Opening for 2 Create A World Clinic beta testers–VERY limited time to respond

ADDED 01/16/2014: Beta Testers chosen and notified. Beta copies go out today.


I had two folks on my very short beta tester list pass on this project, so I have two spaces for new beta testers.

Tell me why you want to be a beta tester on this project, what sort of writing you do, and what you can bring to the beta test.

I’ll pick the first two folks who convince me they’d be great testers.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

19 comments… add one
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  • Nicole Bedford Jan 16, 2014 @ 10:00

    Hey Holly,

    I want to be a beta tester because I am a fantasy writer and I have trouble with world building and the best way to go about doing it. I am currently revising my first novel and their are bits of the world that really needs fleshing out. I feel like we could both benefit from me being a beta tester because I plan to get everything I can out of the opportunity.

    • Holly Jan 16, 2014 @ 10:21

      Hi, Nicole,

      I’ve filled all the Beta Tester openings for this project. Thank you very much for volunteering.

  • Shani Jan 16, 2014 @ 9:02

    Are you still looking? I would love to beta for you.

  • Holly Jan 13, 2014 @ 10:26

    I’d like to thank everyone who responded. I have chosen one writer who has never world-built, and one writer who is not an SF/F writer, to fill out the list of beta testers.

    These were both tester categories I desperately needed.

    I’m still working on the revision, and hope to have it soon. When my beta testers get the beta course, you’ll be able to watch the testing live here:

    https://hollylisle.com/world-clinic-beta-tester-live-updates/

  • Sarah Jan 12, 2014 @ 23:30

    Hi Holly,

    I think I’d be a great beta tester because I’ve always struggled with writing characters and writing worlds. Your Create A Character Clinic helped me with characters so maybe I think I’d be the ideal subject to test out your Create A World Clinic.

    I enjoy writing futuristic stories, especially ones involving “modern” governments but I’ve been struggling with all the intricacies: the politics, the governments themselves, the energy sources, the boundaries among nations, the levels of diversity , the population distribution, the ecological details, the class separations, etc. It always turns out hackneyed or somehow incomplete.

    Hopefully this world building clinic could help with at least a few of these problems!

    Thanks for your consideration,

    Sarah

  • Drake_Tesla Jan 11, 2014 @ 13:54

    I would love a chance to beta-test the Worldbuilding course (though I will definitely be buying it as soon as it is available, in any case.) I’ve been watching for this clinic for quite a while now, and am very excited about it.

    I primarily write fantasy and science fiction. My projects run from contemporary urban fantasy and near-future SF to ‘sandal-punk’ fantasy set in a world resembling the ancient Middle East and worlds with galaxy-spanning space travel. Sometimes, I branch out into paranormal. I have a background in science and engineering, a strong interest in sociology… and I love a good world.

    Because part of my day job involves technical writing and editing technical writing (including things like assembly instructions for a 9000-piece transmission), I have the basic skills needed to take good notes on where instructions were clear, and where they were not. Since I am an engineer at heart, I can also ignore line-editing issues if asked to concentrate on content, though I have good line-editing skills, as well.

    I’ve taken the ‘How to Think Sideways’ course (the very first class!), and own the Plot clinic (which I love), so I’m familiar with your methods and teaching style already. My working (and thinking) styles are different enough that I have needed to twist myself a bit to make things work for me (and, after trying it your way, tweak the procedures to optimize for my grumpy muse, on occasion.), but similar enough that I’ve always been able to see where you were going.

    I often have trouble figuring out what I need to build (and when to set down the map and start the story), and how to organize it. (I’ve recently acquired Scrivener, though, and that’s helping on the organizational front. So worth it.) My work is the sort that really needs a solid world, and I’m always looking for tips and tricks to help me in that area.

    Here’s the thing – I am currently on the cusp of the world-building phase for a new project (so that I’ll have something new to outline and write while the current work, in its final scenes, sits for a few weeks until I’m ready to edit it.)

    I have several strong ideas contending for coveted next writing slot; all are world-building heavy. Using one of those, I would be able to run through the clinic with a near-future SF world (no aliens, alas), a current-day urban fantasy set in a multicultural city, a creepy (modern) paranormal, or a low-tech fantasy setting inspired by ancient Babylon. If you had a preference, I’d be happy to pick the one that best helped round out the group of testers you have already got online. (My muse is making grabby tentacles at every one of those as I write them down. When I envisioned her as a Pacific octopus, I had no idea how much trouble that would get me into.)

