View Full Version : Reaction to beta feedback: Sometimes I surprise myself!

02-08-2014, 07:44 AM
My manuscript is out to a few betas right now and the feedback is coming in!

Prior to taking this step, I had mentally prepared myself to feel bad about getting feedback--maybe a bit defensive or sulky before finally coming around to thinking rationally about it. A couple years ago I had a bad workshop experience that sent me into a tailspin with writing, so I was expecting to have some negative feelings by exposing myself to feedback again.

And that's why I was totally surprised to not feel that way at all! Reading through the comments and suggestions from the people who have gotten through the whole thing, all I can think is, "Oh my gosh, thank you so much for pointing that out before I try to submit this thing!"

I'm so grateful for the people who are taking the time to read my book and help me make it better! So yeah, beta buddies are awesome.

02-08-2014, 07:57 AM
Just a warm fuzzy to you for sharing this. I hope your experience encourages others to share their work with beta readers - it's awesome and invaluable.

Fuzzy to you!

Karen Junker
02-08-2014, 08:26 AM
I want to add my encouragement to you as well! Best wishes!

02-08-2014, 07:47 PM
That's most encouraging to hear.

For every awful beta (or critique) experience we have, it's important to remember that there are people who can point out the same mistakes, flaws, and weaknesses in a way which doesn't hurt and even urges you to revise and submit.

Maryn, delighted that's the kind of betas you've got

02-08-2014, 11:25 PM
Thanks a lot for sharing this opinion. It is a great encouragement for everybody.

I think finding a beta reader/writing buddy that really works for you could be hard but once you find it even "bad" comments don't feel that way and constructive criticism helps much more than just all nice and sugary comments.

02-08-2014, 11:55 PM
Thanks for sharing this. I've never had a beta read a full manuscript but I've farmed out chapters here and there. I'm going to be looking for beta readers soon (which terrifies me...don't know why) so this is nice to hear.

02-08-2014, 11:58 PM
Excellent. I'm the same way. I worried about that when I started, but as soon as feedback started coming, I found that having problems pointed out was such a blessing and, really, even a shortcut to success. Otherwise, I'd have to figure out all that crap by myself.

I heart beta readers.

02-09-2014, 03:14 AM
Same here! I just got a chapter back from my very first beta, and I nearly cried with joy! Just to have someone else's eyes on it, and fresh perspective were so comforting to me. Having family and friends read it is just not the same as having another writer tell you the truth!

02-09-2014, 08:01 AM
I think the idea of "constructive criticism" has more to do with motive than anything. When someone is genuinely trying to help you make your book better, the feedback is almost always constructive, even when it's dismally negative. It's the people who get some sort of weird pleasure in ripping someone else's work apart that are hard to handle (for me anyway).

02-10-2014, 04:11 AM
Yeah, betas are awesome. I was all shielded and prepared to get tons of criticism but mine mostly gave me compliments and it was a crazy ego boost. It helped me get over my hesitation to begin searching for agents. I think whether a beta has nothing but compliments or tons of criticism, it can only help you in the long run.

02-10-2014, 04:57 AM
My experience has been a mix of complimentary and critical feedback, which I feel like is realistic, given my own assessment of my writing. I usually get praised for voice, style, & characterization but struggle more with some plot structure stuff and individual scenes.

02-10-2014, 05:08 AM
You should have enough knowledge of craft to recognize what is valuable feedback, and enough self confidence (arrogance?) to recognize and shrug off nonsense.