Agent, Beta, Gamma

This week an agent asked us for the first three chapters of our now 80,000 word completed manuscript Will Steal for Shoes. It will be awhile before we know if we move on to the next round of judging, so to speak, but it’s a welcome affirmation of our hard work and a step in the right direction. As my dear ole Dad would say, “Beats a kick in the head.” Still, no matter how long it takes we’re confident of the ultimate outcome: we will succeed and you will want to stick around for the grand finale. We’re thinking fireworks of questionable legality and cotton candy. No clowns. Clowns are creepy.

Next to pi, (any flavor), a writer’s favorite Greek-type character is her beta, as in beta reader. Not to be confused with betta fish, which although beautiful, are mostly useless. Call them Siamese fighting fish and they certainly sound exciting, but really, not so much.  Beta readers, on the other hand provide invaluable feedback; sometimes positive, often critical, but always necessary. Wikipedia has a neat, concise entry for beta reader. We especially like the part where the author is considered the alpha reader, because really, who doesn’t enjoy being top dog? *In co-authordom top billing protocol demands either: a duel to the death or a coin toss. We haven’t made up our minds yet.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our various beta readers for making us all we can be. Now we’re actively looking for critique partners. If you take writing seriously or know someone who does, send them our way. We’d love the opportunity to shred them to pieces. Just kidding. Or are we?


12 responses to “Agent, Beta, Gamma

  1. Good luck. You always sound so negative but I am amazed at the progress you two have made toward getting published! An agent asking for three chapters! That is an accomplishment.

    • Thank you. We like to think we sprinkle our negativity with a liberal/conservative dose of humility, being brought up as mannerly gentlewomen. You’re absolutely right though, we do need to work on our shameless self-promotion skills. And possibly reassess just how funny self-deprecation is in massive quantities.

  2. Ooooo! Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! (Imagine my arm waving wildly, but pretend the back of is staying put, not waggling at all) Me! Me! Me! I’ve been thinkin’ lately I’d like to get someone who wouldn’t fear hurting my feelings to read my work. It’s not like I’ve run people over with my car before, or at least that I’ve done it often. Ahem. Anyway, Congratulations! I’m excited and happy for you! I’m piling up rejection letters~sigh~

    • *thank you* How could we possibly turn down a fellow Lisa? By virtue of name alone you are obviously genius.
      Let us get our multiple projects sorted out in some semblance of order and priority and then we can come up with rules and bylaws and a secret Lisa handshake.
      Actually found someone else today (a non-Lisa – gasp) who might want in on the action as well. I’m sensing a conference call. Got Skype?

  3. Due to pesky, annoying class, I was not a very good beta reader. However, always willing to redeem myself, I still have a copy of the manuscript and will finish it this week. I don’t want to be remembered as a beta fish – beautiful yet useless. How ’bout just useless?

  4. love love love your blog. 🙂

    • You must be good luck, Margo. Since whining on your blog we bagged us a real, live critique partner. (You remember the book/movie “Misery,” right?) Yup, we hogtied her, propped her eyes open with toothpicks and will force feed queries until she goes blind. Thanks again!

  5. Hello, Lisas,

    I don’t think you’ll be needing critique partners if your book is anything like your blog, because the agent will snap it up before you have a chance to swap manuscripts with anyone.

    I enjoy your writing, and would like to further discuss the possibility of swapping MSs. With other critique partners, I have used, which has its charms, and is free. Whether you end up considering me or not, I would recommend it.

    • Bless your heart, we’re still waiting to here from Agent X (she said it would be awhile). I haven’t heard of Buzzword, but now you’ve got me curious. Any excuse to avoid real work. I’ve been mostly lurking around the Writer’s Digest community blog:
      but it’s got it’s limitations too.

      How far are you on your MS/s? I just realized The Lisas need a way for ppl to contact us directly, off-blog. Will work on that – back in touch soon…

  6. Fully finished with and querying one YA for boys 11-15 (although could always use more feedback), and 1/3 complete on another, a humorous adult cozy-ish mystery, (male protag).

    • That’s awesome. If you like, drop us a copy of your query and first chapter of either/or both of your works to We’d be happy to take a look and see if we think we can be of help! Maybe working with all those smarty pants kids has put you leaps and bounds ahead of us. 🙂

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