Beta Reader Feedback: Update on the Dragon Story Experiment

It’s been a month since I called for beta readers for my short stories about dragons. (Calls are still open, by the way! If you’re interested, check out my original post here.)

After sharing what my self-publishing experiment is all about, now is a good time for an update on my stories and the feedback I’ve received from beta readers so far! So how have my stories been faring?

Short Story #1: “Defender”

The first story I lined up for my beta readers is “Defender”, a story about a battle between a dragon and a knight as told from the dragon’s point of view. This one is the most recent of the three; I first published this story on my blog in January 2017. It started as a simple 1000-word story, but after expanding on the action during editing, it doubled in length to 2000 words!

Of my three dragon stories, this one may be my favorite. The feedback on this story has been overwhelmingly positive so far! Obviously, the exclusively positive comments have come from family and friends, but I did receive some constructive feedback from a couple of readers, which was great! I’ll definitely be sure to consider their notes for the final edit!

Short Story #2: “Beastly Pains”

My second story is “Beastly Pains”, a story about a boy who is cornered by a dragon and has to negotiate his way out of being eaten. This one is the oldest of my three stories; I first shared it in a writing community in early 2014. It started at about 2000 words long, but after editing, it grew to around 2200 words.

This one took me over a week longer than I expected to edit, mostly because my writing has greatly improved over the last few years, so there was a lot to delete and change! I sent it out to my beta readers at the end of last week, so I’ve only received constructive feedback from one reader so far (again, family and friends don’t count). Her notes were very helpful and I look forward to using them to improve the final draft of the story!

Short Story #3: “The Silver Queen”

My third story is “The Silver Queen”, a story about an outcast dragon looking for a way to fit in. I’m particularly proud of this story because it won an honorable mention in a short story contest back in 2014. It’s currently sitting at about 2000 words but may end up slightly longer in the final beta draft.

I’m still editing this one (thanks to the delay with “Beastly Pains”), so I haven’t yet sent it out to my beta readers. Though I have no feedback to report right now, I am confident it will be well received, if for no other reason than I was definitely inspired when I wrote it! I plan to send it out within the next week. Hopefully my beta readers will like it!

To those of you who have been beta reading my stories this month, thank you so much for your time and feedback! You’re awesome!

Not my beta reader yet but interested in being one? Sign up for my beta readers’ list!

Word of the Week: Gourmandize

Word: gourmandize

Pronunciation: GOR-mən-dyz

Part of Speech: verb

Definition: indulge in good eating; eat greedily

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


Here’s another word I learned from the Association game in the Elevate – Brain Training app. This word came up in a set containing the verb “eat”, and though I had never seen it before, it shouldn’t have been too hard to guess the correct answer, since it so closely resembles another word related to food. When presented with gourmet cuisine, one can’t help but to “gourmandize”!

To “gourmandize” is to indulge in good eating, typically in excess. The word arose in late Middle English and comes from the French noun gourmandise, meaning “gluttony”. This noun stems from the noun gourmand, which means “glutton”.

Even if you’ve never heard this word before, its meaning should be easy to remember by its connection to the word “gourmet”. Like “gourmand”, “gourmet” can function as a noun to mean “a connoisseur of good food”, but only the former implies overeating. Aside from its main use as a verb, “gourmandize” is also a noun meaning “the action of indulging in or being a connoisseur of good food”. If you write stories about characters who love food and often eat too much, you may get plenty of use out of the word “gourmandize”!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

Ode to My Greatest Supporter

Of all the men I’ve held dear in my heart,
Who’ve seen me at my best and at my worst,
You’re still the one who always tops the chart
Because you were the one to love me first.

Your words of wisdom taught me what was right.
Your humor made me laugh throughout the years.
Your discipline served as a guiding light
To chase my dreams and conquer all my fears.

And when I think of everything you’ve done
To help me find success in all I do,
I’m grateful to have always had someone
As loving and as generous as you.

To the best father any girl has had:
I hope you have a Happy Birthday, Dad!


Happy Birthday to my awesome father! Thank you for always supporting my dream to be a writer! I love you!

