Thursday, January 14, 2010
I love being a beta.
I've beta-ed three full manuscripts over the past two months along with a couple smaller writing projects. I love it.
It's a little daunting to offer someone feedback on their novel or other work, but I love getting my own manuscript back from a beta, dripping in virtual red ink. Some pages get massacred and others get comments like, "Great word choice!"
I don't care either way. Pointers on what I can improve rip the blinders from my eyes so I can see what I'm doing wrong. It could be something major like a character conflict or something small like opening too many scenes with a knock on the door. I'm as blind as Homer. (Yes! Another comparison to a cool dead dude!)
Being a beta gives me the opportunity to practice, to find stilted dialogue or paragraphs that show instead of tell. It's easier to spot issues in someone else's work than my own, but then when I go back to my novel it's like a giant spotlight is lighting up all sorts of new errors I've made.
Thank you to everyone who has let me beta for them and another thank you to everyone who has looked at HATSHEPSUT. I can't wait to get a book deal so I can list all of your names in the acknowledgements!
What about you? What are your favorite/least favorite things about beta-ing?