No Man’s Land: Alpha

It’s just occurred to me that you’re seeing a book all the way through creation here…I only thought up the concept back in May! I started planning immediately and I’ve been writing since then, so it’s taken shape quite fast.

I’ve just had feedback returned from Alpha Reader A, and I know Alpha Reader B is about halfway through. I warned both of them that they’d hate me, and I’ve had suitable screams from Alpha A… YOU KILLED [redacted]! HOW COULD YOU YOU COW! is possibly my favourite, closely followed by WHAT! NO WHY! WHAT! I! HOW COULD YOU! She’s currently not talking to me because of That Ending, which is making me chuckle an evil little author laugh. This is Not A Nice Book, and I love it.

I’ve also been amused to see what comments are the favourites – Alpha A’s favourite is “No one likes additional butter when they didn’t expect it”, whereas Alpha B is plumping for all the crude bits – mostly involving Luk. He has a certain turn of phrase, which seems to be amusing Alpha B greatly!

To give some overview, essentially this alpha read is for the major things; it’s plot holes and problems, it’s “they wouldn’t do that” and things that cause more trauma than necessary; I want to make my reader cry but I don’t want to do it needlessly! (Despite what Alpha A thinks). However, so far it sounds like I’m doing ok, which is really good – there aren’t any major plot holes and the pacing’s good, so I’ve got a few bits to shift around and add, but no major reworkings. I’m waiting on Alpha B’s feedback and then I’m going to do a rewrite, and then it’s off to Betas: two people have already volunteered, which is fantastic! NB. don’t accept too many readers when you ask for feedback, otherwise you end up with too much to follow. I tend to ask one or two people, use that feedback and then ask more. It’s much more manageable.

So there you go, No Man’s Land is progressing nicely! I’m going to finish my alpha rewrite and then probably start working on No Man’s Sky while I’m waiting on beta feedback, as that always takes long; it’s the nitpicky bits. But wheeee! *happy author dance*

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.