I write primarily for kids between 9 and 12, and my books are mysteries and adventure stories. I never read or write Sci Fi. But I’m reading a friend’s first novel to look for things that don’t work.
Why am I doing this? I’m helping out a friend and fellow-writer, someone who has done the same for me, in fact. I’m doing it out of friendship and gratitude.
What are my qualifications? I write. I can spot grammar and spelling mistakes. I can tell when the flow in the novel is bumpy. I can sense when a character does or says something that is “out of character.” And I know when there is too much telling and not enough showing, which brings me to my next question.
How am I unqualified? I don’t know how much explaining of technology is acceptable in a Sci Fi novel. I don’t know how much explanation of the fictional society’s peculiarities is enough. I don’t know if I can skip over the technical details that I can’t understand.
Please give me feedback if you’re a Sci Fi writer or reader, or if you’ve ever been a Beta Reader for someone’s Sci Fi book, on any other genre of novel, with which you’re unfamiliar.
I look forward to your comments.