Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My first Beta Reader experience...

I just got my mss back from my new bata reader. Let’s call her BR. BR’s my new bata reader, my first experience with a bata reader, but we’ve known each other all her life. I’m two years older.

They say don’t ask friends and relatives to be beta readers. Friends and relatives don’t want to hurt your feelings and they want you to be successfully published so they can say they know you.

I’m not worried about that with BR, she wouldn’t let friendship stop her from telling you what she thinks. She’s smart, witty, and has a lot of life experience.

Among the corrections, suggestions and continuity questions, she put in one or two: Good!, Awe and a Boohoo.

Her questions and comments pointed out to me places in the mss where I could make the story clearer to the readers. As writers, we know our stories inside out and don't always get that down on the paper. 

But the best thing she put in her line notes was:

“I’m crying again, you rat fink!” 

On one paragraph about the heroine’s melding cousin, BR said: “I just want to slap her!”

Then a few paragraphs later, after the cousin said something that hurt the heroine, BR wrote: Slap!

And this is what she wrote at the end: 

“Wow! You really had me going, Christy. I got to a certain point and couldn’t stop. With a few details tightened up, I think it will be a page turner! The writing is really good. I like a book that makes me sputter and gasp and neglect my household duties.”

Beta Readers can be good for the writer's soul. 

Thank You BR!


  1. Okay, now you have me curious and anxious for the release :) It's wonderful to have a good critique partner/beta reader. I'm glad you found someone who is a good fit. It makes all the difference in the world.

    I worked with the same critique partner for 12 years, then,sadly, she passed away from cancer 2 years ago. We met online and although we never met face to face, we were great friends. It's been very weird working these last two years without her.

    Great blog post!

  2. Hi Mae, that is so sad to lose your critique partner that way.

    I think BR will be good for me because she's so direct. She let's me know if something isn't working or turns her off. I do need a tough skin to read some of her notes.