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Thread: Fastest a beta has ever bailed on your novel and why.

  1. #1
    Knight Templar richcapo's Avatar
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    Fastest a beta has ever bailed on your novel and why.

    Four hours and three minutes after manuscript emailed, citing religious reasons.

    You?
    Last edited by richcapo; 02-11-2013 at 04:37 AM.
    Richard

    It was that bastard manís voice that woke my father. Papu found himself back in his cell, lying atop a lush bed crafted of various male and female organs and his enemy's passions. Strong with that bastard manís magic, the organs restrained Papu and sensually rubbed against him. Some xxxxxxx him and some xxxxxx with his xxxxxxx.

    Poetry and Jest

  2. #2
    space opera-popcorn lover!
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    About a month, although i think the decision was taken quite early. Why? It was a rubbish attempt at writing it and I killed a kid. (I still killed the kid in the final version; it was non-gratuitous.)
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  3. #3
    Knight Templar richcapo's Avatar
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    You only killed one kid?
    Richard

    It was that bastard manís voice that woke my father. Papu found himself back in his cell, lying atop a lush bed crafted of various male and female organs and his enemy's passions. Strong with that bastard manís magic, the organs restrained Papu and sensually rubbed against him. Some xxxxxxx him and some xxxxxx with his xxxxxxx.

    Poetry and Jest

  4. #4
    Hero, villain, angel, demon AW Moderator Sage's Avatar
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    I think I might have gotten a "I've been too busy, sorry," but usually when my betas "bail" on my novel, it's a matter of them never responding. At some point, I move on and start making revisions based on my other betas' notes.

    Hero/Villain: Fixing, thanks to betas
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  5. #5
    Shooting stars. lolchemist's Avatar
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    This was many many years ago but I ended up beta-ing a vampire story that turned out to be VERY sexual (like the vampires were stealing people's essences through oral sex and there was an anal rape scene where the victim overpowered the rapist by squeezing his butthole so tight he immobilized the rapist with pain and then started stealing his essence with his butthole) I emailed the writer back like "GURL SORRY but I'm really bad with sex-scenes!" I want to guesstimate that I lasted 40-45 minutes LOL

    I think not replying back is so rude! You don't need to insult the writer like 'He did WHAT with his butthole???' but you can just say you actually hate vampires lately because of Twilight or are uncomfortable with gratuitous sex scenes or whatever and just wish them well.

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  6. #6
    Dorothy A. Winsor dawinsor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richcapo View Post
    You only killed one kid?
    LOL. One time, I was teaching a lit class and they were reading Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," in which two kids get killed off page. The kids were pretty obnoxious and when one student opined that that was one of the story's better moments, the whole class cheered.

  7. #7
    Hero, villain, angel, demon AW Moderator Sage's Avatar
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    My first betaing experience was with a novel that turned out to be a different genre than I thought it was. And I wish I had stopped and said, "not what I expected, sorry," but, no, I went through the whole thing and finished, and then put in the disclaimer that it wasn't a genre I read.

    I've also read novels where there were sex scenes that were more explicit than I usually read, but I had no problem with the book, so I just put a disclaimer for those scenes and moved on with reading the rest. But, haha, if I ended up with erotica, I'd probably have to bail.

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  8. #8
    Knight Templar richcapo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lolchemist View Post
    just wish them well.
    My bailer was a class act about it. They wished me well in addition to explaining in detail why they wouldn't read it beyond the few pages they had.

    For any possible future beta parties: The book in question is ridiculously long (nearly 400,000 words), complex as heck, violent as hell, and potentially very, very offensive to the pious of whatever religion. On top of that it may not be written so well.
    Richard

    It was that bastard manís voice that woke my father. Papu found himself back in his cell, lying atop a lush bed crafted of various male and female organs and his enemy's passions. Strong with that bastard manís magic, the organs restrained Papu and sensually rubbed against him. Some xxxxxxx him and some xxxxxx with his xxxxxxx.

    Poetry and Jest

  9. #9
    Knight Templar richcapo's Avatar
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    In an interesting twist: I've had people I was beta-ing for bail on me after getting my first round of edits without even saying goodbye -- they just took off. Anyone else ever have this happen?
    Richard

    It was that bastard manís voice that woke my father. Papu found himself back in his cell, lying atop a lush bed crafted of various male and female organs and his enemy's passions. Strong with that bastard manís magic, the organs restrained Papu and sensually rubbed against him. Some xxxxxxx him and some xxxxxx with his xxxxxxx.

