• Read this stickie before posting.

    • In order to reduce the number of new members requesting a Beta reader before they're really ready for one, we've instituted a 50 post requirement before you can start a thread seeking a Beta reader.
    • You can still volunteer to Beta for someone else; just please don't request someone to Beta for you until you're more familiar with the community and our members.

Beta or Share Your Work - Options

Fruitbat

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This is not a nice thing for me to learn since I came to these forums as a place to find a beta-reader and/or get critique on excerpts. I'm already concerned that joining this forum will be another timesink for me and take away from time doing more important things (like actually working on my stories).

You can get fifty posts in a few days. Some are quickies and then it's always nice to critique some of other people's work too. That was started not long ago because there were so many people who just came to get critiques on their own work but didn't want to trouble themselves to give anything back. It's a way to weed out the worst of that, some kind of assurance that it will go both ways.
 
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LucindaLynx

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I don't know what the mode department says about this, but I say it anyway. OK, here goes. When I get that extra pair of eyes to see, what I have written, it helps me so much you have no idea. Must be the fact I'm Finnish and I could never see my writing like a native speaker does. But once the others give me feedback, I think 'Why didn't the old silly me did not realize this?'
Best: Sw
 

David.Justiss

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Well, I finally got around to coming back to these forums and I was intending to go to the Share Your Work forums to start critiquing others' work and get my posts up so I can share my work as well. But now I can't find any forum called Share Your Work. Where is it? Did it get renamed or something?
 

Smish

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Well, I finally got around to coming back to these forums and I was intending to go to the Share Your Work forums to start critiquing others' work and get my posts up so I can share my work as well. But now I can't find any forum called Share Your Work. Where is it? Did it get renamed or something?

It's still called Share Your Work. :)
 

David.Justiss

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I was going to edit my post before anyone answered, but that helpful user known as Smish was too fast for me.
That was kinda weird: I found a link to the Share your work forum and got there that way, but it wasn't in the main forum index. ...At least it wasn't when I looked a minute ago, just now I looked again and it's there now. Maybe I wasn't logged in yet. Is it hidden to people who aren't logged in? or am I going crazy?
 
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Aerial

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I was going to edit my post before anyone answered, but that helpful user known as Smish was too fast for me.
That was kinda weird: I found a link to the Share your work forum and got there that way, but it wasn't in the main forum index. ...At least it wasn't when I looked a minute ago, just now I looked again and it's there now. Maybe I wasn't logged in yet. Is it hidden to people who aren't logged in? or am I going crazy?

I can't see the SYW forum if I'm not logged in-- don't know if that's true for everyone.

Aerial
 

firedrake

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That's it!

That's
what I need.

How do I get in there?

You need to have at least 50 posts before you can post in SYW. There's some stickys that are well worth reading at the top of the Main SYW board, before you post. :)
 

FranOnTheEdge

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I'm looking at the submissions in The Mystery section now.
I've just passed my 50, so I can get in there now.
 

Friendly Frog

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I've been meaning to ask this later, but since this thread is active now, I might as well do so now.

I've got a couple of short stories which I would like to see published in time. Over the years they've gone through a number of edits and friends have looked them over so I dare say they're reasonably polished.

But I'm afraid I've gotten so used to them that I fear I lack fresh eyes to spot any mistake or problems the stories may still have.

So what would be the best course of action? The SYW section or Beta forum?
 

FranOnTheEdge

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If it was me I'd put it through SYW first, but then I'm never sure when it's finished.
After all if it comes out of SYW with very few negative comments, you can then put it through Beta - unless there are some sort of rules against that, but I don't think there are - I don't remember anything like that when I read the rules.
 

theresa.mcclinton

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I don't know. I'm not a terribly experienced writer, nor am I published. But I feel like if you are seeking a Beta, the discussions prior to you sharing your work with that person should cover what you expect from him/her. If you only want your Beta to cover plot and character development and gaps, then that can be voiced during pre sharing conversations. Some people are looking for a more detail oriented Beta who will help copy edit and also look at the character/plot flaws, while others are only after one of the two. I found my beta on absolute write, and she was helpful in both areas.

Just my thoughts. :)
 

FranOnTheEdge

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I don't know. I'm not a terribly experienced writer, nor am I published. But I feel like if you are seeking a Beta, the discussions prior to you sharing your work with that person should cover what you expect from him/her. If you only want your Beta to cover plot and character development and gaps, then that can be voiced during pre sharing conversations. Some people are looking for a more detail oriented Beta who will help copy edit and also look at the character/plot flaws, while others are only after one of the two. I found my beta on absolute write, and she was helpful in both areas.

Just my thoughts. :)

Yes, but if you say you just want the beta to look at Plot and Character Development, but you have problems you didn't realise you had in other areas - what happens then? The beta looks at just Plot and Character Development - you think once those are attended to things are okay (but they aren't).
But I've not yet had anything published, so I know nothing. (apart from what I've picked up here and there, like forums, writers groups and how to books etc)
So I'm inclined to think that any help I can get will be to my advantage, so I'd ask for everything.
But would that be asking too much? And frighten people off being a beta?

