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Kyla Laufreyson
11-03-2010, 07:20 PM
This is very much an opinion question.

So I'm beta-reading someone's work. It started out really awesome, and from there, in my opinion...well. You know. Not so good. But I'm about midway through it, and it's making my want to stab myself in the eye a little bit. It isn't getting any worse at this point, it's just a matter of the same problems presenting themselves again and again. I've already commented on them.

Now I'm rushing through it. Like, reading as fast as I possibly can because I just want to be done with it. I just don't feel like I can say much more productive stuff until the author has dealt with the issues I've already pointed out several times.

Is it horrible of me to rush and say less at this point, when I'm pretty sure saying more would just make both the author and myself feel worse? Or is it okay for me to rush, and go back to it later once the author has handled the big problems?

~Arianna S.

cindystubbs
11-03-2010, 07:51 PM
I say okay to rush. Skim the material.

Undercover
11-03-2010, 08:00 PM
Don't feel obligated to read the entire thing. Just mention to them the same problems throughout the story. The same thing happened to me with my beta. We just stopped corresponding after a while. I don't know who your beta is, but if you helped them half way through, I think that is more than enough to say. "The same problems exist through the whole thing." and leave it at that.

If your beta isn't correcting them then your mission is futile. There is no point in pointing out the same stuff over and over and them not getting it.

There has got to be a point where one or both of you has to move on and move forward with it. Otherwise it is a lost cause.

Good Luck.

Kyla Laufreyson
11-03-2010, 08:22 PM
Well, I am finishing it (now I've only got 3 chapters to go, after all), but I feel much better about rushing it now. Thanks, guys. :)

heza
11-03-2010, 08:24 PM
If the problems in the last half are so bad, the rest of the story will probably need to undergo significant revision, likely rendering a good portion of your line edits moot. You'll just be rearranging furniture in a burning house.

backslashbaby
11-04-2010, 12:01 AM
How good are you at pretending the first problems are fixed while looking at the rest of it? If you aren't good at that, I'd say definitely don't read more. Let them know that those problems are screwing up how you see the other things now. Much better to read the rest after edits, imho!

jclarkdawe
11-04-2010, 12:32 AM
I usually give a couple of places where I think a problem exists and then just tell the author to assume I'm commenting on it throughout the book. What I'd be looking for at this stage in the game is ending problems. Does the author pull a rabbit out of the hat? Does the writer forget to close a subplot? Does the writer maintain tension? That sort of thing.

And I've been known to write that from here to there I just skimmed it, because the same problem exists throughout the section. Worst thing you can hear from a beta is that they skimmed it. And it tells a writer that he/she has a problem.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Rowan
11-04-2010, 04:38 AM
Been there, done this. Pretty much did what jclarkdawe said--noted the problem the first few times I encountered it and then suggested the author look for same issue throughout the entire MS. Maybe make a summary list of any such repeated problems--that should help your writer.


:)