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!
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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