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Thread: What do writers want from beta-readers?

  1. #201
    I write CathleenT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Northern California
    I think the communication point is a very good one. Like greendragon, I've mostly had good experiences (batting the compliment back), but one time it fell apart due to a lack of communication in the beginning. For instance, I want to exchange LBLs. My work will be as good as I am capable of making it when I hand it to you. It will be as cohesive a narrative as I can write, with correct spelling and grammar (when appropriate - we all know dialogue is an exception).

    But I went through seven betas on my first novel, and they all had valuable things to add. And if you don't LBL, you're stuck with vague things like 'too many adverbs,' as opposed to 'you've got three adverbs in this paragraph.'

    I figure, I'm already there, I might as well note things as they happen to be of the most use. It just strikes me as the best use of time for both of us. But that's the sort of conversation that should definitely happen going into the relationship, I've found.
    Last edited by CathleenT; 05-24-2015 at 09:18 AM.

    Website/blog: The Beauty of Words
    Twitter: @CathleenTowns

  2. #202
    Frozen Multnomah Falls Chase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Albany, Oregon, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by CathleenT View Post
    I want to exchange LBLs.
    Yay! Big round of . I figured out LBL isn't lame boring losers or looking before leaping.

    Yeah, line by line with inserts on the spot is more helpful critiquing, imo (I recently found out that means I'm mean [and] ornery in my opinion).
    Last edited by Chase; 08-06-2015 at 10:30 PM.

  3. #203
    practical experience, FTW greendragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Corning, NY
    Line by line is definitely more useful to me. Point out to me where the band-aid needs to go - I'm too close to see the blood!

  4. #204
    figuring it all out RWrites's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    AbsoluteWrite duh!
    When people ask for critique and beta readers, it's always different. What you have to give is an honest, unbiased critique that tells the writer that they can work on and what they are good at. Sometimes you will get the writer who wants the "I love it, keep going!" and nothing else critique. That's fine and you can give it to them, but if you really want to help them, give them a real critique. I have never had a beta reader for anything, but my dream beta is someone who is honest and will tell me what I need to work on/suck at, but won't berate me because of it. A person who is honest and tough, but will always encourage me to be more specific! To get more out of the author, ask them if they want it soft or brutally honest. if they give little details of what they want, ask them and few questions. If they give you nothing more, give your best critique and if they get mad because it wasn't what they wanted, there's nothing you can do. I hope this helps!

    "Start writing, no matter what. The water does not begin to flow until the faucet is turned on." Louise L'Amour

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