That's what worries me.
 

quicklime

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i haven't beta'd (mostly) but I use SYW a lot. I second everything Maryn said about syw being a place to establish some credibility (I said I haven't beta'd much....i've gotten requests though, and if my first reaction is to double-check the screen name, scratch my head, and go "huh? who the hell are they???" then your odds go down considerably) before you seek a beta as well as being a very good place to quickly collect a dozen opinions on a smaller chunk.

as for the issue if if it is a newbie thing, not at all.....some of the folks who hang out there are great, and I have heard some literally "they must be true, because you can't possibly make this shit up" bad beta horror stories. Which isn't a slight on betas at all, they're like marriages--some work, some do not. But especially if you want some quick advice on small parts, SYW can make much more sense, and if you want to see what ten people say instead of two, it can be a great springboard
 

workingmomwm

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Writers who want to post their work on SYW should know that they will need to have at least 50 posts sprinkled around AW before they'll be allowed to submit their work to an SYW forum.

Thanks for this information, Harriet. I was actually considering posting something of my WIP to SYW, but I'm too new to the site. I'll have to just be content to seek beta readers. My story's pretty polished, though, as it is. It's already received favorable comments from one beta reader.
 

Unimportant

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Just flagging, though, that most beta readers don't like to commit till they have some idea of the story type/prose style/level of craft, which usually comes via excerpts posted and critted in SYW.

AW is a fabulous community. The more you give, the more you get. Workingmom, I hope you'll stay around and participate, share what you know, and get your post count up to 50 so you can use all of AW's critiquing options.
 

workingmomwm

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Just flagging, though, that most beta readers don't like to commit till they have some idea of the story type/prose style/level of craft, which usually comes via excerpts posted and critted in SYW.

AW is a fabulous community. The more you give, the more you get. Workingmom, I hope you'll stay around and participate, share what you know, and get your post count up to 50 so you can use all of AW's critiquing options.
Thanks, Unimportant. I definitely hope to provide some benefit to others. I'll stick around the site for a while and see what happens. And I might just go over and look into critiquing some of the work that is already posted in SYW.
 

Princess Marina

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Brindle Chase said:- I used to allow beta readers with less than 10 posts, but I never heard back from any of them and now maintain a 100 post or more stipulation. I know people are new and some lurk, but too many of my manuscripts have gone out and not one word sent back in return.

I sympathise with the problem although I have not yet got 100 posts, I have already proof read or beta read 9 other writers' work for them. I even have a reference from one writer saying that I was a great help to him. Books I have checked for readability and errors, include, the following genres, YA (historical fantasy), Modern Romance, Historic Romance, Thriller, Literary & a Werewolf/Vampire Epic. I write with English spelling but can correct to American when required. Like you I'm looking for a responsible beta reader. I write both Regency Romances (for which I have an excellent beta reader) and Fantasy/ Sci fi with some erotic content which needs a lot of work but which I'm finding it difficult to get advice on. I am prepared to return the favour. Is there anyone out there who will beta read for me?

P.S. I also have a critting credit at Critique Cricle and believe I am now over 50 posts on this Absolute Write Water Cooler.
 

TKAM78

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Brindle Chase said:- I used to allow beta readers with less than 10 posts, but I never heard back from any of them and now maintain a 100 post or more stipulation. I know people are new and some lurk, but too many of my manuscripts have gone out and not one word sent back in return.

I sympathise with the problem although I have not yet got 100 posts, I have already proof read or beta read 9 other writers' work for them. I even have a reference from one writer saying that I was a great help to him. Books I have checked for readability and errors, include, the following genres, YA (historical fantasy), Modern Romance, Historic Romance, Thriller, Literary & a Werewolf/Vampire Epic. I write with English spelling but can correct to American when required. Like you I'm looking for a responsible beta reader. I write both Regency Romances (for which I have an excellent beta reader) and Fantasy/ Sci fi with some erotic content which needs a lot of work but which I'm finding it difficult to get advice on. I am prepared to return the favour. Is there anyone out there who will beta read for me?

P.S. I also have a critting credit at Critique Cricle and believe I am now over 50 posts on this Absolute Write Water Cooler.

I went to the Critique Circle as well, but that is a slightly confusing site for me. I am currently working with someone that I met on AW to look over some chapters for me and give me feedback. It's slightly intimidating to trust someone that you don't know and share your work. But my person seems to be on the same page as me, which is great. I have a couple of trusted friends who are almost brutal with the feedback, but I appreciate it. I just want to get more "strangers" to look at my work, but again, the trust thing comes up. I would love to beta, I have done it only once before, but I did enjoy it.
 

Maryn

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TKAM, keep an eye on the thread where people seeking beta readers post. I bet it won't be long before someone describes a story which sounds like something you'd enjoy. Sample a chapter or two, to see if it's something you remain interested in, and who knows what may bloom?

Maryn, who doesn't beta much these days but should
 

droonfang

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I think that even with a finished, polished work, that someone seeking a beta reader should perhaps post the first chapter *somewhere* when they are seeking a beta reader.

I've beta read quite a few times...and also copy edited/proofed for quite a few. I can't stop myself anymore from doing clips on my kindle...everything from screwy facts to typos, to grammar booboos. I don't profess to be a professor, but I catch a lot and have a few published authors I work with now, and have actually been acknowledged. As well as comments just as a beta reader...

All I usually ask for is a decent blurb...for me preferable to just a 1st chapter. I certainly don't feel it's fair to the author to read for something I'm not "into."
 

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Thanks for this post! I wasn't aware of the distinction between SYW and searching for a beta reader. I found the SYW forum but don't know the password! Any clues?

Thanks!
--Lint
 

Taylor Kowalski

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Thanks for this post! I wasn't aware of the distinction between SYW and searching for a beta reader. I found the SYW forum but don't know the password! Any clues?

Thanks!
--Lint

It's vista. For future reference, it's in the description of the SYW forum. :)