Friday, July 23, 2010

I am officially a Beta Reader

I am now officially a beta reader.  Go ahead, you can applaud.

No, there is no beta reader club.  I don't get a t-shirt or a badge or anything cool like that.  What I do get is the opportunity to read a manuscript before anyone else does.  I really am quite special aren't I?

I received the manuscript late in the evening and while I was ready for bed I wanted to immediately sit down and start in on it.  Suddenly I was nervous and lamenting to Captain Kid that maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew.  What if I really sucked at this?  What if I didn't like it?  What if I had nothing of any great significance to contribute.  Suddenly I had body parts sweating that I didn't know could sweat.

So whenever I have a question I do what I normally do.  I threw my question out to the twitterverse and waited with bated breath for the advice to roll in.  As usual my tweeps came through with some great recommendations.  

I feel so honored to have been given this opportunity to make notes regarding this work that my friend has poured her heart and soul into.  From what I can tell my job as a beta reader is to point out any inconsistencies in plot, characterization, believability and plot holes.  But I am also going to point out the parts that make me smile.  Where I laugh out loud, parts that make me cry and areas of the book that speak to me profoundly.  

I promise to keep you guys updated on my progress and on how this works out.  Keep your fingers crossed.  But before you cross them share with me your experience, if any, you may or may not have had with a beta reader. 


Linda G. said...

Congratulations, fledgling beta! You'll be great. :)

Just be aware that when a writer says "Be brutally honest with me!" what s/he really means is "Rave! Rave a LOT! And if you notice any mistakes, I definitely want to hear about them, but please cushion them with more raving." ;)

(What? Writers have egos, too.)

Karla Nellenbach said...

Yay, you go girl! You know that as soon as I finish that romance I'm working on, I'm sending it your way...right? As I said in reply to your blog comment, any posted comment on my blog is a binding contract in the Blogsphere/Karla/Space/Time Continum... What? You didn't know that? Well, now you do! :) Good luck with the MS you're reading now.

Candyland said...

Good luck. Doing beta reading is one of the best ways to improve your own writing all while helping someone else get their book into a better place.

Jen said...

Congratulations! I found your lovely blog over at Candyland and it's exciting to be a beta reader, a lot of responsibility but a whole lot of fun and learning as you go!

Good luck! Happy Friday! Bye *waves* nice to meet you :)

abby mumford said...

congrats on the beta status. that's fantastic. i just had the opposite situation where i sent out my MSS to a first time beta to read. it's a learning experience for us both.

and i agree with what candyland said. not only are you doing a favor for the writer, but you will be doing yourself a favor since you'll be learning how to be a better writer through reading.

Patty Blount said...

I'm applauding and taking notes!

Kelly Breakey said...

You guys are so great with the support. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I will all of you in the loop on how this goes.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this is not our usual type of blog, but we are impressed with the content.

Alyson Peterson (Crazy Writer Girl) said...

aaaand you still wont let me beta read your work, why? I think I might develop hurt feelings. Nah, I'm good. I'll be back to see how the read went. I love my betas and I love the mass of folks who beta for me. every little bit helps!