    Poetry and Jest

  10. #10
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I've bailed within hours. Felt like crap about it, but I had to be honest. So I told the author that the book was very well written, the action vivid, the pace good, the characters realistic, the dialogue excellent, etc -- but the MC was, to me, an asshat, and not someone I wanted to spend my weekend with.

  11. #11
    Knight Templar richcapo's Avatar
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    I've never bailed, and I hope I never will. Word is bond and all that. I do, however, ask certain questions and ask to see an excerpt before I agree to beta.
    Last edited by richcapo; 02-11-2013 at 06:57 AM.
    Richard

    It was that bastard manís voice that woke my father. Papu found himself back in his cell, lying atop a lush bed crafted of various male and female organs and his enemy's passions. Strong with that bastard manís magic, the organs restrained Papu and sensually rubbed against him. Some xxxxxxx him and some xxxxxx with his xxxxxxx.

    Poetry and Jest

  12. #12
    Live a little. Write a lot. Karen Junker's Avatar
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    I've bailed -- when circumstances beyond my control intervened. But I've beta'd for over 70 people and I am pretty sure I've heard back from only around 7-8 of them. Not whole manuscripts, just samples in most cases.

    I have to admit I'm sort of a trade publishing fan--so when someone tells me their book is wildly over the normal word counts for their genre, I usually decline to beta. I like spending my time on something has has at least a small chance of being published. I have made exceptions, but slogging through a super-long mss had better be rewarding as a read in itself!
    Karen Junker
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  13. #13
    Super Procrastinator Kallithrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lolchemist View Post
    I ended up beta-ing a vampire story that turned out to be VERY sexual (like the vampires were stealing people's essences through oral sex and there was an anal rape scene where the victim overpowered the rapist by squeezing his butthole so tight he immobilized the rapist with pain and then started stealing his essence with his butthole).
    BWAH HAHAHAHAHA!!!

    So, was it ever published? I kinda wanna read it now

    Quote Originally Posted by richcapo View Post
    For any possible future beta parties: The book in question is ridiculously long (nearly 400,000 words), complex as heck, violent as hell, and potentially very, very offensive to the pious of whatever religion. On top of that it may not be written so well.
    Hey, at least you're honest - I like self-awareness in a writer. Give me someone who is neither falsely self-deprecating, nor wildly self-confident, and I'll be far more inclined to beta for that person. Knowing how you've responded to my crits in other threads, I think you probably have a good idea of your abilities and areas for improvement, so that's a great start

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen Junker View Post
    I have to admit I'm sort of a trade publishing fan--so when someone tells me their book is wildly over the normal word counts for their genre, I usually decline to beta.
    Yeah, me too, and not just on grounds of time commitment required. Something that is hundreds of thousands of words rings alarm bells because it suggests the writer does not know how to self edit. I expect wordiness, lack of narrative control, and self-indulgence. Even if that's not the case, going into something with those preconceptions doesn't make me an ideal beta, so I'd pass.
    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."








  14. #14
    Tell it like it Is Susan Littlefield's Avatar
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    I think it's important to find beta who read your genre.

    Three people read all the way through, and one did not. She got pretty busy with her regular work, but she also told me she thought my character was a little boring. That was before the last revision and I rounded him out.
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  15. #15
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
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    On me? A couple seconds. They pretty much looked up to me and asked, "Is this even English?" And we never saw them in the critique after a rousing arguement.

    As a beta? I drop 95% of what I read in both published and unpublished (not happy about this). Mostly because of rookie writing, grammar problems and such. Fastest I dropped? Fairly quickly, sometimes a paragraph for just the stupidest reasons. I'm fine for any "voice" or writing style that works (THAT WORKS), but when it doesn't and people make clear as day mistakes that continue, I can't keep reading. I've completed only a handful of unpublished works, and only had a couple non-responders, and some I enjoyed.
    Don't Fear Failure.

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  16. #16
    hanging around for a spell
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    I had a beta who read the first 2 or 3 chapters of one of my manuscripts before declining because they weren't comfortable with incestuous subject matter. The thing is, there wasn't any I guess they misinterpreted the sibling bond between my two main characters, maybe aided by a confusing sentence where the brother recalled a mysterious "she" (not his sister) who had once kissed him.

