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Critique: Bètareader sought for a fantasy story - relationships with humans and anthropomorphic characters

Belbe

Member
As the title said. I've been writing a (partially NSFW) story for a while and it's about 16k words now, any more chapters planned ahead.
I'm sort of co-writing it with another person, who inserted his own character into the story and who I exchange ideas with, but I'm the writer of it all.

Given that English is my second language, I'd love to have someone who could be a betareader for this - to have a look at chapters right before I post them and correct mistake or point out grammatical flaws in said chapter.
My writing style for this specific story is a little more flowery than usual fanfics I think - I blame it on one of my favorite books, Kushiels Dart by Jacqueline Carey ;)

I've posted the story on AO3 so far, and like all my content, it's free to read. I've set up a Ko-fi account but it's been super quiet there hahaha XD I've got fans, though, and I'd love my stories to be in proper English at least.

If you offer your services and you're looking for a specific kind of compensation, please let me know so we can work something out.

You can find the first chapter below, if you're curious about the story:


Your Highness, Fenris: Chapter One
The barkeep slammed down another mug of ale in front of her and Sooraya squealed excitedly. She tossed a few coins on the counter and turned to her fellow guardsmen, who all were cheering loudly. They’d finally had a change of the guard and since their wages got paid out earlier that day, they were celebrating tonight. And even though they were part of the king’s guard, in their free time they were a rowdy bunch.
Bran, sergeant of the watch, sat down next to Sooraya, gloating at her.

“I just saw the loveliest piece of ass you could imagine,” he grinned, pointing in the general direction of a travelling group of gypsies. They were a colorful bunch, and Sooraya scanned them with curiosity. A few birdmen were among them, which was no surprise. Avians were known for their pleasant singing voices. Next to them sat a young minstrel, light brown skin and silky curls making her suspect this was Bran’s victim.

“The bard?”

“You know it. Let me get another pitcher and present myself as the finest hero of the watch. Cross your fingers?”

Sooraya chuckled and lifted her mug to her superior.

“Crossing my fingers and wishing you luck with getting into that bird’s pants. Make him sing, buddy.”

Bran laughed and patted her jovially on the shoulder, disappearing into the crowd with a foaming bottle of cider. After checking if the conversation started well, Sooraya turned in her chair, back to the rest of the guards. Alyssa waved giddily at her, stars in her eyes. She’d been off duty earlier and had been chugging beer for a few hours longer.

“Ayoo, girl. Everybody is looking to get laid tonight! Are you going to sit here, wearing down the furniture like every month… Or are you finally going to be adventurous for once?”
The words came out slurred, and someone who knew Alyssa less would have taken offense. Sooraya didn’t, but playfully huffed at her friend.

“I’ll have you know I’m plenty adventurous. Like that time when…”

Soon, the two were loudly laughing over their drinks, reminiscing about the time Alyssa was the very confused victim of a bet between a set of rambunctious twins - only to have them make it up to her in the best possible way. And Sooraya was the one who had to keep curious passersby away from a certain guest room at that time.

“We came this close to Captain Natalia catching us,” Sooraya roared, wiping away a tear from the corner of her eye. Alyssa laughed even louder, shrugging the possibility of ever being caught off, as if it was nothing.

“Tell you what, being born under the Fortune star has its advantages. And speaking of getting lucky, saw someone here tonight you’d do the honors of being… adventurous with?”

Sooraya chuckled and took another sip, then scanned the room. The tavern was known for attracting a diverse crowd of customers, and tonight was no different. Humans all over, in all shapes and sizes. There was a particular blonde guy that she considered for a moment, but she lost interest in him as soon as she noticed his table manners. There were better ways to spend a night than picking food out of a man’s beard.
No, then, maybe…

“Him, over there,” she gestured.

Alyssa followed the pointed direction and her yellow eyes widened. A broad-chested Fenris warrior sat against the wall, his grey fur adorned with golden jewelry. He had several piercings and wore a short pair of embroidered pants. He chatted with a group of Primates and heavily tattooed Barbarians. Even in the company of those, he towered a full head over them while standing.

“Giiiirrrl,” Alyssa whistled, “that’s a tall glass of water.”

“You know it,” Sooraya grinned, feeling a redness creep up her cheeks. She wasn’t used to openly flirting with people, but this particular specimen…
She looked back at the wolf, taking her time to observe him. His coat was a lush grey fur with a white front, and colorful marks adorned the Fenris’ eyes. Little clothing as he was wearing, the pieces he donned accentuated his hues well. His manner was refined and laid-back at the same time. And who knew how he…
Sooraya glanced lower, to where the fur grew thicker at the base of his stomach.

“Are you seriously thinking about trying to get it on with that giant?” Alyssa whispered, her cheeks flushed from excitement.

