Call for Beta-Readers

After a hectic start to school, an unexpected delay in the return of my family, and a blizzard, I finally return to the haunts of men. I could dump here all my thoughts concerning science and religion as they came to me in class today — having the anomaly of a large Philosophy class means I can’t get a word in when I need to — or I could spill my frustration with a writing workshop class to a sympathetic audience. I could even try to put into words how weird it feels to be back at school with no friends already there.

Instead, I’m going to talk about something almost completely different.

Wind Age is ready (I think) for beta-readers!


 Alfhild is the second daughter of a carl in early seventh-century Britain. Her life has always been full of work, except when she steals off to the monastery to learn. It is quiet, except for her conversion to the Christian faith against the paganism her family still holds. She has her share of admirers, though she has decided her vocation is to become a nun. Then one day while her father and brothers are away hunting, a Thegn’s eldest son and his men, having lost their way and with a storm approaching, ask for shelter and food for the night. After they have left, leaving behind them nothing but gold and memories to become legends, everyone says the Thegn has forgotten Alfhild as surely as she will forget him. But the wind that blew the Thegn into her land blows change into Alfhild’s life –– and gives her the opportunity to change her world.

Cover credit to Olivia of Windy Knoll Photography. She’s good. And patient.

Now I’ve never done beta-reading quite this way before, because every time before I had Word on my computer. This time. . . I don’t (I miss it). So I’m going to try putting the story in a Google Doc and sending interested people the link to it by e-mail. I’ll be doing it at the rate of a chapter a week, so as not to swamp you with an entire novel all at once. I’m looking for pretty much anything you notice, even grammatical errors (my sister, who is three chapters into Of the North, has already found two errors that have been there for more than a year without me noticing, and I don’t want that to happen again), and at the end I’ll ask some specific questions about things I’m wondering about. I’m not sure how long it will take to go through the whole thing — it would depend on how quickly people get done with each chapter, I suppose.

I’m probably leaving out something important because I’m new at all this, so feel free to ask questions.


About Nolie Alcarturiel

Creative Writing major and Philosophy minor, contemplating a Master's degree in Medieval History. I enjoy practically anything to do with medieval history, including the domestic arts, with an especial emphasis on the Anglo-Saxon Era. In my spare time I read endlessly, do medieval living-history, hold philosophical debates at the drop of a hat, and write books on even slighter provocation.
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5 Responses to Call for Beta-Readers

  1. thegermangolux says:

    If you have no friends at SMSU, I guess you’re going to have to make some more. Try to find a few that aren’t in their last year there.

    How do you survive without Microsoft Word? And can’t you get it significantly discounted, if not free, since you’re a student? The Outlook email account that the tech school gave me is constantly reminding me that I can download Microsoft Office for free.

    Oh, and since you’re looking for beta-readers, I volunteer as tribute. I’ve been looking forward to hearing more about Wind Age.


    • noliealcarturiel says:

      I might still see one of them on Fridays. It’s not terrible being alone. There’s a saying about preferring good enemies to bad friends.

      I can survive by doing things in Google Docs, although at first I didn’t trust it much when the Internet goes out and you haven’t saved your changes. But it did save them for me, so it’s all right. It doesn’t have nearly as many of my favourite fonts as Word did, but there’s ways to work with that. Outlook does have Word for free, but it won’t save any of my changes in it, which is a problem if you’re trying to submit assignments.

      Thanks! No need for you to give me your e-mail.


  2. Another option that may interest you, sans Word, is Open Office. I used it for years. It’s very Wordy (Word-like?). You can find it here: It is totally free. I also volunteer. I feel bad, however, none of us that were reading Of The North caught those errors. On the other hand, way to go, Olivia!


    • noliealcarturiel says:

      Thank you. I have your e-mail already too. I’ll ask Mr White about Open Office.
      I hadn’t seen that particular article before, but I’ve read quite a few that say similar things. I’m hoping to get Wind Age traditionally published, and reviews are helpful for that sort of thing.


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