Habitually I have been using two friends to do my beta reading and editing. While they are tremendously helpful and aid in my growth undoubtedly, I know I can’t harass them every time I want some feedback. So I ventured out and found a few more. One beta reader –—- back up, do you know what a beta reader is?
A beta reader is someone who reads your story after you have already edited the heck out of it. A beta reader (to my knowledge, because honestly if you ask 100 people, you will get 99 answers) will help point out content issues such as flow and confusion within the text. Some betas will also do grammar checks and make suggestions on rephrasing sentences to make it stronger. They rock and are essential to my creative process.
Back to it now. One beta reader I found through an online group tour my newest short story to shreds. Ninja style. My piece came back with so many comments I felt like a failure and was embarrassed that I may have annoyed him. Truth is, he has impressive points, and with some tweaking, I will make this a great story. He was kind and even had some kudos. I am now about to read a piece of his and offer my feedback. Swapsies.
I grow from every beta read I have ever gotten. Here is a quick list of words that I search for when editing my own work: were, was, is, that, became, would, are, words that end with –ly, –ing, –ed. I tend to switch my tenses and make weak sentences with joining words like that and is. That is a problem I want to get over (see what I did there).
I am always looking for new beta readers and happy to do swapsies. I am not a grammar ninja, but I can help in other areas. If you want to beta read a short story for me let me know, I have a few things I’m working on. If you are a blogger, I will give you a shout out on my blog if I post it. Some are for contests, and I can’t publish them.
Enjoy your creative processes!