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Thread: Please Read Before Posting!

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  1. #1
    Five by Five katiemac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Please Read Before Posting!

    Welcome to the Beta Readers, Writing Partners and Advisors forum. This forum is designed to help writers find suitable beta readers and writing partners.

    However, before you post a request for a beta reader or writing partner, please take a moment to consider what you would like in another member of your team. People are more likely to respond to specific requests, and if most of the information is availabe initially, you can find a good match faster. Here are a few things to consider:
    • Genre. Non-fiction and fiction attract different kinds of people, as does mystery, humor, fantasy, etc. Take, for instance, novels and greeting cards, or freelance articles and poetry anthologies.
    • Feedback. Can you take harsh criticism, or do you prefer a little hand-holding? Are you looking for someone to simply answer questions, offer tips, or do you want someone willing to read and evaluate your work? Are you looking for guidelines, or someone to make sure you're reaching your goals?
    • Publishing. While most people prefer traditional publishing, many are knowledgable about self-publishing. Which is for you? Do you need help pitching to magazines? Querying agents?
    • Credentials. Do you want your writing partner to have specific background credentials, like a published novel, or do you feel comfortable working with all knowledgable individuals?
    The above list is merely a jumping-off point. If you think you've found a match, be sure to cover a few ground rules so you both understand each other and can get the most out of the experience.

    The difference between a writing partner and a mentor

    I've taken the liberty to reproduce one of Jenna Glatzer's posts describing her definitions of the two terms. Yours may vary, and so may the individual's with whom you buddy up with--so make sure everyone understands each other.

    A mentor is someone who knows more than you do and is willing to take you under his/her wing to answer questions, possibly provide feedback on your work, etc.

    A partner is someone who you actually write with. Maybe one of you is the "idea person" and the other is the "get it on paper" sort. Maybe one writes, then the other edits. Maybe you take turns writing pages or chapters.

    Lines can overlap, but neither is inherently a more "serious" relationship than the other. A writing partnership is not necessarily "loose" or "fun." My partnerships are work. If I have a need for someone with expertise in a particular area, and I ask that person to be a co-writer, I expect him/her to take it as a business relationship, not as a "hey, let's motivate each other and laugh a lot" thing-- though the latter is what others want.

    Best of luck, and don't forget to check out all the resources AW has to offer.
    • List Your Specialized Subjects on the Story Research Board is a compilation of AW members and their knowledgable areas. It's worth a look if you need quick answers. Please Note: This is NOT a list of potential beta readers.
    • Check out agents and publishers on the Bewares and Background forum, which now features an Index of all previously discussed houses and agencies.
    • The Learn Writing With Uncle Jim thead on the Writing Novels forum is a great asset to writers, new and old, looking at fiction and publishing.
    • Finally, if you notice a poster with the title Absolute Sage under his or her name, listen up! When it comes to publishing, these guys know their stuff.
    Last edited by katiemac; 10-09-2008 at 08:04 AM.

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