I’m looking for a few beta readers to help me with my writing. I write science fiction and fantasy, so ideally you are passionate about both. I’d prefer to find people willing and able to stay with me, if you enjoy my writing, for the long term.
For those who may not be aware, a beta reader is someone who reads an author’s developing work and provides feedback. The more detailed the feedback, the more help the beta provides. Some author’s use forms with lists of questions and directions, others just ask for a gut response. Betas can be other writers. Betas may have editorial experience and offer grammatical corrections as well as story commentary. Overall, a beta is like an author’s sidekick, the superhero in the background who helps the author succeed without the accolades.
You may also have heard the term alpha reader. This is someone who reads the author’s work while in progress or extremely raw. I promise before you see anything I’ve written, it will be complete, it will be thought out, edited to the best of my ability, and carefully reviewed for mistakes or story flaws. Unfortunately, an author becomes too close to the story to view it from a fresh reader’s perspective, and that’s where you come in.
My WIP is an epic fantasy first book with a sword and sorcery flavour. The story is complete unto itself but ready to unfold to the next level. I need readers who can complete the read and critique within two weeks, sooner if possible. Keep in mind until I receive feedback, I can’t move forward and begin corrections. The critique I’m looking for may be multi-faceted. If you’re good at grammar and willing to assist with a copy edit, I ask that you use Word’s review mark-ups to track changes. I’d consider this a bonus, but where I really need the help is in the story. A paragraph or two in response to my directions below would be awesome. Actually using Word mark-ups to show me where things needs improvement in addition to a summary would be superb. I do understand not everyone has Word, so a write-up corresponding to page # for specific items is also great.
- Is the Story believable? In other words, when you finish are you shaking your head at plot holes, confusing sentences or paragraphs, mismatched character descriptions, or anything that pulled you out of the story wondering what the heck I’m trying to say. Does the timeline make sense.
- Are the Characters real? There are three main characters in this particular story, which is told through the PoV of two of them. All characters need to feel real with their own unique voice, but these three are most important to focus on. Do any of them sound too much alike where you aren’t sure who is who? Did their unique personalities shine through? Did they connect with you in a special way? Were any characters flat or boring, where you could not connect with them or care what happens to them?
- Did the Setting work? This is a fantasy world of my own creation with its own rules, government, scenery, religion, constellations, animal habitats, etc. The characters travel quite a distance through the story. The setting or world building should appear throughout the story in a natural way, not through back-story dumps. Was their sufficient back-story to understand what drives the characters forward? Were there enough descriptions for each scene to make sense? Too much? Did any aspect of this world confuse you where additional clarification is required? Did I over-explain anything, perhaps in different scenes, where the same information was redundant to a previous scene?
- Your Summary. A few sentences where you can say whatever you like about the story. Its overall impression independent of the flaws uncovered in the previous three areas. Is the story, characters, and setting unique and interesting enough where you believe combined they offer a compelling, satisfying read, or are there larger issues, or too many smaller issues, for this to work without substantial rewrites. What would those rewrites entail?
If you’re interesting in becoming a beta-reader for me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Message me on my author’s Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/WayneMeyersAuthor with a few sentences about who you are, what beta services you are able to provide, and why you’d like to help me.
Once we agree the match makes sense, I’ll provide additional instructions for next steps.
I can’t tell you how much I would appreciate your help, and hope we can build a lasting relationship. At the very least, you will always have a free copy of any published book you assist with and my undying gratitude.
Looking forward to hearing from you!