alexisjane: (Little Werewof House)
[personal profile] alexisjane
Call out for Beta Readers



I'm going to start editing my original fic, Little Werewolf House, this week, so if you would like a sneak peek at some Old West Werewolf action, then it would be great to have a few people to give it a look over.

HOWEVER...
Don't sign up until you've read the post beneath the cut. I'm not looking for proof reading at this point. I need feedback so smooth out the kinks...or lack there of. So, if you think you can put up with my bossiness, pm me and I'll give you run down of the warnings, etc, so you can make a decision. There are...a few : /

In the past, I've had beta readers that have looked over stories and mostly picked out dodgy spelling, punctuation etc, but I've decided to try something new...or at least new to me. This is probably a totally obvious way of going about things to most of you, but for those of you that haven't done it this way before, this is the plan...


  1. I send out each chapter of my WIP in it's own individual email.

  2. Along with the email will be a short questionnaire (about ten questions).

  3. You read the chapter, immediately answer the questions, and email them back.

  4. Once you've read the whole thing, there'll be another short questionnaire about the story as a whole.


What I'm after is your initial reader response, as well as any thoughts on inconsistencies, stuff that doesn't sound right for whatever reason, whether the pacing is right, how you feel about characters; basically what works and what doesn't work for you as a reader.

Things that are really important...

a).  Ignore anything that might count as 'proof-reading'. This is a rough draft. Neither of us wants you to waste time pointing out spelling errors, and commas in the wrong place, when the odds are that I might rewrite that whole section. Rest assured, it will be proofed later.

b).  Tell me if it sucks. You can't hurt my feelings. I'm dead inside...or rather I went to art school so being told that the thing I've sweated blood over for months is crap, barely scratches the surface of my elephantine skin. Plus, I'd much rather know now in an email from my trusted beta, than from some smug bugger on Goodreads when it's far too late.

c).  Tell me if a thing is good. I cannot tell you how many times I have intended to cut something from story, only to be told to keep it in...and then that's the line everyone raves about. So, if there's a bit of dialogue, or a line, or a character flaw that you really like, speak up or it might get binned.

d).  Don't hang around. Chapters are usually between 3k and 10k. One per day should be totally doable. More if you really like it. Even one every few days is cool if you're busy, but taking weeks may cause me permanent psychological damage. I'm really after knee-jerk, first impressions more than anything, so don't feel like you have to write eloquent reams of insightful prose about the thing. One word answers aren't very helpful, but I'm not expecting 5k of in-depth dissection either.

I'd love to say that I'll send the chapters off then get on with my life but I won't. I will sit there refreshing my email until I get them back. Partly as this bit is nail biting for me, but also my schedule is often inflexible, so if I need to start editing but I'm still waiting on one set of beta responses, it kinda screws up my life.

I know this all sounds bossy, and selfish, but I'd rather you know up front and not volunteer, than drop out after two weeks. Less painful for both of us that way.

The idea to do things this way was inspired by Jenna Moreci, who has a very analytical approach to beta data (I won't be doing any graphs or anything, don't worry.) She has a great 'how to beta' video that you should definitely watch, as she explains much better than I can how to frame your answers, how to disclose your personal biases, and what to say when you don't know what to say. It's only seven minutes long, and she's kinda entertaining, so it's worth watching regardless.




Also, Jami Gold has come up with a worksheet of things to think about that could be really helpful to include in your answers - http://jamigold.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Beta-reading-worksheet-A-and-B.jpg


I'm going to try to edit a chapter everyday, RL permitting, and send them out around that frequently.

Anyway...how exciting!!

Date: 2016-03-09 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wings128.livejournal.com
*bounces and waves* Just off to read chapter one, now, BB!♥♥

Date: 2016-03-09 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexisjane.livejournal.com
Yay! *goes to email, refreshes it...refreshes it again...refreshes it again...* xxx

Date: 2016-03-09 09:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wings128.livejournal.com
*chuckles* It's there now, hun :D

Date: 2016-03-09 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] masja-17.livejournal.com
Loved Jenna's vid!

I've never really done it like that, but I do usually comment on inconsistencies, like 'he put on his favorite jeans' and later 'he let his slacks drop to the floor'. Loopholes I'm also good at!

I'd love to help you! Some days I won't have time to read until about now and even though I'm a fast reader (about 7k an hour, and I do notice all loopholes and misspelled words then...) So I guess you want to know about the loopholes?

Some days I'll get to reading earlier, like 1900, and could read until ten-ish? That's at least 15k!

I don't have many squicks...

Love <3
(I do think you have my mail)

Date: 2016-03-11 08:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladygreytowers.livejournal.com
Dang...... I wanted to beta read for you! But I will be swamped for the next 3 weeks and I will not do that to you! Hope to see the finished fic soon. Love and hugs. Cin

Date: 2016-03-13 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexisjane.livejournal.com
Well, if you're up for giving it a read-through before I send it for proofing, that would be cool? : ) xx

Date: 2016-03-14 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladygreytowers.livejournal.com
Absolutely! Awesome! Thanks. Do you still have my email or do you need it again? Just let me know.
Edited Date: 2016-03-14 04:28 am (UTC)

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