Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wanted - Beta Readers

So here's the deal. I'm doing things a little differently for this book and I'm looking for beta readers (see definition below) who aren't actually writers. I'm thinking three or four people who are willing to read a total of about 50 pages.

Now, if you are a writer, but think you can keep your writerly instincts under control that's ok. I'm looking for comments about story, not grammar, sentence structure or spelling or character arc. That stuff is all going to change later anyway.

You should like a romance (lightly comedic) sprinkled with paranormal elements. I'm talking mermaids and magic here. Not dark creatures.

You should be willing to read electronic copy (or print it out on your own) because the printing and mailing is expensive and time consuming.

You should be willing to write me a email/post/missive about what worked for you, and what didn't. What you liked, what confused you. What was clear. What was not. Did you like the voice? Did you think the story and voice meshed. Do you think the hole thing is drivel and should be shelved. If you'd like a form to fill out I think I could come up with one if anyone asks. Otherwise it's just what comes to your mind.

The ability to ignore typos is also a good thing, because you'll be reading a draft, not finished product, and there are going to typos and interesting word choices!

BETA READER: A brave soul (male or female) that likes to read works in process and comment honestly on the contents. Truthfulness is important, and so is the ability to be truthful without being ruthless. Being specific is okay. Being mean is not.  In other words it's ok to say "I just didn't like this." It's not okay to say "Your writing stinks."  It's okay to say "I think Johnny is a shallow SOB and he needs some positive character traits." Not okay to say "What's wrong with you that you think Johnny is a guy that any of us could relate to?"  Savvy?

Apply within.