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Thread: Betas and Authors: Share Your Good Experiences

  1. #26
    practical experience, FTW firedrake's Avatar
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    I would like to say a huge thanks on here to Samatha's Song for her excellent crit. I know how much time and effort goes into something like that so it is much appreciated. I have a bit of work to do but I am just feeling so much happier about what I've written and even more encouraged to crack on with it.

    Thanks, missus!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #27
    At least I don't need backing-up Samantha's_Song's Avatar
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    You're most welcome, Sue, your novel was an absolute pleasure to read and comment on.

    Quote Originally Posted by firedrake View Post
    I would like to say a huge thanks on here to Samatha's Song for her excellent crit. I know how much time and effort goes into something like that so it is much appreciated. I have a bit of work to do but I am just feeling so much happier about what I've written and even more encouraged to crack on with it.

    Thanks, missus!!!!!!!!!!







  3. #28
    Bartender, gimme a Linux Mint Matera the Mad's Avatar
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    I pick up betas in odd ways and places, almost everywhere but AW. Two currently active readers are fans of my fan-fic. They have been extremely helpful.

    Today, I handed over an e-book version of my (HTML) manuscript to a woman I work with. Somehow I had never thought of her as a likely reader, but when she found out I had a novel she begged for a nibble. I had to show her how to get it off the floppy disk Once it was on the desktop of the workplace computer and opened, she devoured the first two chapters. I was left to fold newsletters alone, laughing at how I had set myself up. Before the arrival of her daughter and grandchild interrupted her, she spotted a couple of typos and a dubious phrase. She got through two more chapters before we closed up for the day. It was a treat for both of us.

  4. #29
    A dark core to every cloud Clair Dickson's Avatar
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    I love my beta. Somedays, I could reach through the computer and kiss him. He's incredibly brutal and never lets me get away with less than my very best writing. He's point out where he knows I can do better... and dammit, he's always right. But he's also one of my biggest fans, begging for more.

    I'm tempted at times to send EVERYTHING I write to him... but I resist that temptation and work on trying to find the things that he would probably flag.

    I've beta'd for a couple people as well. Including my own aforementioned beloved beta. It always makes me look closer at my own writing. Wanna make sure I don't pull the same stuff in my own writing that I flag in someone else's. Unfortunately, I am now completely unable to read any thing without mentally editing it for style and content...




  5. #30
    Dipwad vrabinec's Avatar
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    I love the feedback I get at this site:

    http://www.critiquecircle.com/default.asp

    This site is good too, and they're not quite as prissy and "family friendly", meaning someone as vulgar as me feels at home there.

    http://www.scribophile.com/

    It may not seem like beta readers on the surface, but you develop a rapport with authors on your level (they have everything from novice writers to published authors) and I typically get 8-10 critiques of everything I write. Of course, I have to reciprocate by giving them feedback as well.

    I'm curious, those of you who have beta readers who are strictly readers, not aspiring authors, what kind of feedback do you get? Just seems like a beta reader who's a casual reader may not be able to pick up little nuances like slight POV slips, things that tighten work.
    Last edited by vrabinec; 04-30-2009 at 05:32 PM.

  6. #31
    Fear no darkness. Ulee_Lhea's Avatar
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    I found two wonderful Betas on AW, just by looking through the "Willing Betas" sticky thread. They both gave me fast and immensely helpful feedback. Big thanks, SemiLargeIntestine and MMcDonald!

    BTW: I didn't have much luck posting a "want thread" for beta readers in this forum. PMing people who seemed like a good match worked much better for me. Just a thought for anyone who is still looking and getting frustrated.




  7. #32
    AW Addict nitaworm's Avatar
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    I've had great beta readers. Of the six betas (none are authors or aspiring) I had for the first run of edits five replied with good insite. All of them had the same comment on a particular part of the book that they thought needed expanding. I had one wonderful beta who did a line edit for me for the entire 360 page manuscript...for free The others gave good story line feedback and plot hole feedback. I am now on my 2nd run of betas (7 are aspiring authors and 1 is a published author in the genre I like to write in) and hope to have as much feedback as I got from the first group.
    Last edited by nitaworm; 05-18-2009 at 12:30 AM.