    I do have a day job, but I can give you evenings, weekends, and Wednesdays (Partial disability: migraines. I need a ‘break day’ in a low-light environment. Laptop use is fine.) for an intensive run-through of the class.

    Best of luck finding the optimal testers for this clinic!

    Drake_Tesla (aka. Nicole)

  • Layren Jan 10, 2014 @ 23:32

    I have been looking forward to this course since you announced it years ago. I have real trouble with world building. It’s hard when writing fantasy to keep the worlds from all sounding the same, or having the same technology. Or not feeling like you’ve ripped off what other people have already done. Keeping things unique but not getting so neck deep in, that you forget why you wanted to write the book in the first place.

    The information necessary to world-build often seems mind boggling to me. I struggle with breaking down things piece by piece in a coherent manner. Take crochet patterns for example. I know what all the abbreviations mean, but there is so much material, I get lost in the information and can’t follow them. Same for world-building. I know what all of the elements for a good world are, but not quite how to get my own unique flavors across in more than one book. The piece by piece step by step is what I need. I’ll be able to tell you for sure if you succeeded there or not. Most world-building guides I have read, are too much information not broken down into easily understandable ways. Or, if they were broken down, they were dull reads and boring.

    I will be upfront and tell you the portions I like, portions I don’t like and what works for me and what doesn’t.

    Also just because I really, really want to. I’m not sure how to get my enthusiasm across in a little comment. It matters to me to be able to make worlds.

    I do read fast. I have printed out every single course I’ve bought. I have a laser printer, easier to catch errors on printed stuff versus electronic format.

  • Laura Jan 10, 2014 @ 20:06

    What a wonderful opportunity! I’d love to help if you’ll have me.

    I’ve been looking forward to the worldbuilding course ever since you announced you were going to create it. I love worldbuilding and I use a lot of it in my writing as well as in my D&D campaign. Overbuilding is a huge temptation and I need a tracking system so I can keep all of my alien cultures and subcultures consistent.

    I write sci-fi space opera mostly and I adore alien cultures and throwing away as many default settings as possible.

    The last rejection I got was an editor complimenting my worldbuilding. I fall into the intermediate category and am always looking for things that haven’t occurred to me.

  • Shawna Jan 10, 2014 @ 19:32

    What I write:
    I’ve primarily been writing romance and non-fiction of late, though fantasy has always been a love of mine. At the moment, I have a couple, part of their story, a great many questions, and the suspicion that they’re just the tip of the iceberg, once I dig them out. I’m not entirely sure yet if the *how* behind things is magic or science.

    Why I want to be a beta tester:
    I’ve been looking forward to the world clinic, because understanding *where* they are feels essential to understanding how their culture came to be, and, as a result, created who they are – and how they’re going to personally impact their world as a result of their story.

    What I can bring to the beta test:
    I’ve been reviewing homeschool curricula and related resources for the last four years. I’ve completed over 150 reviews during that time, meeting all deadlines. The reviews I do are comprehensive, covering what it is like to actually use the product in-home. I believe this experience provides me with an excellent skill set for beta testing the Create A World Clinic.

    I’ve previously tested one of your books – the Language Clinic in 2006 – so I’m familiar with the feedback you requested at the time, and would be happy to adapt to whatever new information you’re seeking. Many of the products that I’ve reviewed were in pre-release form, with our experiences being used to “put a final shine” on the retail product.

    I work just a few hours outside the home, and my children are older and very independent in their schoolwork. The homeschool-related reviews have been on hiatus over the holidays, and won’t pick up again until late January or early February, so I have time available to devote to your project.

    Also:
    If it’s desired, I’d be happy to comment on my social media accounts as I work through it. I have a potential reach of around a couple thousand people, and though a large percentage of them are interested in homeschool-related things, there’s quite a large number of writers among them.

  • Nicola Jan 10, 2014 @ 18:12

    I’m a long time fan – I’ve bought all your short courses, starting in 2006! I want to be a beta tester because I love your work, and because patience is not one of my strengths! I write mainly Urban Fantasy, but I have been known to dabble all over the place especially in hard Sci-fi (I have a a degree in a hard science). What I bring to the table is ADHD and Aspergers – Really, I have a sideways brain. I see things bit differently, think a little differently and can find several meanings/points/problems that you didn’t think were there. Great? I’ve no idea – that depends on your definition of great! But different and thought provoking – that is me!

