Tag Archives: grammar

Being a Good Beta Reader

I came across a post on one of the creative writing forums from a member that was looking for a beta reader. Or readers I suppose. I don’t know. The genre and plot interested me and the member had a respectable number of posts. Not a lot, less than 100 for sure, but enough that I knew they had contributed. Rather than post on the thread directly, I went ahead and PM’ed (private messaged) them. They sent me the first two chapters of their work, which I edited and returned. They then sent the next three chapters, which I again worked on. After that, I gave them some overarching comments (things that needed to be addressed in what I’d read so far) and let them know that I would look at their revised chapters when they were done with them. This experience was as much a learning experience for me as (I hope) it was for them. They learned about where and how to improve their story. I learned a few things about being a beta reader. Here’s what I learned. Just so no one is confused, this is not a definitive list. I’m sure I have much more to learn and can’t wait to do so.
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Guilt and Writing

There are a number of quotes that writers love to site that are along the lines of “writers must write.” Here’s one:

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.” –Abraham Maslow.

I find these to be some of the most destructive quotes and thoughts that any writer can have. If you want to give up, to quit, take quotes like these to heart. If you want to write, to finish, to publish, you must put these thoughts aside and have a more reasonable view on the craft of writing.

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