So I just realized it’s Thursday and I’m leaving for Ohio in two hours! Normally that wouldn’t be an issue, but I haven’t written my blog for today. I am too busy. How do you forget something you’ve been doing every Tuesday and Thursday for the last five months?
So I’m continuing with the revision of my book, and if you follow me, you know I’m having it critiqued by other aspiring authors on Scribophile. I know I’ve already promoted the site, but let me say it one more time. If you have started a novel, or want to start a novel, sign up. It’s free. They do offer extras for a $65 dollar a year fee, but you don’t need to bother with that. At least not until you’ve check it out and know for sure it’s working for you. You can post work and do critiques without the membership.
At any rate, I’ve developed somewhat of a friendship with one of the members, who far surpasses my writing skills, I might add, and we are critiquing each others work as it is posted. I messaged her today to let her know that I posted a new segment and to apologize in advance.
It amazes me, how many errors I miss. Am I getting better? Truthfully yes, but my work still looks like a Christmas tree when she finishes marking it up. The bad part is, the mistakes are so obvious when she points them out. I’m a pretty smart lady. Why am I not seeing them ?
The only thing I can come up with, is I’m too close to the story. Are you too close to your story? I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having others review your work. I’m not talking about family and friends, I’m talking about people who will be honest and know what they are looking for.
I would like to invite you to join me on my journey, as I share my ups, downs, and information that will hopefully help you along the way.
So I’ve been at this for five years and thought I had a good idea how things worked and the tools available to assist with publication. I was wrong. I read a blog by Joynell Schultz this past week that mentioned using a Beta Reader. I had never heard of that term.
I can talk all day about dialogue, settings, character development, on-the-nose-writing, head bopping. I think you get the idea. I’ve been so busy learning how to write and getting my manuscript ready that I haven’t put a lot of time and effort in to the getting it published side of things.
So I am hoping to have my work ready to go in about three months. I am doing one more read through with minor revisions and then hope to have it reviewed before I send it in again.
With this in mind I thought I should follow up and find out just what a Beta Reader is. I have had family and friends read my work in the past but they are not always the best people to ask to read your work. They care about you and have a tendency to overlook flaws in your work. Also, most of your friends and family probably don’t understand the craft. If you’ve been writing for a while you know there’s more to it than putting pen to paper.
So Beta Readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context. Elements highlighted by Beta Readers include things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterizations or believability, in fiction or non-fiction. Beta Readers might also help the author with fact-checking.
A good Beta Reader would be a person who would buy and read your book if it were on the market. This person would also know more about the writing craft than you.
Places to find Beta Readers include Scribofile, Wattpad or a local writing/critique group (meetup.com). You may have to pay a small fee for a Beta Reader but many will review your work for free.
I do plan to discuss Beta Readers a little more in my next post. Hope this helped someone on the journey. I would love to hear any comments or suggestions to make my blog more useful.
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