Archive | May 2018

Beta Reading Checklist (What to Do Before Sending out Your Manuscript)

When I’m getting ready for a beta reader, one of my problems is I’ll sometimes obsess over certain descriptions while not paying enough attention to other parts, such as character motivation. Not always the case, but it’s a trend I’ve noticed. So, ::pulls up sleeves and cracks knuckles:: time to work smarter, not harder by keeping these oversights in the front of my mind as I write!

Writing Radically

Ideally, a beta reader is someone who reads your manuscript to give you a sense of how readers (or agents) will react to your plot and characters. There are, however, a whole host of other writing issues that might pull your beta readers’ attention away from the big-picture story-related  issues and cause them to get bogged down in correcting common mistakes instead. Fortunately, a lot of these common mistakes are things that you can correct for on your own if you approach your work with a critical eye before sending it out to anyone. Running through these points will help you get the most out of your beta readers, and will make sure that they’re able to provide you with a helpful critique rather than a writing 101 lecture.

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Alpha Readers, Betas & Critique Partners: The ABCs of having a book that doesn’t suck.

I’m so glad I found this! I needed to know more about these ABCs.#amreading

Michael J. McDonagh

Relationships with alpha readers (“alphas”) beta readers (“betas”) and critique partners (“CPs”) are RELATIONSHIPS. That fact, so key I’m yelling in bold, permeates every aspect of this topic. For starters, those relationships can range from “If you show me yours, I’ll show you mine” casual one night stands to serious, long-term “I feel as invested in your writing as I do my own” literary soul mates. The relationships evolve, grow, and/or end. I could easily drop a couple thousand words just analogizing alpha/beta/CP (“ABC”) pairings to every other relationship you could imagine—from parents to prostitutes—and barely scratch the surface. But let’s get to some definitions so we can at least make sure we’re all on the same page when we’re talking about this stuff.

Although I spend a good deal of this blog trying to disambiguate writing terms, that’s impossible with this topic. That’s the basic premise of this post…

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What’s Expected of a Beta Reader?

Tips for Beta Readers from Patricia Hollett. 🙂

Pat's Writing Blog

This week I asked some authors/writers I know what they expect from a beta reader and what they want a beta reader to look for. I mean really… what’s important to them and what should a beta reader provide. Here is some great feedback from them on what’s important. I hope it’s as helpful to you as it has been to me.

Julie Particka-Klumb, aka Seleste deLaney, (Author of: ‘Gunshy’, ‘Pretty Souls’,‘Stockings and Suspenders’, ‘Badlands’, ‘Yule Be Mine’, ‘Forever Summer’, ‘Yes, Alana, There is a Santa Claus’, ‘The Ghost of Vampire Present-Blood Kissed #2’, ‘Of Course I Try-Blood Kissed #1’. Her website is

I have a few beta readers and each one gives me something different.

I have one who is very good at pointing out big picture issues–where I’ve slacked off and left plot holes, no matter how small.

I have one who points out every time…

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