  • Michelle Jan 10, 2014 @ 14:40

    Holly I would love the chance to beta read Create A World Clinic. I’ve bought all your other courses and it would be an amazing opportunity to help bring this one into being.
    I write mostly fantasy and I’m a major overbuilder. I can offer the perspective of an overbuilder using the course to help focus on only building what my story needs. I have a flexible schedule, so I can work easily with your timeline. Thanks for the chance to apply.

  • Alix Jan 10, 2014 @ 14:05

    Hi Holly,

    I’ve always struggled with world-building, but it’s never stopped me from constantly trying. I would love to be a beta tester for this, and currently have the time to follow your time-line, as I’ve just finished moving and am in between writing projects right now.

    I believe that normally struggling with world-building would be handy since that’s what this clinic is for. A good story in my opinion has a good strong world where the reader can imagine going even after the story is done, and this is something I wish to accomplish in my own work.

    Good luck with the choice, I’m sure there will be a lot of eager participants to go though.

    Tenikie

  • Pj Jough-Haan Jan 10, 2014 @ 13:47

    Holly,

    I’ve beta tested for you in the past.

    . . . You were impressed with my loyalty to your work.

    I’m working on Flash Fiction and Essays in order to improve my writing skills, i.e. speed, quicker grab at articles, true-life events and obits in order to articulate a 300-500 FF, or Essay.

    You know my work.

    pj

  • Chalan Jan 10, 2014 @ 13:32

    Hi Holly,
    I have been following your work for 10 years and this would be an honor for me. I write sci-fi and fantasy, and my favorite part of most novels is the world building. Not just the settings, or the way magic functions, but every facet of the world that must be explored and exposed.

    I have a open schedual and could work on your timeline. As for what I can contribute, I believe that a good world is the most valuable and importan part of a story. Because a good world gives you enthralling people whom live and breath in the world you have created, plus yhere is nothing more satisfying then being stuck in a novel and finding a way through your vlock by mining a rich world for option and obstavles that have already been set in place. Further more, having taken your flash fiction course, I have deceloped shorter work using more simple yet sound wourld building that can support smaller works.

    Of all of your clinics, when I learned of this one I was most excited because to . The world is what make the charaters and plot thrive. And finally, of all the places you can make changes mid novel or in the revision, the one thing you have specifically suggested not changing was the world, and that is the one thing I have learned harder than any other writing lesson. Your world is your hub, and that doesn’t mean it can’t be wrong, but most of the time when people feel like their world is wrong its more likely that its simply not developed enough.

  • Jean Jan 10, 2014 @ 13:16

    Holly, I’d like to take a shot at this. I mostly write in a familiar Earth-based world in US culture, but through your discussions about this course, you’ve convinced me world building is still important for this type of writing. If you’re looking for someone to test the course in a non-fantasy or SF environment, I’d like to help out.

  • Valerie Jan 10, 2014 @ 12:12

    Hi Holly,

    I am very interested in being a beta tester for your World Clinic. I’ve found all of your other clinics immensely helpful in my writing, and I have been looking forward to the World Clinic for several years now. I’d love to be a part of helping out with the last steps!

    I mostly write fantasy, and I bounce back and forth between having magic be apart of the real world and creating my own from scratch.

    I’ve been toying around with a new world idea for a little while, now, and would love to contribute my enthusiasm and feedback while going through the clinic. I also have a very flexible work schedule, and would have plenty of time to ensure that I get as much helpful feedback as I can to you as quickly as possible.

    Thanks for the chance! Beta tester or no, I look forward to seeing the World Clinic sometime soon 🙂

  • Naomi Jan 10, 2014 @ 11:26

    Hi Holly, New to your site and struggling with it, but hopeful. Have done NaNo this year and won. Feel inspired and energized and raring to go. Have excellent editing experience with fellow writers and loads of teaching experience. Could I try to put this to good use to beta test your course? I have never created a completely novel world and would like to be involved.

  • Melinda Primrose Jan 10, 2014 @ 11:15

    Hello Holly,
    I would like to help you beta test this. I write mystery stories and world building is very difficult for me. I think this clinic would help me a lot. I also think that getting insight from someone who needs the clinic could be useful to both you and potential clients. This information may show you an area that needs to be strengthened. It will also show potential clients how well the clinic works. I am a stay-at-home mom with a daughter in cyberschool, so I have a very flexible schedule. I am hard working and deadlines are no problem for me. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
    Melinda Primrose

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