Southern belle with a story to tell. Refreshing iced tea served after literary punches thrown.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stand Up and Cheer for Beta Readers!

Show Book Love to Your Writing Friends~Offer to Beta Read for Them!

Now I must admit, I’ve been feeling rather lucky lately, because, I’m beta reading two manuscripts (incredible thrillers) and I’m having a blast.

Hopefully you and your writing circle friends are doing the same thing for one another, as I think it’s an integral step to take before submitting your work to an agent.  Plus, It’s like getting a front row seat to a new Broadway play on opening night.  You’re one of the first to see and experience it, and your opinion counts. 

The Beta Read is Your Front Row Seat On Opening Night!
 Your Opinion Counts!
But what’s the truly exciting part?  Reading a good manuscript, knowing you're helping your friend turn it into great manuscript, and eventually into a book.  Thus,  with every  suggestion or critical comment we make, or nuance we tell them we love, we’re encouraging our friends as writers and helping them elevate their craft.
Are beta reads time consuming?  Sometimes.   But as I’ve learned, each read has brought with it a rich and rewarding experience.  It’s been fun, and  through my friends’ manuscripts, I’ve had some pretty damned amazing literary adventures, and virtually traveled to military bases, circuses, college campuses, Alaska, haunted houses, and super-secret scientific laboratories. 
Yea, I guess you could say I’ve enjoyed my front row seat. 
In the end, it’s my hope that I won’t be one of the few in the audience getting a taste of these fine manuscripts, but one of thousands.  I truly hope that one day, not too far in the distant future, I'll see them as books populating shelves at my local bookstore.

Ask to Beta Read For Your Friend!  Show a Little Manuscript Love!
After all, we know how many hundreds of hours they spent writing it.  
My friends are outstanding writers, but I want them become great authors.  So I’ll keep turning the pages they’ve spent hours writing, and when I’m finished reading, I’ll stand up and cheer for them from this front row seat.

I could not resist.  This little fella's too cute.  
Do you beta read or critique manuscripts for your writing friends?  What do you love best about doing this?


Sl J said...

The dirty little secret about beta reading is how selfish it is. Sure, I can help my fellow writers. But what isn't so obvious is how much I'm learning in the process. I can see what works -- and what doesn't; what's indulgent -- and what's outstanding. It's a fascinating journey into myself as a writer. As much fun as I have being in the front row (and that can be an incredible high), like anything giving in life, you get so much more out of it than you ever put in.

Debra Dunbar said...

My crit editor is an author, but my two beta readers aren't. Still, they give the most valuable feedback I receive. They catch the tiny continuity errors in a series, they weigh in on character portrayals, they let me know when I'm cutting a fight scene too short.

I love my beta readers!!

Joey Francisco said...

@SlJ: Sean you're so right. So right. Couldn't agree w/you more.

@Debra: What a valuable asset our beta reader friends are. They do give the most valuable feedback. As writer's we'd be lost without them.