    I explained, but they stopped responding anyway.

    As for me, I've only beta read a handful of times, but I've never given up on anyone. One person stopped sending me their stuff, though, I think because they were still writing their first draft while having me look it over.

  17. #17
    Me want a cookie! Shika Senbei's Avatar
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    One bailed out after just half an hour, claiming she feared that the story might turn out to be a lesbian romance. It doesn't, but she did give some ideas. I mean, the story could need a bit more romance, so ...

  18. #18
    Super Procrastinator Kallithrix's Avatar
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    By the way, I feel like the odd one out, but I've never had a beta bail on me. Most of the people who've read my MS have offered to after I've critted their work, or after we've spoken about mine. By the time the offer is made we're usually pretty well acquainted with each other. I've never had a stranger read my MS, other than an agent...
    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."








  19. #19
    Now is the winter of my discontent. haunted's Avatar
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    I've only tried the beta thing a few times so far, of course offering to also return the favor. Several were very good and gave me good ideas-but one who was at a higher level, published with one of the biggies asked to be a beta then didn't even reply back to me. I got the distinct impression of someone checking out the competition or even worse, looking for good ideas. The least you should do is decline, for whatever reason. I was going to buy this persons book too...LOL. But it got a lot of bad reviews, so that clinched it for me... Don't judge me...

  20. #20
    I'm already a real writer. Katrina S. Forest's Avatar
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    I had a beta bail on me because she felt that I was "making the same mistakes over and over." (The "mistakes" were style choices on my part.) She then put out a request for other betas and asked that "only experienced writers" reply. No idea how that went.

    A couple others offered to read and then just didn't have the time.

    In my opinion, as a beta, you should finish what you agree to unless circumstances drastically change. I know what I can and can't stomach and I try to be honest with betas up front to avoid situations where I have to bail later.
    "So we must daily keep things wound: that is, we must pray when prayer seems dry as dust; we must write when we are physically tired, when our hearts are heavy" -Madeleine L'Engle

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  21. #21
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katrina S. Forest View Post
    In my opinion, as a beta, you should finish what you agree to unless circumstances drastically change.
    I agree. It's why I like to look at opening chapters first before I commit to an entire book. But when I have to say "nope, don't send me more, I hate your character" (or whatever) I still feel like I'm bailing on the author.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by lolchemist View Post
    This was many many years ago but I ended up beta-ing a vampire story that turned out to be VERY sexual (like the vampires were stealing people's essences through oral sex and there was an anal rape scene where the victim overpowered the rapist by squeezing his butthole so tight he immobilized the rapist with pain and then started stealing his essence with his butthole) I emailed the writer back like "GURL SORRY but I'm really bad with sex-scenes!" I want to guesstimate that I lasted 40-45 minutes LOL

    I think not replying back is so rude! You don't need to insult the writer like 'He did WHAT with his butthole???' but you can just say you actually hate vampires lately because of Twilight or are uncomfortable with gratuitous sex scenes or whatever and just wish them well.

    LOL!

    My normal comment here would be that you just can't make crap like that up, but evidently you can!


  23. #23
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    I agree. It's why I like to look at opening chapters first before I commit to an entire book. But when I have to say "nope, don't send me more, I hate your character" (or whatever) I still feel like I'm bailing on the author.
    Well, I believe if you still comment on what you've read before you bail, at least you're helping them out so far. Hell, I do my typical run through like in the SYW section, LBLs and notes. Every little bit counts, even if I can't do the wide view.

    Unless the person has like 10 posts and been here for 3-5 years, mostly skimming betas without benefiting the community. That's an automatic fail for me.
    50+ posts, some of your latest work in the SYW section, and good writing I don't need to get on you about. It's all I ask for.
    Don't Fear Failure.

    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn" -- Alvin Toffler.

    "The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night" -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

  24. #24
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillSauger View Post
    Well, I believe if you still comment on what you've read before you bail, at least you're helping them out so far.
    Yes, I do, but, yanno. Catholic guilt. It's the baggage that follows you through life

  25. #25
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unimportant View Post
    Yes, I do, but, yanno. Catholic guilt. It's the baggage that follows you through life
    The shame, the shame, the shame. Dylan Moran feels your pain.
    Don't Fear Failure.

    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn" -- Alvin Toffler.

    "The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night" -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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