Beta Reading and Critiquing

Beta reading/critiquing tips and advice. Sample topics: launch of Query/Blurb Exchange Club, finding beta readers, handling feedback, tips for being a better beta reader, benefits of beta reading, etc.

Help! What If I Can’t Find Beta Readers?

January 17, 2017 Writing Stuff
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Every writer struggles to get their thoughts on the page and make their ideas make sense to others. The typical advice for how to resolve that issue is to use beta readers, but what if we can’t find beta readers? What can we do?

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Writing Feedback: Reaching Our Potential

May 10, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Whenever we send our work out into the world for feedback, we’re taking a risk. Depending on our levels of self-doubt, the feedback might roll off our back, inspire us to work harder and fix issues, or convince us that we should quit writing. How can we avoid destructive feedback and the temptation to quit?

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Four Tips for Beta Reading Outside Our Genre

March 17, 2016 Writing Stuff
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During our search for beta readers, we might come across other writers willing to exchange–but they write in a different genre. Should we try a critique partnership anyway? Here are 4 tips for beta reading outside our genre.

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How to Make Beta Reading Work for Us

February 9, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Ever struggle to make readers’ interpretations of your writing match your intentions? We probably all have. As writers, we’re so close to our stories it’s impossible for us to know how readers will interpret our words. A good beta reader will give feedback about what we can’t see. And that’s just one reason why we all need beta readers.

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Should Authors on the Traditional Path Pay an Editor? — Guest: Sharon Hughson

November 20, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Writers pursuing traditional publishing are often told not to pay for editing before submitting to agents or publishers. But the landscape has changed and we’ve had to change our opinion and attitude about many old-school advice “rules.” Should this advice should be next on the chopping block?

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Feedback: Finding Problems vs. Fixing Problems

September 11, 2014 Writing Stuff
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If we’ve ever let beta readers or critique groups give feedback on our stories, we’ve probably run into the issue of receiving conflicting advice. In fact, if we’ve ever let more than one person read our work, we’ve probably received conflicting advice. *smile* One reader may love a character someone else hates. One person may think a subplot […]

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How to Make Sure Readers Don’t Close the Book

September 4, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Many articles and infographics have tried to answer the question of what makes readers stop reading. They usually include a list of offenses like typos, too boring, confusing, etc. And those are all true. But a recent post took a more analytical approach to measuring problem areas. Jefferson Smith started a reading program called “Immerse […]

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Introducing the Beta Reading Worksheet!

August 12, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Many of us find beta readers by offering to exchange our work with other writers in a “I’ll give you feedback if you give me feedback” arrangement. That structure means we have to do a good job with our feedback if we want to continue the beta buddy exchange program.

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Ask Jami: Where to Find Beta Readers

January 16, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Almost two years ago, I posted advice for how to find beta readers. In the time since then, many people have asked me where they can find beta readers. I’d love to be able to offer a mega-list of resources for finding beta readers, and maybe this post can be the first step. As I mentioned […]

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5 1/2 Steps for Making Feedback Work for Us

July 18, 2013 Writing Stuff
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We’re in the dog days of summer here in the U.S., so this is a great time for me to update one of my older posts. Actually, there’s never a bad time to talk about beta reading and critiquing. *smile* If we want to improve our work, we first need to have beta readers, critique partners, […]

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