Beta Reading … result number 1

DebE —  July 26, 2012 — 5 Comments

My first “Beta Reader” report came back tonight. This is good. I may just have enough time to address the issues raised (which were already in the back of my mind, anyway) before the Tuesday deadline for the Manuscript Contest.

It sucks a little bit that I was aware of some of the issues already. It means I had chosen to put them in the “Too Hard” basket. But then again, I like a challenge. Can I deal with htem without fundamentally changing the story? I think I can. It’s amazing how much I have had to leave out of this just over 100,000 word story (currently at 103,908), and I’m about to take out a little more (because it is simply an issue I didn’t have the space for my characters to deal with in this story). I was worried I wouldn’t have material for a trilogy. I think I do now that I have to keep relegating all this stuff to Book 2. It is stuff that readers will want to know – it’s good back story! But it was awkward to bring up in this Book.

Oh, one comment from my reader was that the title (“Weapons of War”) wasn’t all that “interesting” … hmmm. Anyone got any ideas?

That could still be the title of the Trilogy, of course. I haven’t finalized that, yet.

So themes to base titles on …

* I have a girl who can heal (she is a Syaenuk – the most superior form of the Aenuk race).

* I have a man who is super fast and strong (he is a Syakaran – the most superior form of the Karan (pl. Kara) race)

* I have two warring nations (though no wars are currently going on in this first book) who use the two races for their own purposes: Quaver uses the Kara as soldiers, Turhmos uses the Aenuks as soldiers and medics.

* Now, healing’s a cool thing, right? But not so much if you drain the life out of any living thing you’re touching when either you heal yourself or someone else. That’s the side effect of being and Aenuk.

* There is a special kind of knife that delivers wounds to Aenuks that they can’t heal from. Syakara tend to carry them (they’re dangerous to use if you can’t get out of the way of a flailing Aenuk if you fail to deliver the fatal blow – so it’s best wielded by those who are super fast and super strong). Aenuks can’t heal from wounds inflicted by the knives – doesn’t mean they don’t drain stuff in an effort to do so. — So the knife, while not playing a huge role in the story is a central part of it, so could feature in the title.

* Aenuks can’t heal Kara (Kara are too powerful – it’s too risky, so it’s a natural self-preservation mechanism).

* There is a special tree that can heal Aenuks without being damaged itself (an Ajnai tree). This coud feature in a title … I could see that.

* The Aenuks and the Kara are descended from the Immortals (a race that was strong, fast, could heal and generally lived a long time – not literally immortal, though, just by comparison). There are no Immortals anymore. — something else I could see coming into a title.

Right, I’m off to fix a scene and contemplate titles …




Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a nematophagus fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction. Mum of one human & four fur-babies.

5 responses to Beta Reading … result number 1


    I don’t think Weapons of War is a boring title but I don’t think it suits the story because it makes me think of things like guns and actual weapons of war and more modern, real-to-earth things rather than fantasy. Maybe if you used “Weapon of War” because that is what Llew is? Here are my other ideas: Kill to Heal (no, just joking, I just thought it would be funny 🙂 ), Llew’s Secret (though that makes me think of Victoria’s Secret), Ajnai Child (because Llew has some sort of connection to the tree and it looks upon her as one of its wards / children), Immortals Divided (because Llew is one half of what the immortals were and Jonas is the other, and then the book about their baby could be The Immortals Return lol!), The Price of Healing, Healer’s Bane (this could refer to both the suckiness of hurting others in order to heal herself and the knife of Jonas’s that can be her demise), A Lot of Trees Were Hurt in the Writing of This Book, The Tree Pummeler and the Killer Healer (sorry, getting goofy now! I’ll try to get back on track), The Death-Healer, Healer’s Touch (I’m concentrating so much on healers because that’s what Llew is and the story is mostly from her point of view), Unkillable, A Healer’s Way, Syakaran’s Choice, Slayer of Healers (meaning Jonas’s knife or Jonas), The Last of their Kind, The Healer’s Alliance, The Healer-Slaying Blade…
    I really am NOT feeling very creative at the moment! And I also know you’re not going to use any of these, but maybe one of them’ll spark an idea off (or maybe not, but it’s worth a try!)


      In all honesty, I like “Healer’s Touch”, especially as “Healer’s Touch – a Weapons of War story”) – using the trilogy title there. Plus (PLUS!! even) I immediately see what I could do for the cover (and I described it to my husband and his immediate response was “Cool”!).


        Ooh, I love exciting! I hope you’re going to post a copy of your cover on your blog or somewhere; I’d love to see it 🙂 Happy writing and everything else for now!


          I was hoping I could do a photo-compile mash-up kind of thing. But I can’t find the right photos, so far. I may have to draw … which will take ages. Or I will have to wait to talk to my Graphic Designer friend … Or I might actually have to go out there and pay for a full-priced cover … urgh.

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