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betaing, from a writer's perspective


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Hi all... I'm getting back into writing after a long break. Years back I never did any beta'ing, because I was co-writing, mostly. Plus, no one asked me to beta anything so I didn't think much about it.

But I've been doing some beta'ing over the last four months or so, and I feel like it would have made me a better writer if I'd done it sooner! lol. Just wondering how other people feel their experiences as a beta has affected (or not affected) their writing.

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I have done it for my wife and I found that it can help to expand your mind into your own ideas and plans for your own stories, not only that but as you see the mistakes you can't help but take note of it (sometimes) and if its something that you tend to do as well, it can remind you not to do it.

its kind of like practice for your own editing of your stories.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have been beta reader for years. Mostly for friends, but I did a couple projects for writers on AFF years ago. You tend to see your own mistakes in the writing of other people. As a writer, it's difficult not to compare your own writing skill with the one you're correcting, especially in the case where it feels like they're leagues above you, but that's an excellent opportunity to have a little of that skill rub off on you, right?

Betaing definitely made me more aware of conscious comma use and language barriers. It's tricky sometimes to see the difference between something that should be reworded and something that's simply stylistically different than your own. Recognising that difference, I think, made me more open-minded. Though I did go through a time where I took a lot of things apart that I probably could have relaxed about. On that note, betaing is also an excellent way to learn tact!

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I agree.

its like trying to grade your own math test, you know you worked the problem, you think it should be right so its not uncommon for people to read it in their mind and not read the actual words used.

BUT when its someone elses test or in this case story, you have no idea what is actually coming up so you tend to read each word and it makes you notice things.

ive had 3? betas helping me on my story, each of them had a different style of editing but the results were the same, the mistakes i ran into were slowly being weeded out of myself with the exception of simple type Os

wishing it wasnt so hard to find a beta but not much you can do about that.

but i do find the people on the shotbox tend to be willing to help you run a line or a phrase, as long as you ask first

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