The Vengeful Polyglot

Posts Tagged ‘beta-ing

For the Authors: The Finding, Care, and Feeding of Betas

So, let’s say you’re an author, and you’ve just finished the first, polished draft of one of your new fanfics. You’ve fixed all the little red squiggles under words from spell-check, your story seems relatively grammatically-correct, and you think you’ve wrapped up what you meant to do with the plot very nicely. Now it’s time to go post it on whatever site hosts your fics, right?

Not just yet. There’s one tiny step missing, and it’s a vital one. Vital to helping you improve your craft over time, as well as showing that you respect your readers enough to show them a wonderful final product. You need to find a beta.

“Why do I need a beta?” you might ask. “I worked hard on this.” You might even feel sort of offended that you would need someone else to look over your work in order to make it fit for publishing. But it’s not to offend you that I strongly, strongly suggest that all authors have one, or possibly many, betas. There are plenty of wonderful reasons to find a beta. Not only will they point out little nitpicky detail-problems about your fic that you might have missed, but they’ll help you to improve things like flow, characterization, and dialogue until they are much more effective.

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Blog by a programmer cum linguist cum writer cum total geek. One who pretentiously uses "cum" in place of any other logical connectives. Direct questions to the Ask Lauren page!

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