Saturday, February 19, 2011

Showing Some Love

Hello, my pretty little followers!

I know you're all dying to know which of the facts from the first Crusader challenge was a lie, so here it is...

The lie was a lie. Clever, huh? I've never kissed a boy behind the garden shed at midnight. I wish. Everything else was true... especially the part about fuligulinely bloviating. Thank you to Rachael Harrie for adding those words to my vocabulary!

Anyway, today I wanted to spread some love to a very special type of person. The writer's best friend. The beta reader.

Many writers are scared stiff of showing their writing to others. Other writers live for the feedback, both praise and constructive criticism. I'm an odd, in-between writer. I'm completely unafraid of total strangers reading my stuff - they don't know me, they can't judge - but friends? A little harder. Family? Totally impossible. So when it came to a certain point in my writing where I needed to "test drive" my manuscripts, I was a little stuck. I wanted my friends to read my stuff, but they weren't totally objective and many of them don't know much about the craft of writing. My family would be totally useless because they'd only say nice things.

Enter the beta reader.

So I headed over to the Absolute Write beta readers forum (what, you aren't a member of Absolute Write?! What are you waiting for, go join!) and hooked up with a couple of fellow writers. A reader of this blog also offered her beta-reading services. Those three godsends gave me more insight into FAKE than I'd ever have gotten on my own, plus they gave me a chance to see what a real reader's experience with the story was.

Whether the reader gave me an overall opinion on the novel as a whole or dissected each sentence, they each did me an enormous service. The manuscript is in the shape it's in because of them. I'm so glad to have had their help, and to be able to return the favour on their fabulous manuscripts. DJ, Taryn, and Aleeza... I luv you guys!!

Then there was one last reader: my best friend, Jamie. He's the toughest critic I know. He is not the type to sugarcoat anything, not even to save his BFF's ego. It takes a hell of a lot to impress him, so when I had him read FAKE and he finished in a single day and sat down with me for an hour and half to talk about it, I knew it was there, at that professional level where I could even dream the word "finished." He's read a ton of my manuscripts and has been nothing but amazing about it. There's a chance he'll get a novel dedicated to him someday.

If you have an amazing beta reader, remember to let them know just how much they mean to you!


  1. That's great you've found some nice beta readers. I don't have official ones...but I do have a few people that have or are going to be reading my MS. I really want this to the ONE! LOL

    I'm part of Absolute Write too though. :)

    -Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

  2. I've seen you on AW! I frigging love that forum oh so much.

  3. Great site
    have added it to my favorites. Thanks for mentioning it :-)

    Good luck with your MS.


    Go crusaders!!!

  4. aww, I love you too :D ! beta readers are awesome, seriously. i dont know where id be without my own CPs :)

  5. Would you believe that up until about a month ago I'd never even heard the term 'beta reader'? I'm edging closer to finishing the first draft of my (rewritten) manuscript and my target is June, so I'll probably be ready for beta readers come September. Sooner hopefully, if I can really pump out these last 13 chapters!

    I'm in your YA crusade group - looking forward to getting to know throughout the crusade. :-)

  6. also, i just saw you now have 160 followers. WHOA! :D go you!

  7. How lucky you are to have Jamie! Very cool. I'm lucky to have 2-3 hard-nosed beta readers. But I just may have to check out that Absolute Write beta forum. :) Have a great week.

  8. Beta readers rock! I have a few different ones with totally different styles of reading my work. It's awesome because the comments aren't all the same and I can look at how they all fit together. I also have a super amazing beta who will look at my work whenever I send it to her and another who helps brainstorm with me. Writing is often such an independent process that it's good to have great people helping along the way!

  9. I can't wait to send my entire novel off to beta readers - but I feel like I need to do my best to fix the problems I know are there before doing so. ;) And I definitely want to get my word count down to the "acceptable" range for a contemp. romance. Anyway...I hope to get it ready at some point in the next few months, though.

    I'm at Absolute Write - yoghurtelf :D

  10. I agree with how invaluable the beta readers are in the writer's life. They are very crucial to the completion of a novel in my opinion. Great post. Fellow crusader and follower. :)