Sunday, October 14, 2018

Beta Readers

When I began my writing journey, I belonged to several critique groups, moving on when I outgrew them. Eventually I began to rely on two people to read my stuff, and two more author friends to bounce ideas off of. That method seemed to work for a while, but it's now time to take things to the next level. And to do that, I need beta readers.

To those of you not familiar with the term, here's the definition according to Wikipedia.

A beta reader is a test reader of an unreleased work of literature or other writing, who gives feedback from the point of view of an average reader to the author. A beta reader is not a professional, so that the opinion of an average reader can be heard. Usually, a beta reader will be unpaid.

For my latest endeavor, I used five beta readers, three of which were authors who also are readers of the romance genre. I just got back the final one, and was kind of surprised and pleased that the problems they noted were eerily similar. Timeline issues, scenes that drug along, scenes that didn't advance the plot, or the reader didn't buy the concept of the scene. The reason I'm pleased with the outcome is because that means I only need to concentrate on a few passages to straighten things out. One of the beta readers is known for her steamy sex scenes so she mentioned I few improvements I could make there. Another writes really good action scenes, so she helped me with that portion of the story. 

They say writing is a lonely job but it take a village to bring a manuscript from the typed page to a complete novel. In this case, it hasn't taken a village but a complete city. I greatly appreciate the hard work and hope the final product is better than anything I've written so far. 


  1. I haven't used betas. I guess I feel like that what my editors are for. :) But then again, I didn't love critique groups either. Glad it's working for you.

    1. Thanks, Lynn. At this point, I'm open to anything.