As most of you already know, I am writing a novel. To be more precise, I'm writing my first novel. I've been doing this for about 4 years now (truly, it is a part-time effort. I estimate I've done about one year's worth of actual work). About two years ago, I finished my rough draft - that is the version of the story which I will not let anyone else read. It is a skeleton really, something with which to hang the real story. It was around 60k words.
On Friday, I finished my First Draft (notice the capitalization there? It's that important). This is the first version I'm willing to let others read and critique. It is about 90k words. It represents the TRUE start of the iterative editing process. Now, I've already been getting it critiqued by some other authors a few chapters at a time, about once a month. It is very helpful and I've learned a lot from doing this (and they are about half way through the entire novel). But I am impatient. I know it will be a while before they are done, and I want more feedback now.
So I am on the hunt for readers. Don't think I'll share this story with just anyone. I've had short stories stolen before and it hurt. THIS thing? I would probably get arrested after they find enough of your body left over from which to extract DNA evidence. If you know me, and I know you are trustworthy and decent at critiquing, then contact me or leave a message here. I am very eager to hear some feedback from people who can read more than two chapters a month. :)
At the moment the issues which concern me are thus:
1 - I do not know if this is one book or if I should make it two. At 90k words, it is at the cusp of what publishers are willing to look at for first-time novelists (at least, this is what I've been told/read). But splitting it to 2 books means I will need to make each one longer, which might become nothing more than padding.
2 - I have written two endings. I'm not certain if the one I chose is the best way to end it. There are characters I introduced near the end, one I removed, and an additional epilogue (minus a chapter) in the rewrite. I am afraid I might have some hackneyed tropes in the end that may put people off, but I'm not certain of this.
3 - I am not entirely certain of the genre this piece would fall into. I have been told to market it towards college-aged readers ("new adult"), late teens ("young adult"), and even religious publications (I don't think so). I've been calling it Urban Fantasy, though Paranormal Fantasy might fit better (then again, it really might not). One person said it would be "Theological Fantasy" and that does sort of fit. Other options are generic fiction, literary fiction, generic fantasy, and splitting it into a rom com and an action. So... if you have any ideas, let me know. It's not terribly important (that is what the publishers will decide), but it would still be good to get some opinions.