Audience: Literary and/or Adult
Expected Partner Duties: Ideally I would want someone to read my whole draft (of about 155,000 words), but I realize this is a tall order. I would be willing to exchange a small portion (perhaps about 20 pages or so) and then take it from there. In particular, I’m looking for someone to help me sharpen my plot structure and the arcs of individual characters.
For My Partner: I’m willing to put in the same amount of work that a partner would for me, i.e. . If you have a draft or manuscript, I can go through the whole thing. My critique can be as specific or as general as they wish. I am particularly fond of fantasy, science-fiction, and historical works, although I’m not too particular about genre.
Time Frame: I can be flexible in this regard, although ideally I would want something within the next couple of months.
Description: My novel is set in a bleak, inhospitable desert world, a place where even the concept of heroism cannot exist. A trio of amoral misfits are thrust together by happenstance and scour the desolate wastes in a fruitless quest for purpose, desperately seeking meaning in a place devoid of it. The band includes a grotesque hunchback physiologically altered to speak only the truth, a disenfranchised noblewoman from a brutal theocracy who has transformed herself into a relentless warrior, and a one-handed boy with self-inflicted amnesia and the ability to speak a language of ancient and ineffable powers. Together they navigate a multitude of dangers both external and internal, and seek to find some measure of solace in a world without hope or respite.
“That doesn’t answer my question.” Gera narrowed his eyes. “Once we go down there, do you know how to get us out? And to where?”
Vn’ab shuffled. “I have a plan, Gera. I always did.”
“I remember what you said, you know. ‘We may have need of a bad plan before the end.’” Vn’ab cursed Gera’s uncanny memory. “This…this seems a bad plan to me.”
“We just have to keep heading south, out of the sun. We should have enough lightcatchers to show us the way. We can make it to Zekar in good time. The Zekari won’t be so quick to-”
“And you know precisely how to get to Zekar from here?”
“Not…not precisely, no.”
“I see.” Vn’ab was almost angry at Gera for so curt a reply. She would have been, had it not been for his hollow voice. Distant, tired, faltering. He and Ayyad looked to each other, then up at the descending salt. Another gust of wind passed them by.
She started down the path to the entranceway. “It will work out in the end. You’ll have to trust me. Come.” They followed, tentatively, as birds edging out when first they learn to fly. Gera took a last look at the flecks of salt, a veritable night sky of twinkling stars in full daylight. In a way, he was almost sad that he would miss the storm. There was something comforting about the certainty of death, especially death in such lovely isolation. A beautiful demise, far away from bothersome mourners, officiants, priests. No murderers, no poisoners, no human hands at all to ruin the process.
He still wondered what death would feel like, what it would entail. He hoped it would not be as devoid of sensation as the looming emptiness of the Deep Paths. He stepped downward, letting the sides of the cavern enfold him. The sound of the wind faded, the burning-hot shreds of salt too skittish to find rest in a haven so dark and so cold, so still.