Posts Tagged ‘critical’

Bro, Can You Read My Manuscript

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

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Oh! The beloved beta read, both giving and receiving, can be brutal. So, here are some things to consider when you’re asking someone to beta for you.

You are asking someone to spend six plus hours on something you know isn’t finished and probably isn’t good yet. Give them some space and time to do the very thing you’ve asked them to do. That said, a reasonable deadline is helpful.

Know your beta readers. What are their strengths as a reader? Do they know your genre? Are they good at grammar, character development or plot? The best beta readers are usually writers. They understand the feedback you want and might be able to give solutions when things aren’t working.

Be clear about the feedback you want. Are you looking for overall story or line edits? They’re different. If one of your characters is cyclist you may have want a beta reader who rides. They can double check details and facts. Setting clear expectations helps everyone.

Are you ready to receive critical feedback and do something with it? If not, then you’re not ready to be beta read. If all you want is warm and fuzzies, then give it to your friends and family to read. There’s nothing wrong with needing a cheerleader. Just know, at some point you are going to need a critical eye besides your own looking at manuscript. Beta reading is about finding out what is and what is not working in your novel.

Beta reading is usually a tit for tat kind of thing. If another writer is beta reading for you chances are they’re going to want one in return. Just know that going in.

Next post, How to Give Good Beta.