Fantasy Story Episode 1 – Ready for Beta Readers!


I know it’s been a long time. That’s technically bad – as far as blogs go I think one entry a week is considered a minimum. But in this case I have a pretty good excuse: I’ve been spending all my time writing. Well, maybe not all my time. I’ve managed to consume the entire season of True Detective. I’ve been reading books from the Sterling and Stone back catalogue. Not to mention about three weeks ago I thought to myself: “what is all this fuss about Minecraft? I should just give it a go and see!” Turns out, it’s all about sucking your life out through your eyeballs, one hour after another.

Somehow, amongst all that, I’ve finished the draft on the first episode. As in, I am now done with my part in the draft. It went from me to Ellie, back to me, got extensively re-written, back to Ellie, back to me for a fix and now I’ve taken it as far as I can all by myself. For anyone who’s interested, it went from 28,000 words at first draft to 22,000 in its current form.

So now it’s off to beta readers – a small group of people who will read it and then sit down with me to discuss it in detail. This is pretty scary for me. It will be the first time that anyone who’s not Ellie will have read anything substantial that I’ve written. There are all kinds of voices in my head telling me to wait, to polish it a bit more, that I need to change more of the story. Or just that it’s crap and no one would ever read it. I need to just get it out there, to get others to read it, and to get used to feedback.

So the best way that I thought I could overcome that fear, right now, is to just post the draft up here, in whatever people would like it. Anyone can read it. Click the links below to download:

PDF Kindle EPUB (iBooks, etc.)

Why? Because it scares the crap out of me. But the only reason I can think of to not do it is because it scares me, and I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to not do something.

I’m not charging money for it. I’m making it very clear that it’s not a finished product. But it’s there for anyone that wants to check it out, knowing that it’s just a draft.

Also, if you actually intend to read it for enjoyment, I would advise you to skip this. It’s got a long way to go before it’s going to be something I’d be happy to put on the market. But if you’re interested in the process itself, feel free to read it and then compare it to the finished product.

I’d also like to point out that I’m going to be making the first draft available to people who have signed up to my mailing list. This is what Ellie got first time around. The feedback on that was “the whole thing needs a re-write,” so if you’re expecting something good, look elsewhere. But comparing the two might be interesting to some.

There you have it. If you haven’t yet, please consider signing up to my email list – it’s free!! All the emails come only from me, and I pay a monthly fee to a company that works hard to keep your email address private. I’ll be offering drafts, maps, excerpts and deleted scenes. Extra bits and pieces that will only be available to subscribers. If you’re interested in the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff or in learning more about my story worlds beyond the stories, sign up! You can always unsubscribe if you feel inundated by the one email a fortnight (though it’s been over a month since the last one, I think).

If you do take the time to check out the draft, let me know what you think in the comments below! Or get in touch with me via Twitter, Facebook, or email me at