Saturday, 2 April 2016

A - Z Challenge [April 2016]

My Theme: Tips and Inspirational Quotes for Writers

 

B for Beta Readers and Critique Groups 
Writing is a solitary mission. The need to have other people read your work and offer you feedback is so important I cannot begin to understand why a writer wouldn't try to gain help, feedback and advice from others. Beta readers are ideal because they're not your best friend or your Aunty May who loves you and knits you sweaters every birthday and in whose eyes you can do no wrong. Beat readers don't hold back - they don't know you personally so don't need to. You can find beta reader groups on Goodreads.

Critique groups are also cool because you're among your peers and if you've got a really supportive and experienced group you're on to a winner. Try MeetUp.com to find one near you.

When writers do all their own editing and proofreading - it shows and it's not a good look.
Trust in the advice of others. You don't have to do it all on your own and you don't have to take all the advice you get. 

21 comments:

  1. Reaching out for support is a great thing and there is so much support out there. Great B post. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for supporting my challenge!

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  2. That's a wonderful post! Yes sometimes we do need to trust in the advice of others!
    Cheers,
    Srivi
    The Piscean Me | Twitter

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  3. The internet has made it so much easier to connect with other writers and get feedback. We live in a wonderful age!

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  4. Agree completely! Beta readers do play an important part in helping create a better book. Their critique a manuscript from a reader's point which is so helpful!
    Shilpa Garg - Co-Host AJ's wHooligan for the A to Z Challenge 2016
    http://shilpaagarg.com/

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  5. I am a firm believer in critique groups and beta readers. They lend support and keep you from veering wildly off the right path.
    Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling in the Storage Room

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  6. If you can find a GOOD beta/critique group, it can be priceless. A bad one can bring you down and make you doubt yourself. I've been in both...I actually had to leave the bad one early in my career because one toxic member was affecting my ability to write.

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    1. I know exactly where you're coming from. You have to be selective when it comes to critique groups. I've had bad experiences too.

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  7. "...Aunty May who loves you and knits you sweaters every birthday and in whose eyes you can do no wrong." That made me smile.
    They say it takes time and patience to find the perfect beta readers/crit group.
    Writer In Transit

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  8. I love my beta readers! The hard thing is finding people who "get you"--know what you are trying to do so if you miss the mark, they can nudge you back the right direction. Also finding partners with pacing equivalence, so you don't burden them more than you help them.

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  9. I agree it's critical to have critique groups and beta readers. It's beyond impossible to proofread one's own work!

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  10. I completely agree with this post! Another option is to join an online critique group if in-person doesn't work.

    Yvonne

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  11. I have trust issues with finding beta readers and critique groups online. I've had both bad and good ones in person.

    Pioneer Women in Aviation A-Z

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  12. I am so glad I started off in fandom because it introduced me to all the concepts of beta readers etc, before leaping into publishing original work. It's such a great environment because it isn't frightening. I think some people don't approach others because they are simply scared.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  13. Oh yes, beta readers helped me a lot when I was working on Coexist.
    I've yet to find a critique group in my area though! I've been thinking of finding one online, but haven't gotten round to really searching yet.

    Anna
    ATSP @ Deeply Shallow
    @natzers

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  14. I had no clue you could get betas from Goodreads. How did I not know that? Thanks!

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    1. Well, Goodreads can be a bit of a mystery.

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  15. Beta readers are a special sort of people! Love 'em. Ditto what Elizabeth said re Goodreads! This is a great post, thanks for sharing with us! :-) -Sati

    http://atozwriting.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Sati. How do I get to your blog?

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  16. Hi, I am writing a rough draft for a memoir on depression. I too have hoped to find a support group for writers, but I live in a town where such things are hard to find. I work as a mentor at our mental health center and teach writing. My boss has been reading what I have written.

    See my blog: jannghi.blogspot.com

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  17. So glad to have been one of your Beta Readers, Fran. I'm still thinking about your "When Skies Are Grey" characters. I know Beta Readers were critical to my novel "Provenance." Their their insight helped me fine tune my story arc and my characters.

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