#atozchallenge – B Beta readers

Beta readers are a writers best friend. They helped me turn this:

WP_20151228_15_23_28_Pro

into this

VOZ print book 3d image flat

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.’

 ***

‘Beta readers are vitally important to improving your writing – they catch plot holes and inconstancies that you totally missed, along with providing encouragement when they tell you what worked well!   I’ve also enjoyed being a Beta reader for friends and other writers; it’s a great feeling to know you’ve helped someone else on their path to publication!’   Barbed Words
Barbed Words is also taking part in the A-ZChallenge so check out her blog here.

***

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.

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26 thoughts on “#atozchallenge – B Beta readers

  1. Yes, I love beta readers! Good ones are golden–hold on to them. A good beta reader can give you a nice balance of encouragement, but also critique. They are vital to helping you find your plot holes because you know what you meant to write, not necessarily what you did write.

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  2. I love my beta readers and really enjoying reading for them too. It’s not easy to find the really good ones so yes, buy them chocolate and acknowledge them! Good luck with the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beta readers are a huge part of a writer’s life, I agree. I will be gathering up mine later this year (hopefully), depending on how quickly my WIP gets ready.
    I like your a to z challenge theme! Fab blog you have going here.

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  4. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge C – Candle making | suzanne rogerson fantasy author

  5. My beta readers are invaluable! I couldn’t have published without them – from the first one who read my huge first draft and offered so much wonderful insight, to the one who talked me into ditching the first three chapters – every single one has made my work better.
    So yeah, I’m pretty keen on the idea of beta readers 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My beta readers are invaluable to me. I met most of them on Goodreads and in the Blogging universe. One is a friend of a friend and there’s a fabulous lady called Kitt on Fiverr. However, my best beta reader is my daughter. She’s a teacher and she doesn’t write (yet!) but she’s an avid reader. She knows me, my characters and books almost as well as I do, and she’s a fabulous help. I also beta read occasionally, and I love it when I ‘help’ and author with a suggestion they use.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, I found my beta readers through adult education creative writing classes. We attended several terms together and started our own little writing group when the courses finished. It’s a great way to meet like minded people.
      I have heard another writer used Fiver to find unbiased beta readers, so maybe that’s an option for you.
      There are also critique companies that can offer all sorts of different services. I’ve used Writing Magazine and Writers Workshop, both have been brilliant in helping me in the right direction.
      Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

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