Apex magazine has a pretty strong reader base for fantasy and SF. They have their own Pop ups, not a patch on Litopia. But FYI.
This was great. The three editors gave really solid feedback, much of it useful for genres beyond their focus. And Aly Grauer was outstanding as narrator. The first-page-only critiques moved quickly, not unlike the way editors and agents handle their slush piles--if they bother to read as far as 250 words (one standard page, U.S.).Apex magazine has a pretty strong reader base for fantasy and SF. They have their own Pop ups, not a patch on Litopia. But FYI.
I know what you're saying here, @TimRees . From my experience of posting on Pop Ups twice, in the Lab and in the Huddle, I found that it's good to get other perspectives. Sometimes we're too close to the story to be objective and can miss obvious things, or issues are raised that we hadn't even considered. Of course, we have to evaluate and use our judgment to determine which comments resonate, whether on a line or story level. I do find it useful personally but yes, there are limitations.As an author you submitted to Pop-Ups three times, all I was really interested in was did the readers/participants want to read on. What I ended up with was a load of comments that really weren't helpful, which is why I stopped submitting and don't rally use the lab or post stuff up in the Huddles.
I think with Discord it might be possible to get together with selected/invited individuals(s) where a chapter is read, but participants are told to put their hands up when they personally would stop reading. if all hands went up early, then the author will know where they have a real issue...
I'm going to continue thinking on. this idea....
The priory sounded too much like one of those tropes where they just substitute women in positions of power in fantasy
It is agonizingly easy to over-wite the first 1000 words, and in doing so lose any distinctive voice. That said any tropes or non-standard flourishes can / will be seen as "mistakes" in that initial section, and anything even hinting at "set up" or prologue is also problematic [HPandthePS is a disaster in this respect]. I had two people who supposedly read the whole of a manuscript in a competition complain about something technical on the first page, which never happened again. I suppose one (ballsy) way of dealing with that is to make the "mistake" so blatant that people read on out of some morbid fascination to see if it is all like that. I wonder how many books break the fourth wall on the first page never to do it again.Hi Pamela Jo,
Thanks for posting this website and the snap judgement podcasts. You are a helpful font of knowledge on useful websites.
Stating the obvious, listening to the first 250 words, you can only judge - the first 250 words. That is not even one page of text. Many people, including myself, decide on whether to buy or read a book based on the title, cover, blurb and the first page of text. The first 250 words are important.
I had better go back and check my first 250 words!