Sunday, May 22, 2011

AN ODE - TO BETA READERS

The funny thing about beta readers, those brave folks who volunteer (or, let's face it, often are drafted) into reading early versions of your stories, is that they always find things in there that you didn't intend.

A couple of offhand comments become themes. Serious scenes become funny. That flash of brilliance that you clutched to your bosom and beamed over is now "confusing, vague, are you high? why do you keep dropping shite like this right in the middle of otherwise decent stuff?".

I have a few writing tics that are PRONOUNCED in early drafts.

  • Longgggggggggggg sentences
  • Word repetition of words while writing words
  • Pronoun disagreements. "He reached out with her arm" :facepalm:
  • And I have become the easiest target a couple of homophones could ever hope to find. You know, if they were sentient and cared about making people use them.


So buckets of thanks to my betas, for looking past my unintentional tense shifts, fragmented sentences, tangents and tragic authorial breakdowns, to find the story. And, kisses and virtual chocolate for telling me what the story I wrote sounds like outside of my head.

Betas, I adore you.

7 comments:

  1. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa! "He reached out with her arm." ROFLMFAO! I guess that could work if you were writing a zombie story ... *wipes tears*

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  2. I'm in complete agreement with you! I've been called the "Queen of obscurity" which generally comes from mixing all those things you've noted into ONE paragraph. I mean, c'mon. They don't know what I mean at all times? ;) Gotta love their perseverance. :)

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  3. I am very grateful to the people who read my/my coauthor's WiP, especially the early victims-- I mean readers. Though the nice thing about having a coauthor is that we do a bit of each other's initial readings. BTW, I'm the master of the run-on sentence, and Michael usually has to chop them up.

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  4. Jaime - it was so very much NOT that kind of story. Which kind of made it funnier. :)

    Early victims and Perseverance should be the title of the introductory beta pamphlet.

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  5. Betas rock my universe. I can't tell you how much they've saved me. I seriously believe my story goes from zero to hero because of my betas.

    I love to repeat certain adjectives an miscellany in my WIPs like- shimmering, nearly, and quite. Then there's the ever popular "he stalked to the door". How ofen can one write this phrase? About 25 times in one ms, apparently!

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  6. 'Word repetition of words while writing words'... oh yessss. Sigh.

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