "UHC:Foundation" in particular, as I had used some pretty heavy language and imagery in the initial drafts for each episode.

Tangents aside, in the context of the Severance Universe, "UHC:Foundation" revolves around the themes of Trust, Brotherhood/Family, Identity, Altruism, and their antitheses (betrayal, isolation, ego, avarice.) The story itself revolves around a series of kidnappings and a mysterious gladiatorial game of death being televised to the Minecraftian Colonies and Earth ... and the destabilizing chaos that follows as the governments of Earth and Minecraftia have no idea what entity is hosting this depravity, causing much fingerpointing while innocent parties are caught in the middle, either being wrongfully accused or literally fighting for their lives on live broadcast television.

There's more going on, of course.

Admittedly, the story is jumping around a bit episode to episode because of the large number of perspectives. Can't be helped since I'm trying to learn how to write non-linearly and with a large ensemble cast (ala Song of Ice and Fire) with this project.

... and that's a wall of text. Hope you're willing to study that, because, whoowee can I get worse!

Anyways, I'll consider your offer, Sstavix. Time will tell if our styles click.

*retreats to the rafters to wait again*

Stay Awesome.

Re: Looking for Beta-reader/copywriter for personal project

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:34 pm
by Sstavix
My apologies for my puzzlement. "Mindcrack" was a slang term for a buff that people could get... for an entirely different MMORPG I used to play. So that's probably why I wondered if it was a reference to a WoW server. :lol:

My only problem is this - fan fiction often relies on the reader to have a bit of knowledge about the subject matter. My entire experience with Minecraft is about 15 minutes of gameplay (my last playthrough I wandered around the island looking for sticks until the sun went down and something green killed me (yes, I've since learned my mistakes), and I haven't had the incentive to go back and try again) and countless hours listening to a few younger friends of mine go on and on about what a great game Minecraft is. As for YouTube, I generally only use it for looking up '80s and '90s music videos. Name drop all you want - I have no clue who you're talking about! :lol:

I'm not too concerned about the graphic content of your work - for goodness sake, I wrote a detailed rape scene in one of my last NaNos (I plan on editing it out with the next revision - I had been debating writing it before I got to that point, then decided to throw it in to pad the word count :oops: ). So I'm not too concerned with language issues or violence or what have you. I think my only hang-up would be lack of familiarity with your subject.

If you are looking for a fresh perspective, though - a set of eyes willing to give you feedback on if it could work as a stand-alone piece (in contrast to a fellow fan who wants to see how you handle the setting), I'm willing to give it a try.