Beta readers are a writer’s best friends, but they don’t come with user manuals. You need a strategy for communicating and cooperating with them so the experience is positive for both parties—and your book emerges stronger than ever! I’m going to walk you through the process of acquiring a team of beta readers and provide tips on how to handle the challenges you’ll face as you interact with them.
Story Embers Summit Host
Many moons ago, a series of suspiciously providential events led Daeus to cast his lot among the worldwide community of Christian storytellers. Since then, no reports indicate that he has come back out. Perhaps he is lost among those fine gallivanters forever. Rest in peace, Daeus Lamb.
Daeus dreams impossibly large (which doesn’t bother him a bit) and tends to bite off more than he can chew. Watch this in action as he tries to capture the depths of the fantasy genre on his YouTube channel, or as he seeks to express the meaning of life in just a short novelette. (Psst. It’s a popular little book called God of Manna and you can get it for free here.)
I’m selfish. I like to cling to this lie: if I give too much of myself to others, I won’t have enough time or energy for more important tasks. Though I could become toxically obsessed with lending a hand, how many of us actually struggle with that? Maybe one in ten.
Have you ever heard that gospel presentations ruin novels? Or that entertaining stories with good morals but no references to the Bible are humanistic? I’m familiar with both these convincing arguments. I don’t want to waste my life by not advancing Christ’s kingdom, but neither do I want to spoil art with pragmatism.
Several months ago, a new character I’d created went rogue and escaped the world I’d placed him in. Leaping between realms, his ghostly spirit crashed into a peaceful wood where a fisherman dipped his net into portals and God sat in his favorite spot, thinking. I was stunned. How could this have happened?
You open a book, and after several pages, you’re not yourself anymore. You’ve become the character. He’s different from you, yet somehow the same. When he remembers someone’s face but not their name, you smile sympathetically—even though your memory has always been sharp. That’s because his foibles seem true to life.
On my first read of The Book Thief, the peerless prose stunned me. I wanted to achieve Zusak’s skill, but I didn’t know how. So I began a nightly experiment to see if any techniques would emerge.
Every fiction writer has fallen in love with stories and dreams of engaging readers the same way. Few, however, are interested in poetry. In our modern age, this art form fights a losing battle against flashier entertainment.
Never enough. Never enough. I am glory and disgrace. I’m tripping up at the end of the race. I’m a misspelled card, a hung-up phone. I’m always knowing and never known.
I self-published my first novel before it was ready to be shared with the public. The story had merit, so I assumed it was publishable. Wrong. Looking back, I’m embarrassed.
Like me, countless authors are fascinated by languages. Yet few of us have the energy to invent Elvish with its many branches. Coining a handful of phrases and ethnic names is doable, though still challenging. Also, developing a language is time consuming, and you’ll only get to feature it in one book (or perhaps a series).