Beta readers are a writers best friend. They helped me turn this:
I’d never have found the courage to publish without their help and support. They were instrumental in helping the novel develop, pointing out character flaws, plot issues and words and phrases that I have a tendency to overuse.
How to find Beta Readers
I was lucky enough to make friends with writers from the adult education classes I attended a few years ago. Some of us have kept in touch and meet up to critique each others work.
These creative writing classes are a great way to learn the craft and make new friends, and I really recommend new writers try to join one.
There are other options; online courses, peer websites, or you can find beta readers advertising online and on sites like Goodreads. But there is nothing quite like sitting down over a cup of tea, or glass of wine and talking through your book with someone who understands the trials involved in writing.
Be a Beta Reader
You can learn a lot about the process of writing and editing by being a Beta reader yourself. I found it an enriching experience, both to the reader and the writer in me. It’s an honour to read someone’s work, to know that they trust you with their baby and that you’re probably one of the first to read their work as a whole.
Now for a few words from a couple of my lovely beta readers;
Beta-reading by Louise Spiers
‘I had not known I was a beta-reader until I saw the acknowledgements in Visions of Zarua by my friend Suzanne Rogerson. My ignorance of the term did not hinder my becoming one. Beta-reading comes naturally to those of us who as teachers have spent many hours reading and marking essays. I met Suzanne at a creative writing evening class and was impressed by her work and professionalism. After the class finished, a small group of us continued to meet. It was then that I read more of her book. The opportunity to read through the entire fantasy novel was one that I approached with enthusiasm. I enjoyed the process and it was a pleasure to help her. I can thoroughly recommend beta-reading to any writer. It is a privilege to be asked to read and comment on a writer’s work especially when you understand how many hours of hard work it represents. If I am ever in the position of needing a beta-reader, Suzanne will be my first choice. Finally, do go and check out Visions of Zarua. You won’t be disappointed.’
Has anyone else any Beta reading experiences to share?
The next few blogs will have a more crafty theme. And then I’ll be onto E – its all in the editing. See you next time.