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The Kingkiller Chronicles > Beta reading

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message 1: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (last edited Feb 22, 2011 05:01PM) (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1702 comments Mod
I was planning on mentioning this in the podcast at some point, but it never really came up! Yes, the book that I've been beta reading, in case you hadn't figured it out, was The Wise Man's Fear.

It was an excellent experience, not only because I was able to read the book early (SQUEEEE!!!) but also because I felt like I was part of the creative process, even in some tiny way.

Of course, the book is basically done at the point the beta readers get to it: we're there to find any weird plot holes, errors, omissions, and to just give our impression on how the story *feels*.

I was scared, at first, because I felt like I didn't have anything meaningful to say. But as time goes on and you get more comfortable with the commenting process, the words just start flowing. It feels like you're having a conversation with the author through the pages, and it was pretty damn cool.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share with you guys. It was quite an honor, and it felt like a big responsibility (even though I'm sure it didn't affect the book much at all), and I hope I can do it again sometime!

If you have any questions, let me know!


message 2: by Gordon (new)

Gordon McLeod (mcleodg) | 347 comments How did you get the chance to do that? That's pretty awesome!


message 3: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1702 comments Mod
Gord wrote: "How did you get the chance to do that? That's pretty awesome!"

I met him at Comic-Con! Felicia actually introduced us.


message 4: by Lekeshua (new)

Lekeshua | 14 comments I would also like to know. Congrats.


message 5: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4188 comments Wow that's pretty crazy! It had to be an amazing experience. Did you actually have any "feedback" in the beta process for Rothfuss?


message 6: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1702 comments Mod
terpkristin wrote: "Wow that's pretty crazy! It had to be an amazing experience. Did you actually have any "feedback" in the beta process for Rothfuss?"

I don't know if he actually changed anything, but there were a few spots where I noted if something was confusing to the reader, for example.


message 7: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6352 comments Maybe you'll be promoted to alpha reader. :)


message 8: by Larry (new)

Larry (lomifeh) | 88 comments That is pretty cool, do you get a copy that says "Confidential" on it?


message 9: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1702 comments Mod
Larry wrote: "That is pretty cool, do you get a copy that says "Confidential" on it?"

I got the book in sections, read and notated each section, and then sent them back as I finished to get the next part!


message 10: by Vance (new)

Vance | 362 comments That is very cool, indeed. I am surprised you guys didn't mention it during the interview, that would have made for an interesting discussion. But maybe too much "behind the scenes".


message 11: by aldenoneil (last edited Feb 23, 2011 10:40AM) (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments This feels a little like focus testing a book. Does anyone else feel uncomfortable with this idea?

I know writers have always had a circle of people to read their drafts and give input, but maybe I just don't like hearing about it take the form of such a formal process.

That said, in all earnestness I'm sure any input our esteemed S&L elder gave was invaluable. I don't mean to discount how cool the experience is; I'm asking a broader question about the process in general.


message 12: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1702 comments Mod
aldenoneil wrote: "This feels a little like focus testing a book. Does anyone else feel uncomfortable with this idea?

I know writers have always had a circle of people to read their drafts and give input, but maybe..."


It's more like double checking to make sure the author hasn't become too wrapped up in their own world. By giving readers (especially ones that really care about the story and characters) the chance to take a look at the book early, it gives another point of view that's pretty valuable. It's not changing anything fundamental about the story.

Say, for example, there's a bit of history that's very unclear to the reader. The author doesn't think it's unclear, because it's all in his head already! He *knows* what happened. That may not always come across to someone outside his brain. Or if a character does something totally out of... well, character... maybe there's a reason for it down the line that the author is planning, but to the reader it just doesn't make any sense based on what they know about that character. The feedback could help ease that transition and make it more believable.


message 13: by aldenoneil (new)

aldenoneil | 1000 comments That makes the idea a lot more palatable. It helps, too, that this not a random sampling of readers, but people the author has met and put some faith in.

I guess heavy on my mind is a focus group I just participated in for a videogame. Things are becoming so formulaic in gameplay and narrative that all I wanted to do was stand up and say, "No, this is how you should do it. Pay me and I'll fix everything." I didn't do that. With a good author, I doubt they'd listen to that kind of feedback, either.


message 14: by Noel (new)

Noel Baker | 364 comments Veronica wrote: "Larry wrote: "That is pretty cool, do you get a copy that says "Confidential" on it?"

I got the book in sections, read and notated each section, and then sent them back as I finished to get the ne..."


Hey Veronica, I'm gonna tell Patrick that you think Abercrombie is hot! :)


message 15: by Larry (new)

Larry (lomifeh) | 88 comments Veronica wrote: "Larry wrote: "That is pretty cool, do you get a copy that says "Confidential" on it?"

I got the book in sections, read and notated each section, and then sent them back as I finished to get the ne..."


That is both cool and yet maddening I bet.


message 16: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4188 comments The real question, V, is did you find any critical bugs during the beta test? Back in the day I used to do some software beta testing for Palm OS apps and ended up finding bugs that created what we dubbed "the white screen of death." Any BSOD issues? ;)


message 17: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1702 comments Mod
Haha, no, nothing critical!


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Planning on reading it again once it's out? Let us know if any of your suggestions made it in?


message 19: by Anton Strout (new)

Anton Strout | 25 comments Veronica wrote: "I was planning on mentioning this in the podcast at some point, but it never really came up! Yes, the book that I've been beta reading, in case you hadn't figured it out, was [book:The Wise Man's F..."

Oh, so YOU'RE the one who suggested moar ninja sex!


message 20: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1702 comments Mod
Anton wrote: "Veronica wrote: "I was planning on mentioning this in the podcast at some point, but it never really came up! Yes, the book that I've been beta reading, in case you hadn't figured it out, was [book..."

Natch!


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