  8. #33
    i'm baaaacccckkkkkk lm728's Avatar
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    I've got a lot of great betas (seven or eight I routinely share with), but my first one (who still reads for me) is the best.
    She was incredibly generous--after reading the crappiest query on Evil Editor's blog, offered to beta the MS (plus re-write my query). This was when I was just starting out, and the MS in question was a huge rip-off of another series.

    She gave me so many helpful tips--up to five pages of suggestions for a four-page chapter (sent back the next day!). She read the whole MS. She re-wrote parts for me, made amazing suggestions--tough ones that made me cringe, but which she delievered with grace.

    She even revised my originally crappy query (no nibbles from agents) to one that got me 10 or so partials and two fulls (out of 27 queries).

    Well, it didn't work in the end because my novel was awful, but you get the idea. She helped me with my voice, helped me improve SO much, it's not even funny. Now my writing's way better, and I honestly have to thank her for that.
    Last edited by lm728; 05-18-2009 at 01:43 AM.

  9. #34
    practical experience, FTW MagicMan's Avatar
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    I have done beta reading for a few authors on AW. I enjoyed the experience and was pleased with the interactions with these writers. I have not asked for beta readers here, since I have a number of published authors who beta read my manuscripts. This function, whether reading or receiving comments, improved the quality of my prose.

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  10. #35
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    I recently sent off two chapters to a lovely AW member, and she showed me a few of the things I'm doing wrong. Her praise was as good as her crit--she said she wanted to make love to one of my paragraphs--and there was a very funny moment when she wrote "eek!" after I finished a sentence with the word 'though'

    I've beta read a few things for people,and have been read before, but this was my favorite experience.

  11. #36
    'Tis true, she is a monstergirl dgrintalis's Avatar
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    I want to give a shout out to Effie (EFCollins). She beta-read my first draft of Ink. Yes, you read it right. My. First. Draft. Now, I write pretty clean, even with the first draft, but still... Her critique and comments were tremendously helpful.

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  12. #37

  13. #38
    Is not my real name Moost's Avatar
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    I was a Beta/author with Beth Light and it was the best thing to happen to my MS. No matter how many times you look over your work yourself, you WILL miss things. I think beta reading is a necessity. Thank you Absolutewrite!
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  14. #39
    Entertainment Ronin
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    I gotta give props to Redzilla for helping me out with one of my wretched works. I find it notable that after reading it she then wrote a saga about torturous drug addiction, which was no doubt a primal scream.

    Also a tip of the old derby to Derek Paterson, who's read my drek for over a decade and has nothing to show for it but a mysteriously increasing case of palsy.

  15. #40
    practical experience, FTW
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    I can't understand I have no beta mentor . I think I have frightened people with
    my post. What should I do to get one . Any suggestions
    padma

  16. #41
    Wielder of the Witchblade Rowan's Avatar
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    Angry BAD EXPERIENCES

    I know this thread is for "good experiences" but what about the bad? Bad as in a beta reader spends over a week critiquing a MS and doesn't even receive an acknowledgment from the writer? It's no surprise there are so few beta readers. I truly loved beta reading and have also benefitted from beta readers myself (both friends and people from AW). But what irks me more than anything is submitting a critique and getting nothing.... but crickets. WTF? For those betas like myself who work full time and have lives and projects of our own this is extremely frustrating (not to mention irritating). You don't have to agree with every point a beta makes but at the very least say "thanks" and acknowledge the hard work that went into reviewing your MS. And then there's the individuals who list themselves as willing betas and don't bother to respond to queries re: beta reading a project. If you're going to put yourself out as a willing beta then at least have the decency to say "thanks but no thanks--that project isn't for me". Don't waste my time.

    Thank you to the writers that have made my beta experience enjoyable --- you know who you are! Maybe I suck at being a beta...who knows.
    I'm now joining the ranks of retired beta readers........

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  17. #42
    NEVER give up!!!! Danalynn's Avatar
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    Well spoken. I completely agree with everything you said, Rowan!



    I for one can attest to Rowan's wonderful beta reading skills!

    Her advice was wonderfully in depth. She gave me soooo many great ideas and helped me tremendously when she beta'd for me a while back, and I will be eternally grateful for all of the time and effort she put into her critique. I've still been going back and reading over her advice and suggestions! It was all soooo very helpful!




    Thank you again for everything, Rowan! I think you're a fantastic beta reader!!!!


