Discuss the role of beta readers in the writing process. How have they helped you improve your work, or what tips do you have for finding reliable beta readers?

How have they helped you improve your work, or what tips do you have for finding reliable beta readers?

4 Responses

  1. A Beta reader is a test reader, one who reads a piece work that has yet to be released. The reader gives advice from the view of an average reader. If you have someone who edits your work, I feel that would be a good person to give you sound advice. I was helped with grammar, making sure words were spelled properly and used in the proper context.

  2. Beta readers are a fresh pair of eyes. They can give us:
    Perspective; whether characters or environments are believable. Betas also can help point out the strenghts and weaknesses in your story line
    and can tell you if your timeline in the story works.

  3. My critique group has been very helpful as my first readers for chapters. My husband is a freelance editor, so I ask him to do my second edit. They all give good hints about what’s working and what might be confusing.

    I would recommend finding or starting a critique group. This helps with setting deadlines for yourself, as well as learning to critique your own work by helping others with constructive comments. My group has been around for almost 30 years and has evolved into a group for people writing longer fiction and novels. Find other writers through conventions, writing associations, classes, and programs like NaNoWriMo. You can look for writers in the same genre, but I think it’s more important to find people you can trust to give you constructive and honest feedback.

    My group offers a “large chunk” edit of about 60 pages at a time for people who want to see how their story is flowing. From there, you could ask if someone could be a beta reader for you, but it’s a BIG commitment to go through someone’s whole novel, so make sure you’ve polished it first and be sure to thank them! You might also pay a freelance editor to go through the whole thing — my husband charges based on the number of pages in the book and makes copy editing changes as well as offering many pages of notes about issues he sees, like using the same words a lot, historical inaccuracy, etc.

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