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What is involved in Beta Reading?

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions What is involved in Beta Reading?

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  • #101690
    Brink
    @nuetrobolt

    I’ve got a couple questions about Beta Reading. I know its when you get other writers to read your unpublished draft, but I’m not really sure what they are supposed to do beyond that. I would like to try beta reading but first I must know if it is very time consuming, and what a beta reader is required to do. I know they are there to give feedback, but what sort of feedback is usually given, and how detailed are they usually? Is there anything else I need to know before beta-reading? Am I over-complicating this?

    Also, pretty soon I will be ready for my first official novel to be beta-read. I’ve seen many people ask for beta-readers on here, which is probably what I will do (and no, I am not asking for beta-readers yet). I’ve got a few questions about this too. How many beta-readers do you usually have? Do you give them the whole book right away, or do you give it to them chapter by chapter? At what point in the editing process should I get beta-readers? Is there anything else I need to know before getting beta-readers? Am I overcomplicating this?

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson

    #101714
    Mrs. Skywalker
    @padawanpadme

    @nuetrobolt

    Hey there! I’ve been a beta reader and I’ve also released books for beta reading too! So I hope I can help with your questions.

    I get it, because this can be confusing at times.

    Beta reading can be time consuming. (This depends a lot on how long the book is and how slow a reader is.) What a beta reader is required to do is read your manuscript, then point out plot holes, characters acting out of character, grammar mistakes, and storyline and worldbuilding and logic issues. (But if you’d rather your readers not look for a specific thing like, say, grammar, you can tell them to ignore that and they’ll usually be happy to oblige.)

    You can really have as many beta readers as you want! I actually think it’s a good idea to err on the side of too many, because the really bad fact about beta reading is very few of the people who sign up to beta actually read your novel. Most people seem to literally fall off the face of the planet after they tell you they’ll beta read for you. XD It’s understandable how sometimes life gets in the way, but be prepared!

    You can give your manuscript to your beta readers at any time you want! Whenever you feel like you really need some eyes on it. (Be warned, you’ll most likely regret giving your first draft to beta readers, mostly because it can be very rough, but I still do it anyway. XD)

    I like to just give my beta readers the entire manuscript at once. It seems to drag the process out for everyone when it’s given one or just a couple chapters at a time, and I think it might even put us in danger of losing yet more beta readers. XD

    The one thing you need to know is just pick people you trust to beta read your novel. They don’t have to be your family. But if that particular person who volunteers to beta read just gives you a bad feeling, don’t give it to them. Stick to people you know will help instead of harm your process of writing. 😀

    Wow. That was crazy long. XD Hope that helps though!! Good luck with your writing and the beta reader process!

    "I never made a deal with Kanjiklub."

    #101748
    Brink
    @nuetrobolt

    @padawanpadme Wow, that really answered most of my questions. Thank-you!

    Should beta-readers be other writers, or would anyone do?

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson

    #101834
    Mrs. Skywalker
    @padawanpadme

    @nuetrobolt Glad I could help!

    Nope! I’ve had a beta reader who was not a writer and she gave me swell feedback. Just make sure that they are a person who reads a lot.  That definitely is good if you want more critiqued feedback. 🙂

    "I never made a deal with Kanjiklub."

    #101836
    Brink
    @nuetrobolt

    @padawanpadme Thank-you!

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson

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