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Writing => Critique Group Central => Topic started by: Alniah on March 10, 2011, 08:59:14 AM

Title: Beta reader question
Post by: Alniah on March 10, 2011, 08:59:14 AM
I am looking to find a few steady beta readers where we could swap work between eachother. I was wondering how some of you out there found your long-term beta readers?
I can imagine how hard it really is to find someone that likes your writing / and you like theirs enough to be willing to read your entire novel.

Anyone has any pointers?

Also, when do you usually get beta reader? After revision #300? Or sooner?
Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: Kimmy on March 10, 2011, 01:19:54 PM
Hi Alnia! I got my super fantastic betas right here on good ol' Query Tracker! I have 2 and I shared one novel with them after I had finished it, revised it, and queried it. My second novel I showed them from day one and they helped whipped it into shape even from first draft! So with betas, you just do what you are comfortable with. Try to find someone who writes in your genre. Some people wont show a page until  they think its perfect. To me, having them help from the start just saved me hours and hours of work. Others are afraid to let the 'crappy first draft' out there. Not me! I say, tell me what sucks so I can fix it! 
Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: Nostrabuttus on March 10, 2011, 01:38:20 PM
I, for one, know exactly how difficult it is to find Beta readers. I've sent my manuscript to every literary agent listed on QT and not one of them has ever finished reading my entire manuscript, before giving me their feedback.
Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: Kimmy on March 10, 2011, 01:49:29 PM
Poor Nostra, you are mixing up betas with agents! So not the same thing!
Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: Nostrabuttus on March 10, 2011, 02:02:15 PM
Poor Nostra, you are mixing up betas with agents! So not the same thing!

My neighbor, Eddy, who volunteered to be my beta reader said, "If literary agents won't read your entire manuscript, why do you expect me to?"

I hope I cleared that up for you, Kimmy.

Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: Kimmy on March 10, 2011, 02:04:28 PM
Eddy is NOT NICE!!!! You need a nice neighbor to help you out!
Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: Alniah on March 10, 2011, 04:54:54 PM
Hi Alnia! I got my super fantastic betas right here on good ol' Query Tracker! I have 2 and I shared one novel with them after I had finished it, revised it, and queried it. My second novel I showed them from day one and they helped whipped it into shape even from first draft! So with betas, you just do what you are comfortable with. Try to find someone who writes in your genre. Some people wont show a page until  they think its perfect. To me, having them help from the start just saved me hours and hours of work. Others are afraid to let the 'crappy first draft' out there. Not me! I say, tell me what sucks so I can fix it! 

Thanks Kimmy as always for coming to the rescue. I am just about to finish my first draft and I would really feel bad putting that MS in a beta readers hands. The plot is completely different at the end than at the beginning and there are some wholes I need to fill. Don't even let me start on the line edits  :crazy:
Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: Kimmy on March 10, 2011, 04:59:58 PM
You got it! Its all what you are comfortable with. If you want to spruce it up before showing anyone, go ahead and do that. Again, I felt confident that I could handle "this makes no sense" or "this beginning sucks" as I thrust my first draft upon my poor unsuspecting betas. It was worth it, in my eyes. They also gave me ideas for plots, subplots, and things to change or fix.
Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: brendasjb on March 11, 2011, 03:53:28 AM
Another thought to consider is Critique Circle, where you can post chapters for review. It's NOT the same as getting a beta reader to go through your whole MS and see the big picture, but it is REALLY useful for getting feedback on those critical opening chapters. The Newbie queue is really active and I got a good amount of feedback on my opening chapters. It waned as I got past chapter 3 b/c people are reluctant to jump into the story at that point unless they've been keeping up with it from the start, but it was a good way to get multiple perspectives.

I've also gotten betas right from QT by posting in the critique partner thread. I say ask the potential beta what he/she's comfortable with in terms of the MS...do they mind first draft, all-over-the-place stuff or can they really be more helpful if the MS is a bit more cohesive?
Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: violet on March 11, 2011, 11:50:48 PM
My wonderful betas (shout out to Coldfeet and DHE) are from QT. We watched one another post, and seemed to have the same sense about things, even though we all wrote different types of stories.

But one thing I will add: my betas are courteous, and so am I. They tell me when they realistically think they can read by. And when they do finish, I thank them. Profusely. It goes both ways.

I can't tell you how many times I've beta'd something with nary a thank you. Never again will I beta for someone like that. It's time consuming. And as both a beta and the receiver, you should be considerate of one another.
Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: Raquel on March 12, 2011, 12:48:24 PM
I tend to write a first draft, read it and critique it myself, and then look for a beta.  They'll catch the things I missed.  I'm also a member of several critique groups where we do pages.  It's slow and i've yet to have my groups read my whole book but it works well for those things i'm having trouble with.
Title: Re: Beta reader question
Post by: Kimmy on March 12, 2011, 12:52:44 PM
Raquel I like my crit group but the problem is we are limited to 20 pages per month. My betas turn around a page a day!