“I wouldn’t mind combing that little tuft of fur below his navel, if you know what I mean,” Sooraya lewdly winked, which got rewarded with another outburst of laughter from Alyssa.

None of the two noticed how one of the ears of the Fenris slightly twitched.

A quip from the squad distracted both women and they laughed along with the rest of the group, the seduction of the rough-looking wolf warrior forgotten for a few moments. When they turned back, the Fenris was approaching the counter, lifting his broad hand to draw the attention of the barkeep.

Alyssa promptly kicked Sooraya from under the table, prompting a muffled “ouch!” from the latter. Sooraya rubbed her leg and gave her friend an angry stare, but stiffened when she noticed the Fenris lean on the counter left of her. When she turned her head, he slowly turned to her as well and granted her a polite nod.

“Ladies. May the night find you well.”

The wolfman’s voice was much deeper than Sooraya had expected. She felt it vibrate in her chest while he greeted her in the common language, a peculiar accent coloring his words.

“And you,” responded Sooraya, automatically lifting her mug.

“Are you here for business or pleasure Sir? You seem like a traveller who gets around much,” Alyssa asked cheekily, her tongue thick from the mead. Sooraya cringed at the not-so-subtle question, but tried to keep a straight face while chugging her drink. The Fenris rumbled, amused at the brazen soldier.

“Mainly business. But it seems like pleasure might be worth considering as well, due to recent developments.”

Whoever he is, he was no ordinary citizen. No farmer talked like that. A noble, perhaps? Sooraya frowned, insecure about how to proceed.

“My name is Finagin Raämas, Finn for short. Pleased to meet you,” the wolf grinned, stretching out his giant arm to Alyssa first, rocking her in her seat with a sturdy handshake. His grasp was gentler when he switched to Sooraya, giving her a calm but firm shake. She tried not to stare at how small her hand was compared to the warm claw of the Fenris, and smiled in what she hoped was a charming fashion.

“Sooraya Faronas, a humble guard, and this is my fellow guard and friend Alyssa Mereti,” she nudged, aware that the wolf was holding her hand a tad bit too long.

“The pleasure is ours,” Sooraya grinned while nudging, starting to feel brazen as well. The alcohol was working - lights seemed brighter, and the amber eyes of the Fenris shone softly when he nudged back. He eyed the barkeep, who placed a pitcher filled with a concoction of fresh milk and fragrant herbs on the counter. The pitcher looked like a tiny mug next to the towering Fenris.

“Ah. I’m afraid my time is sparse, and I must leave you already,” the wolf regretfully uttered.

Sooraya felt her stomach drop. Next to her, Alyssa pouted and urged the wolf to stay a little longer.

“Treat you to a drink after this one, messire Raämas? Finn? Pretty please?”

Sooraya longed to sink through the floor at the pleading of her teammate and shaked her head in embarrassment, cheeks so red her freckles were just one hue darker in color.

“On another night I would gladly take the offer, but I have pressing matters to attend to,” the Fenris nudged, pointing at the group of Primates, who were loudly discussing among themselves, the Barbarians looking grim next to them.

“I get a feeling we might meet again though,” the wolf smiled. He carefully took Sooraya’s hand again and pressed a soft kiss on it, the fur of his whiskers streaking past her wrist.

“Until we next meet, ladies,” he rumbled and bowed to Alyssa, leaving the two baffled girls alone.

Sooraya turned to Alyssa and lifted her hand. She could feel another “Giiiiirl” coming and her current, soured mood couldn’t bear it.

Alyssa leaned into her friend and hissed “He likes you, you dummy. Return here tomorrow, I bet you he will be here as well!”

Sooraya gave her a sad glance.

“You think so? I rather feel as if I’ve been dumped in the nicest possible way.”

She caressed her wrist, the back of her hand still feeling wet where the wolf man kissed it. Despite her doubts, she felt the corners of her mouth tug upward.

“Okay, maybe -”

“Don’t you maybe me, you just make sure you’re back here tomorrow,” Alyssa grinned, cheering with her mug. Despite herself, Sooraya grinned back at her friend and gave her a rough, but amicable push. As the drinks flowed faster, the incident was soon forgotten.
 

Skittles

Queen of FaF. Empress of Fløøf.
I can look through later, amateur writer myself :) not looking for compensation or the like.
 

Belbe

Member
I can look through later, amateur writer myself :) not looking for compensation or the like.
That would be really kind of you, thank you!
I don't mind making a small sketch or something else from one of your characters if you'd like me to though ^^ (the art in my avatar is made by myself for the story :) )
 

Skittles

Queen of FaF. Empress of Fløøf.
Ooof! Free art..My weakness! Hehe. I won't say no but I won't push for it. Just happy to help a fellow writer out :3
 
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