View Full Version : Sorely Need a Mentor

06-09-2012, 05:14 AM
I did some beta exchanges, and got some good criticisms and some not so good (by not so good i mean really vague). i've been writing since i was 18/19, so about 4 years roughly. I'm looking for an experienced mentor. Specifically I'm looking for someone who can critique what needs to be improved, and what is fine as is.

Furthermore, you should be able to read the section I give you. You should be able to provide examples on how something could be improved not just say "X needs improvement its just doesn't capture me." It doesn't capture you? That's fine, please tell me why.

Also, be able to catch any logical errors or things that have been said already. Only point out grammatical or punctuation errors if (a) they are absolutely terrible, or (b) affect your ability to read/comprehend. Otherwise, don't point them out.


06-09-2012, 07:41 AM
I'd hate to bring you bad news, but those credentials won't help you in figuring out whether a person is a helpful or non-helpful beta-reader. My suggestion would be to issue any potential Betas the first chapter. If they're not helpful or vague, then decline sending them more of your WIP. Also, ask questions on parts of the critique that you don't understand. If you'd like specifics, then ask for specifics.

I wish you luck in finding the perfect Beta for your WIP.

06-09-2012, 08:32 AM
Edited the 1st post. Hope it helps.

06-09-2012, 09:10 AM
Good luck finding the right beta. A good beta is worth his or her weight in gold.

However, I would caution you to be clear with your expectations. If your beta thinks s/he will be critiquing your style, prose, story arc, etc, but then gets an ms riddled with spelling errors, s/he might feel justifiably irritated. That might be enough for your beta to switch off what is essentially a free service to you.

Since you noted that betas are reacting badly to your spelling/grammar errors in your ms, maybe your expectations don't match theirs. I suggets you either make it clear to betas what you need (like you have) OR - and I think this is the better way - have someone correct your draft first, so that your betas receive a near-perfect copy.

Just about anyone with a good eye can correct your English, but a good beta reader does so much more. Let the beta do his/her task, without worrying about a bunch of language errors.

Good luck :)

Ton Lew Lepsnaci
06-09-2012, 12:45 PM
My two cents worth: go to SYW (Share Your Work) and post your first chapter in the right subforum. Wait for the critiques to come in. Help others by critiquing their work first. This way you will learn and will have more chance to receive the help you need in return.

You can find beta partners (swapping chapters) that way too and it is less of a stab in the dark. Start small and work your way up.

06-09-2012, 03:18 PM
I don't think you know what a mentor is.

Mentors don't appear on the scene until the work being produced shows craft knowledge, ability, polish and promise.

A lot of what you are looking for is stuff you should be tracking down yourself - beta-readers also do not expect to correct basic errors -the manuscript should be polished before it goes to a beta-reader.

Follow Tom's advice in post #5.

It's usually easier to spot flaws in someone else's work, and critiquing others is an excellent way of learning how to spot flaws in your own work.

Good luck.