Beauty of Beta Readers, Some Tips and Tricks.

There’s much to be said about Beta reads, and in my opinion, none of it is bad!  The first time I had a REAL GOOD beta read completed on a manuscript of  my own, I was absolutely blown away!  This reader was amazing!! She helped me take my own writing style and transform it into exactly what I wanted it to be. This woman is a saint, teetering the edge of genius.

All the Beta readers I’ve had before her were in no way as professional.  They read the entire book and then pointed out a few plot points that could be improved on.  They gave honest opinions about characters, and about certain scenes that could use a little bit of work.  This does help, because all criticism HELPS.  I’ll take any and every opinion I can squeeze out of a reader, its imperative in order to improve and incorporate fixes before publication. But, once I worked with this almighty woman of wonders, my opinion on Beta flipped.  I put the entire process of Beta Reading on a pedestal, and I’m sure it will remain there for the duration of my writing career!

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Here are a just few things my favorite Beta Reader does that makes her the best!

  1. My work is broken down sentence by sentence.  She points out how often I use ‘ing’ and ‘said’ and ‘he’s, she’s’. Replacement words and phrases are always offered in a nice complimenting way when I overuse irritating mundane words and/or references.
  2. Describing emotions rather than stating them is sometimes a weakness for me.  This particular Beta Reader points out each time I say words like “angry” or “happy” She offers suggestions on describing body language and/or facial expressions that describe the characters emotions and paints a much clearer picture.
  3. My Beta Reader is the master of dialogue. She breaks down each and every conversation, making sure the flow is perfected, and that every part of it is grammatically accurate.  Even slang has a certain approach.
  4. She catches any over abundance of short choppy sentences. When ever I have a paragraph that reads too much like a list, my Beta pounces right on it without missing a beat! The said paragraph is cut apart and she gives several options for changes so that I can toy with it and make proper changes in my own words and with my own style later on.
  5. Time lines! A good Beta reader double checks on the time line of your plot to make sure that the characters aging matches perfect.  Months, seasons, days, and even weeks should match up. Some timeline details can be tedious and easily mixed up. As the writer we are often times to close to the story. Paying close attention to timeline details is imperative.
  6. One great thing about my Beta Reader is that she absolutely hates stereotypical, racists, bigots, and sexists.  Often times as writers, we can explain people and situations in ways that may be offensive without intending to. Sometimes we don’t even realize that our words can be so easily misconstrued.  We may have pure intentions and clean hearts but our readers can perceive it differently.  The hardest character I’ve ever written was actually racist. As much as I hated painting her that way, it was imperative in the diversity of her personality. (she wasn’t a victim, or a killer, but she had to knowingly fit somewhere in between. She had to be secretly dark spirited and a phony, yet on the surface she was confident in ways that made her likeable.) Writing her as a slight racist was a fine line that I went ahead and risked walking because at the end of the day it pulled the storyline together.  My Beta reader helped me SO much with this difficult situation.  I wanted my character to show this disgusting side of herself without it reflecting on myself, or making me out to be something that I am most definitely not.  I couldn’t over do it, or under do it!  I was walking a tight rope and my Beta Reader gave me my balance I needed in order to make it from one side to the other without tipping.

Can I just say again that I LOVE my Beta Reader?!?!  If you can ever find a Beta Reader that follows through with all of these things then keep them!!  Pay them, praise them, and by all means KEEP them for your own!!  Honestly I would sell my soul to this woman!!

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28 Comments Add yours

  1. I do some Beta reading as well and it is really nice to be appreciated. Well said 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s so awesome!! Great Beta readers really don’t get enough credit. I’ve done a couple of manuscripts myself and it takes so much time and dedication. A really in depth Beta is a hell of a commitment! So good for you my friend, keep up the great work, and I hope you get every bit of the credit you deserve. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. TeacherofYA says:

    I’m glad you found a good beta reader! Someone recently insisted that beta readers shouldn’t be paid, but I think it’s all about the work they do! Your beta sounds amazing! She is lucky to have you as a client, though! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She really is amazing!! 😍😍 I insist on the pay!! I think not paying a beta reader is like not tipping your hair dresser…, times ten 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s one heck of a Beta you have there. Can I get her number? Not really, but yes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s absolutely amazing!.. Thanks for reading BTW 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    And they say you learn something new every day. I have never even heard this existed, but it sounds great and she seems to be doing an absolutely job. Can understand why you praise her work. Great post!😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She really is excellent 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  5. She sounds awesome, and I’m so glad you have her. What a well-written article on the fantastic points of having a trusted member on team launching your novel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! So important 🤗😎🤓

      Liked by 2 people

  6. AJ says:

    I’m glad she checks for overuse of words as that drives me crazy in books! If it’s part of a character, fine, but “said” in every sentence is so annoying!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed!! I had one chapter that I used the words “attempting to” a TON… lol she actually counted them and sent me text with the official number and then asked, ‘WTF, Didi why would you do that?’ 😂😂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. AJ says:

        Lol- I know all about that! I read grade one writing🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL 😂That’s so awesome she texted you that!😂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. These are all great points, Didi…they’re useful whether you’re self-editing your own work or beta reading someone else’s. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Diana Tyler (Eccentric Muse) says:

    You have an amazing Beta reader and you’ve made some wonderful points. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. She’s truly the best! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s so awesome Didi! I am so happy you found your beta reading soul mate! LOL 😂 But seriously, I am so happy for you girl!😍 I can’t wait to read more of your work. I had some difficulties finding Aggravated Momentum and I paid for it through Kindle. I might have to go through my crazy long library again. hehehe. But yay! Your beta reader sounds badass!😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She really is amazing, Dani!! Your kindle cracks me up LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome! My kindle and I have a love/hate relationship!😒📚

        Liked by 1 person

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