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Authors/Writers' Corner > Do You Use Beta Readers?

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message 1: by Bianca (new)

Bianca Dean (biancadeanink) | 25 comments So I've been wondering...I've been looking for beta readers and people to give me feedback on my writing because, well, when I write, I either hate it or I love it, and I usually feel like I'm too close to see what's wrong/right with it. I found a BR who is awesome, but it takes her a while to get back to me. I get it, she's got a life, and she's in grad school, so I'm not pushy.

She reads what I have (usually from the first draft) and makes little corrections and gives me comments as she reads so that I know where her heads at as a reader. She tells me if something is confusing or if I'm being redundant, etc.

I'm looking for more BRs and I also BR for other people. So, I'm really wondering:

1. Do you guys and gals use BRs?
2. How do you find them?
3. What do you have them do?

..and most importantly, would anyone like to give me feedback? I review as well.

message 2: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimgm) | 1032 comments Yup, I do. I have five beta readers. One is a fellow writer whom I've known for a long time, two are friends from work who love to read, and two were recommended to me by an editor friend.

I ask them to read the novel, jot down notes on anything that knocks them out of the story, mark what they liked and didn't like and explain why. I also ask them to look for any continuity problems or places where they need more description. I ask them to rate the characters and tell me if there is anything they need to know that would make them think differently about them. I also ask them, of course, for their honest opinion about the plot and if there are any plot holes that need to be filled.

I could be a beta reader--but right now I don't have time (I am a union rep and we're in the middle of negotiations). I'll have time in 2-3 weeks though.

message 3: by Bianca (new)

Bianca Dean (biancadeanink) | 25 comments Great, Kim. Let me know, I'll be waiting.

message 4: by Ines (new)

Ines Johnson I have a critique partner who reads an early draft, followed by 3-4 beta readers who read a subsequent, cleaner draft.

I've collected them;-) in writing workshops, RWA meetings, one is my hair dresser who's an avid romance reader, and another is an aunt who is also an avid reader.

My critique partner, who is also a published author, rips my draft to shreds and then gives me a hug and a shove to do better. My beta readers, who are mostly avid readers and not writers themselves, read for continuity and enjoyment. They tell me where something didn't make sense and hampered their enjoyment of the story.

My advice is to make sure you and your betas read similar genres and themes. I don't give my erotica to my conservative mom friends, I give them the more traditional stories.

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