So my question for today is: do you use beta readers?
I've been wondering how many of you take advantage of this WONDERFUL resource, because during my break I've been rewriting. And rewriting. And rewriting some more.
After weeks of rewriting my manuscript stops looking like that story I thought was so fun and starts looking like a bunch of random words I threw together so I could make it to 40,000 words.
That's when I send the manuscript to my betas. They've only read it once or twice, so to them it doesn't look like a jumble of words, it looks like a book. They can see the places where it needs work and sometimes they can even help me figure out how to fix the problems. Their critiques are awesome and invaluable. I learn something different from every one of them. And while I don't take every little bit of advice they give me, I do use a most of it. They make me a better writer.
But that's not all they do.
They also let me read their manuscripts, and in some ways I learn more from reading their brilliant work, than I do from reading their comments on mine. I'm pretty sure I have some future bestsellers and award-winners among my beta group, seriously.
I know not everyone has this kind of experience. I've read horror stories about beta readers who are unhelpful, overly critical, or just rude. I know I'm lucky that I found my girls before they were snatched up by other writers in need of awesome betas. But here is the thing-- you can be lucky too if you try.
Post an invite on your blog. Trade manuscripts with a few different people and find the ones that you click with. These people will get your writing and you will enjoy reading theirs. There might be some people who don't work for you as beta readers. That's okay too. Just keep looking until you find someone (or several someones) who are perfect for you.
Their might be some genius writers out there who can make a book perfect all by themselves, but I'm not one of them and I'm willing to bet most of us could improve
Do you have beta readers? Do you need to get a few?