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View Full Version : Newbie made beta reader boo-boo



c.m.n.
08-13-2011, 06:17 PM
I think I made a beta reader boo-boo. Tell you the truth, I've wondered this ever since she first started on my WIP.

My first beta reader was awesome though. I found her through a different site, and while I didn't know what I was looking for in a reader, I pretty much just let her go through it in her own way.

Well, she did a thorough line-by-line edit, pretty much taking my own clunky writing and adding her own 'bling'. It reads great now, and although I can see my writing style... it's changed quite a bit.

But now that she is gone (I cannot get a hold of her at all), I cannot replicate the awesomeness she put into my work, now that I need to add onto the story.

I was afraid this would happen and just wanted to share my experience for those who are new to finding beta readers.

Make sure you know exactly what you want in a beta before asking around for one!

(For me, I'm going to keep trying to find another beta, and keep trying to find that awe that she put into my work)

WriteMinded
08-17-2011, 11:33 PM
Line-by-line for a whole book? I think that is more than a beta reader. Editor.

OK. After looking around the forum, I see that is exactly what some people expect from a beta.

Mutive
08-18-2011, 12:14 AM
One recommendation might be to try to figure out why her story reads with so much more "bling" than yours does. A lot of those little stylistic things you can learn how to replicate/duplicate. Not always, but...

wax_and_wick
08-18-2011, 12:18 AM
You do need to examine why what your beta did works and improve your own writing. Otherwise, you'll forever be at the mercy of people willing to put weeks of effort into your novel.

The editing your beta did went beyond the call of duty and probably wasn't helpful in the long run, because you clearly didn't learn from it. A good beta will point out in general what is wrong and leave fixing it to you.

c.m.n.
08-18-2011, 02:53 AM
She did tell me what I need to work on. Mostly it was vocabulary. And I didn't use everything that she corrected, only... well most of it. Still, I can learn from it, and have been trying to improve my vocabulary since.

But yes, I know what I want from a beta reader now. Although, my first shot got me a little spoiled, I don't expect a line-by-line thorough read through. LOL

AllieKat
08-18-2011, 09:20 AM
Ugh. I HATE working with betas like that. (It's different now that I'm working with a real editor on my next story. She knows what she's doing!)

In my opinion, a beta or an editor should always MARK the changes, not just MAKE them. In Word, this might involve the Accept / Reject and Show Changes features. In other programs, it might involve writing inside brackets, or in bold, or different colored text, etc.

Someone who re-writes your work isn't necessarily helping you. It might just make you feel dependent on them. Unless you're looking for a co-author....

I hate it when people try to change my style!

B.D. Eyeslie
08-18-2011, 03:28 PM
Sounds like an interesting plot:
Sort of a Rumpelstiltskin of prose.

CBrothers
08-25-2011, 06:32 AM
Wow, definitely sounds more like an editor and I'm surprised people expect that much out of a beta reader...actually glad I saw this before I dove in though, reiterates the importance of being on the same page.

c.m.n.
08-25-2011, 07:00 AM
Wow, definitely sounds more like an editor and I'm surprised people expect that much out of a beta reader...actually glad I saw this before I dove in though, reiterates the importance of being on the same page.

Yeah, and I certainly wasn't on the same page then. I had no clue my expectations, let alone what to expect.

Now I do. And I've been learning a lot after looking over her edits and my newest beta's suggestions too.