Forum: Beta - Try Before You Buy

Discussing: An Exercise in Futility (working title)

An Exercise in Futility (working title)


Never mind. I've found someone who generously offered to Beta for me.

Note: I will readily admit that I am inexperienced, especially when it comes to Betas and the like. I will appreciate any advice that is given. Furthermore, I will be happy to answer any questions that you might have concerning my inquiry. Thanks.

a. A Harad child is rescued by a stranger called "Strider", a stranger who accuses Sauron the Great of evil things. The seeds of rebellion are sown and, after a misadventure, things escalate beyond Strider's control. Ere long a Harad community and a Northerner end up over their heads in what very well might be a hopeless situation.

b. It's currently just over 10 K words, but it will probably grow to be closer to 20 K.

c. I would appreciate help with the entire piece if possible.

d. As far as types of Betas are concerned, I'll take any help I can get, whether it be with cannon, flow, or anything else. My only requirement is that the Beta must be able to catch spelling and grammar errors.

e. will have some violence at around a PG-13 level.

f. If someone would like to Beta this story for me, I'd count myself blessed, but I'd count myself more blessed if someone wouldn't mind a longer term partnership. (I foresee myself mostly writing about Aragorn and/ or Eowyn)

g. I will welcome e-mails as well as posts in this thread as replies.

h. Extract:

After a cautious glance over his shoulder, Strider complied. Perhaps he had decided that the middle aged woman would not seek to spit him with the sewing needle she waved about to punctuate her words. At first he felt nothing but pain as she applied some stinging paste to the wound. Involuntarily, he jerked away from it, but quickly regained his self-control and allowed her to finish. Then she settled into the monotonous, albeit uncomfortable, motion of sewing the cut closed.

While his mother was working diligently on the stranger, the young man pulled up a chair and perched upon it like a hawk. "Forgive our assumptions, Strider," the young man said. "These are trying times and one would not look for such kindness from a Northman. They are said to be thieves and murderers."

"Who says this?" Strider demanded, the lines of his face straining with anger.



"Our neighbors, our relatives, the warriors, and Sauron the Great most of all," the lad replied with a shrug.

"Sauron the...?" A bitter laugh escaped the stranger's mouth as he shook his head in disbelief. "Do not believe all that you hear. These sources of yours are greatly mistaken, or else are liars. While some of my kindred occupy themselves with such unsavory lives, most are valiant and true. You would be hard pressed to find one man in twenty that would not have rushed to your sister's aid."

"Do not speak ill of Sauron. You have our thanks for what you've done, but Northmen, as a rule, are not welcome in these lands. You press your luck by insulting our master."

"Master. So then you are his slaves."

"His people."

"How often do you have problems with the warriors who come through your lands?" Strider asked. The boy was silent for a long moment, then looked downward. Taking that as reply enough, the Northman continued. "Then either Sauron cannot control his men or he allows them to mistreat you so."

"Silence! Mother, stop now! We must send this man from our lands now! We show him kindness and he repays us with speaking treason in our home."

"What? Are his spies sitting with their ears to the windows and doors, waiting for one incriminating word so that they can drag you from your homes in the middle of the night, never to be seen or heard from again?"

"I warned you, stranger!"

"Peace! I am finished."

A long, uncomfortable silence stretched out then and all was still save for the mother's hand and the needle she held in it. At last, the mother's voice pierced the silence. "My daughter said that you killed two of them and that the third escaped," she stated.

"Yes. I would not have slain the two, save they left me with no choice."

"You mistake me, Strider. It were better that you killed all three. Now the one will spread word of your deed and more warriors will come to try to deal out your punishment."

"And so I have drawn their attention to you? I am sorry for that then."

"You can't stay here."

"I know that well enough. I meant to have already left these parts."

"Where will you go? Back to the North?"

"No. I came here to learn of your people, and I still mean to."

"I would counsel you to return to your homeland nonetheless. The penalty for assaulting warriors is severe."

"I will not."

"Then we will help you as we may, but you must be gone before nightfall."



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