    * That's a point well put, and a timely suggestion that we'll bring up at the very
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  18. #43
    Wielder of the Witchblade Rowan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana-Lynn View Post
    Well spoken. I completely agree with everything you said, Rowan!



    I for one can attest to Rowan's wonderful beta reading skills!

    Her advice was wonderfully in depth. She gave me soooo many great ideas and helped me tremendously when she beta'd for me a while back, and I will be eternally grateful for all of the time and effort she put into her critique. I've still been going back and reading over her advice and suggestions! It was all soooo very helpful!




    Thank you again for everything, Rowan! I think you're a fantastic beta reader!!!!

    Thank you, Dana...I really appreciate it. Your MS was a very enjoyable read!!! It goes without saying that I enjoyed working with you and would do so in the future.
    "Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey." - Lord Byron

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  19. #44
    Destroying something beautiful OctoberLee's Avatar
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    No longer bummed out

    I just wanted to say that I had some extremely awesome people offer to beta for me after my (whiny) post about getting a negative response from a beta reader. I actually got more offers from betas than I needed! Many thanks to all those kind souls who offered. In the meantime, I've done several beta's myself, and come across some good writers in the process.

    The people who have beta-ed for me have picked out plot holes, shown me inconsistencies (uh why'd he go through the window when the door was open?), and discovered issues I never even considered. Overall, the beta process has made me a better writer, and made my MS cleaner, stronger, and much, much more readable.

    I'm not expecting a beta to "fix" my novel. What I did expect, and what I got, was a swift kick when I needed it, a pat on the back where I deserved it, and a whole new understanding of my own novel. So rock on awesome betas !

  20. #45
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    I've had two running critiques with summaries at the end.

    One was entirely negative about everything but the setting and I couldn't understand why anyone would keep reading something they hate so passionately.

    The other liked it but thought the characters were all plot pushers. She did give a lot of worthwhile and constructive criticism.

    On the whole, it was a worthwhile exercize and the constructive critique has caused me to consider and begin making some major changes.
    Last edited by Rufus Coppertop; 02-03-2010 at 07:38 PM.

  21. #46
    figuring it all out
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    I have had some awesome beta readers for my novel, Secret Betrayals (at least for the two of the 5 that actually returned my work and responded to my emails after asking about the progress) They have helped tremendously. I've even had one guy read it that brought light to things that I didn't notice being a woman. THANKS for that!!! I consider any and all feedback I get from beta readers and even ask them their opinion when they explain something that I'm not sure how to do, (Examples of show vs. tell on certain parts when i'm confused)

    Beta Readers are great and I appreciate all of you who are willing to do such

  22. #47
    figuring it all out dw08's Avatar
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    My beta experience was extremely helpful. I just couldn't see the forest for the trees. I needed to cut my mss. I was at 138K and I'm down to 99K. It's much, much closer and I think a better story.

  23. #48
    Randomly curious skunkmelon's Avatar
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    I've read for quite a few authors and have enjoyed it as well as learned from what I've read. I'm always amazed and astounded at the depths of imagination and creativity out there and just have to say thanks to everyone who struggles to put those words on a page.

    I'm not sure which I enjoy more-reading or writing. Glad I don't have to chose! ha ha.

    Jen

  24. #49
    Pass the sugar Elizabeth Holloway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moost View Post
    I was a Beta/author with Beth Light and it was the best thing to happen to my MS. No matter how many times you look over your work yourself, you WILL miss things. I think beta reading is a necessity. Thank you Absolutewrite!
    I know this post is old, but I just saw it, so it's new to me.

    Awwwww, Kara! Thanks. You are a class-act beta yourself. My MS is so much better because of you. I consider myself your biggest fan.

    I've met a few betas here on AW. Some were better than others, but a few have been superb. My work would be shredder worthy without them.
    (Moost, Laurawilliams, and hetdough, I'm talkin' 'bout you! )
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  25. #50
    I Speak Dragon Naturally Nuklear1's Avatar
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    My first and only experience was a great one. MHarvey pointed out one big thing to me. "Back story". I had overdone it. The first six chapters of my story had been drafted back when I first started writing in 2002. It was seriously flawed until I started honing my skills. Even after two dozen revisions on those first 6 I was uncomfortable with them. Thanks to him I was able to see some light on them and even realized some things that he did not point out but was made clear from other points he had made.
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