10 Signs Your Dad is the Biggest Supporter of Your Writing Career

Support comes in many forms and from many different people, but one of the few people you can count on to always support you is your father. A while back, I shared ten reasons that your mom is your biggest fan. Now that a special occasion has come up for that other awesome parent in my life, today I’d like to share ten signs that your dad is just as big of an influence on your career as a writer!

So for your consideration, here are ten signs your dad is the (other) biggest supporter of your writing career. Thanks for all your support, Dad!

1) He’s your number one patron – Since my earliest days of writing, my dad has been extremely generous in supporting my dreams, especially financially. He even bought me my domain and hosting when I started blogging! I wouldn’t consider myself a “starving artist” now, but having such a great patron in the beginning was a huge help in kickstarting my career as a writer!

2) He insists on giving you writing advice you didn’t ask for – My dad loves giving me tips on how to find success with writing, which I find both frustrating and hilarious because he’s not a writer. Not all of his advice is gold—like “Save money by editing your own books”—but I still appreciate the thought!

3) He’s always referring you to courses and writing resources to help you improve your writing – I couldn’t tell you for sure how many books and courses my dad has recommended to help me become a better writer, but I can say many of them have proven quite useful for improving my skills!

4) He can’t stand to see you waste any of your God-given talent – My dad always hated seeing me “doing nothing” when I could have been writing stories that would someday turn into bestselling novels. The fact that I was still a child and that much of that “nothing” involved brainstorming book ideas were not viable excuses; any time not spent writing was time wasted!

5) He wants to read every one of your stories and articles – Sure, he may be a busy man, but your dad will still try to find the time to read anything you write. His inbox may be flooded with unopened emails about your newest blog posts and book promotions, but at least his heart is in the right place!

6) He buys a copy of every single one of your books (even if he’ll never have time to read them all) – Of course you’re willing to give your dad free copies of all your books, but he knows that one of the best ways to support you is by paying for them. Happy thoughts and positive feedback won’t help you make rent!

7) He’s a terrible beta reader – But in his defense, how can he point out what’s wrong with your stories when he thinks every word you write is perfect?

8) He gets mad when anyone criticizes your writing – All writers face criticism and rejection, but while you have to learn to deal with it, that doesn’t mean your dad does. Expect him to get angry any time someone dares to reject your manuscript or leave you a one-star review on Amazon!

9) He’s the first to tell you to pick yourself up and get back to writing – Lack of inspiration and stretches of low self-confidence are normal for writers, but your dad doesn’t care what excuses you have. No author ever became successful by sitting around not writing!

10) No matter what, he’ll always see you as a successful author! – Impressive book sales and dozens of positive reviews are great, but even if your numbers are low, your dad is still proud that you’ve made your dream of being a published author come true! You know he’ll always be one of your biggest fans!

Is your father your biggest fan? How many of these signs fit him? What other signs would you add to this list?

Today’s post is dedicated to my father, whose love and support have always kept me going on my writing journey. Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you!

Word of the Week: Gentrification

Word: gentrification

Pronunciation: jen-trə-fə-KAY-sh(ə)n

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


Here’s another word I picked up from Merriam-Webster’s trending words. Back in November, a coffee shop in Denver came under fire for posting a sign that contained the phrase “happily gentrifying“. While the sign was meant as a joke, the fact that it was placed in a neighborhood once occupied primarily by minorities sparked a lot of backlash from local residents. Considering the word often implies the displacement of poor communities, it’s easy to see why most people wouldn’t consider “gentrification” funny at all!

“Gentrification” is the process of renovating and improving a district or house to middle-class standards. The word is the noun form of the verb “gentrify”, meaning to “renovate and improve (especially a house or district) so that it conforms to middle-class taste”. This verb derives from the late Middle English noun “gentry”, defined as “people of good social position, specifically (in the UK) the class of people next below the nobility in position and birth”.

Aside from its main definition, “gentrification” can also be used on a smaller scale to mean “the process of making a person or activity more refined or polite”. While Oxford Dictionaries‘ definition focuses on the positive side of “gentrification”, Merriam-Webster gives a more elaborate definition that mentions its most common consequence: “the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents”. If you write stories about developing areas and the effects of that progress on the local population, “gentrification” is a good word to use in your writing!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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