Where The Woods Grow Wild: Synopsis Reveal and Beta Reader Request

*Deep breath* Okay, here we go. The sneak peek series for Where The Woods Grow Wild is officially starting. If you missed the announcement and the schedule last week, check out this post so you know what’s coming up.

Synopsis Reveal

First things first: the synopsis, as promised. This was no easy task. I tried to write the synopsis as close to the back-cover blurb as I could, as opposed to a long, dreary summary. It’s a bit on the long side to go on a book cover, I think, so I’ll have to make some cuts in the future. But for now, this is what we have.

Beyond the streets of Bardun Village, a forest grows. Nobody goes in. Nothing comes out. The townspeople abide by the unspoken rule not to meddle with whatever mysteries hide in the trees.

Martin Colter just wants to make it through another workday at the Cabbage Cart Inn. Elodie Tuck would rather climb trees in the orchard than run errands for the mayor. Together, they’ll do anything to liven things up, until a mischievous escapade lands Martin behind the tree line, where an unknown creature lurks in the dark.

Martin makes it out of the forest—barely. Left with one hand and a strange poison in his veins, he and Elodie must adapt to a new way of life.

But the forest isn’t done with them yet. When Martin and Elodie return to the woods in search of the animal that maimed him, they find more adventure than they bargained for.

Separated and lost in a tangle of fantasy, they discover that more than animals come to play where the woods grow wild.

Getting in was easy. Getting back out is the tricky part.

My main struggle with the synopsis/blurb was deciding how much to reveal. As a reader, I generally want to know as little as possible about the plot specifics when I pick up a book. I prefer concepts and hints. At the same time, I want my audience to know what they’re getting into.

Of course, feedback for improvement is always welcome! This is as close to completion as I could wrestle it for today’s post, but I’ll definitely come back to it.

Hopefully by the time the book cover finalization rolls around, I’ll have figured out how to condense the blurb even more without resorting to formulas and generic rhetorical questions. Will I be able to pull it off?


Beta reader spots are now filled!

NOTE: This is an edited version of the original post (obviously). I know the post has been up for less than a day, but all the beta reader positions have been claimed.

I’m blown away by all the positive responses to the synopsis and the request for beta readers. Thank you so much to those who volunteered to lend me a hand! I’m looking forward to completing this project.

To those who may still have wanted to volunteer or didn’t see the post until now, I’m sorry you missed out! I honestly never expected the spots to fly so quickly, and I even took on more beta readers than I had originally planned. Hopefully you’ll stick around for the release of Where The Woods Grow Wild later this fall!

Stay awesome, everyone.

I believe that brings the first sneak peek series post to an end! Thanks for stopping by to check it out. The next series post will go up Wednesday Sept 7th, and it’s all about the characters in Where The Woods Grow Wild. Be sure to come back!

In the meantime, have a fantastic day!

The (Unintentional) Perfect Beta Reader

For Christmas 2015 (this xmas? last xmas? I’m so confused) I printed out the first four chapters of my work-in-progress fantasy novel, The Children of Falore, as part of my younger sister’s gift.

She loved it. And by that I mean that the next day she marched up to me demanding more. So I’ve been printing chapters as I finish them (yesterday she devoured chapter six).

“Mustn’t poke a turtle-blossom. Mustn’t eat a puffer-nut. Mustn’t make Nayadu angry.” -The Children of Falore

When I gave those chapters to her, my plan wasn’t to get a free beta reader. But that’s exactly what I ended up with. Yes, she absolutely loves the story, but she’s also not afraid to point out flaws.

“I’m confused about where they are. Can you draw a map?” 

“I love this character. You should write more of him.” 

“I still don’t understand [plot point]. You need to explain it better.” 

Etcetera, etcetera. Not only does my sister not concern herself too much with hurting my feelings in terms of telling me what she doesn’t like or understand, she’s very quick to provide feedback. If I give her a twenty-page chapter, she’ll have it read in fifteen minutes. What’s more, she stays after me to keep working.

I didn’t ask her to do any of that. I didn’t plan it. I just wanted her to have fun reading the first chunk of my story. In return, and quite unintentionally, I’ve found the best beta reader ever.