It’s great having a good beta-reader

I was very excited about my “The Chevrolets” story. I sent it to a couple of people to get their impression and one ripped it to shreds. It was not the great story I thought it was. He made lots of good points and I’ve been thinking them over since. I’ve kind of figure out how to re-write the story to save most of what I’ve written but to make it much stronger. Now, I have to do the re-write. But it is much, much better to hear that the story has serious problem than to hear it from readers after it is published.

Feedback from beta-reader:

The very beginning was good.  I liked the brother (Todd) how he rescued his sister even though he had some issues with her.  The sister Ashlynne seemed very believable.  Their conversation in his room to the point of her “pushing for more info” was very well done.  Both characters seemed likeable and interesting.  However, once they continued their talk things seemed to change.  What I mean by that is, my feelings about the characters changed.

To me, after all Todd told his sister about college, his relationship with Mandy and his feelings in general, I was thinking, “What an indecisive, immature, whiney pussy.”  Ashlynne still came off as an immature high school girl but that’s what she was.  By the time they had their little spat at the miniature golf coarse I was convinced Todd was a total looser.  Had any guy dumped a girl like he had described Mandy then waivered back and forth about getting back together with her, that person would have looked like a total self centered idiot.  Mandy (if a real person) would NEVER take a guy back after that.  So empathy with your character was lost.

Another point needs to be made, I understand the need for background and build up and I get really annoyed when writers don’t give either then jump into the sex and wonder why readers don’t give them higher marks.  I think you went into too much detail to the point of being tedious.  The background/build up needs to be interesting and necessary to the story otherwise it becomes difficult to read and does the opposite of getting your reader worked up for what’s to come.

The sex scenes, if taken individually were hot, but the way they were put together here, it seemed very choppy.  The reluctance of the two also seemed disjointed.  Todd was back and forth by saying, ‘No we can’t cross that line’ then ‘It’s okay, take your time,’ while Ashlynne was saying ‘this is the only time we can do this’ and their seemed to be some boundaries but she kept pushing for more.  They’ve already where pushing the limits with the kissing but once they got to the oral sex instruction and reciprocation, there was no going back.

If his sister was a virgin, he would have broke her hymen when he fingered her like you described.  If he didn’t finger her, then when she dropped her weight on him the first time he was in her, it would have happened then.  Either way, it would have been painful and messy for her.  You could have mentioned that she had deflowered herself while masturbating with a ‘toy’ and that would have been totally within the realm of believability.  It seemed like the possibility of her getting pregnant came and went on a whim as well.  It sounded like she had a condom in her purse but then threw caution to the wind and went bareback.

Your end left me scratching my head.  Monday morning rolls around and he wakes to his sister entering his room and telling him their parents are gone while getting naked.  Ok so far then Todd stripped off his clothes as she slid in next to him followed by him asking her, “Are you sure, Ashlynne?”  Was he anticipating her doing this or was he surprised by her wanting to continue?  If he was hoping it would happen then you don’t need him to question her if he’s already stripped himself naked.  If he’s surprised by her, have him question her THEN strip.

I think this story has some serious potential, it just needs some tweaking to the frame work.  Maybe have the brother stay in the ‘knight in shining armor’ role while looking at his sister as an annoying brat, albeit a hot one.  He could eavesdrop on a conversation she’s having with a friend about what she’s looking for in a guy, possibly around the time he has a break up with a girlfriend.  I’m not trying to highjack your story, just making suggestions.  I’m thinking this was a rough draft since there was several grammar/spelling errors.  I’m not the best person to ask about that kind of thing but I saw a lot of them.

I’m sorry if this lengthy email sounded like me bagging on your story but you asked for my opinion and help so I gave it.  Good luck with it.

I finished the first draft of my latest story

18,667 words. Time to start buffing. This story is so straightforward compared to most of my stories. Normally, I have to worry a lot about getting every event in the right order and getting each major event foreshadowed. With this story, there isn’t much of that. My main concern is finding an editor as I haven’t heard from my regular editor in a long time. But then again, I haven’t sent him a story in a long time.

I’ve started a new brother-sister story

I just need to finish editing “My European Summer Vacation”, but I haven’t been able to motivate myself to do it. As it is mainly set in Ireland and the main character is Irish, I feel uncomfortable about getting everything right. Or maybe the story is just too big. For whatever reason, I have been able to summon the energy to finish buffing it up to the point that it’s good enough to get an editor involved.

The new story is about Todd and Ashlynne Chevrolet. He’s just finishing his sophomore year in college and wrestled in high school. She’s a high school senior cheerleader captain. The story starts with them pulled over by a cop. Todd has just rescued Ashlynne from a date turned bad. They’ve fought constantly their whole lives, but things are different this summer. Ashlynne arranges a blind date for Todd with a cheerleader as a thank you for helping her out of the bad date. And things go on from there. It’s at 15.5K words and I have quite a bit to go. It might finish at around 20K words.