Once upon a time there lived a girl named Jacqueline Rose. She dreamt of being a great author when she grew up. And so she began to pour her thoughts and ideas onto the pages of her worn spiral bound notebooks. She once had a dream that she was standing on a tower which was crumbling and wove the terrifying experience into her novel. She wrote about a magical desert kingdom where the tower was located, the desert kingdom of the Nahalla, which was doomed to fall unless…

Twelve-plus years later and I finally have a finished draft. After staring at the words on the page for so long, if feels strange to take a step back. It is hard for me to know what I’ve painted vividly with my words and what I haven’t made clear to my readers. It’s hard for me to know which details should be included to help them understand my characters and which details really aren’t needed. Do they need to know what Tarrek was thinking when he was only eleven years old or what Nariel’s favorite food is? Perhaps these details are unnecessary but perhaps it would add some insight into their thought process. I am not the best person to give myself feedback; I need real readers now. 

It is time for beta-readers. 

And that is terrifying. My readers cannot see my characters’ past. They may get irritated with my characters’ flaws or personality quirks. These readers may not enjoy being in this place I have created which feels like home to me—the great Nahalla kingdom. They may love it. But I will never know what people think if I don’t start sharing my world, my story. Having test readers will help me create a world that is far more beautiful and accessible than anything I could create on my own. Besides, how will I ever be able to let my story grow up and go to a publisher if I cannot even hand it over to a few close friends? I may have something special, but I don’t want to keep my world to myself. I want to make it shareable. Becoming a great author when I grow up is doomed to fail unless…

Once upon a time there lived a girl named Jacqueline Rose. She created new worlds with her pen and carved out characters on the page. But these beautiful people and places where doomed to stay locked inside the pages of a notebook and hidden forever, unless…

Unless she could share her precious manuscript with some amazing, honest people who are willing to spend their time helping her bring her story to life. 

A massive thank you to all my beta-readers who are helping me make my dreams come true. 

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