My Books

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Importance of Beta Readers

I wanted to write this post to thank my fabulous family, friends, agent, critique partner, and awesome group of BC writers and bloggers who helped make my manuscript what it is today. It is now ready for submission and I couldn't be prouder.

Writing is a team effort. Yes, while you're writing that first draft it's a very solitary process. I lock myself in my office, start my "writing" playlist, and throw on the headphones to block out any other noise. After I type those last few sentences of my first draft, I read it through for the first time. That first read is SO amazing because you get to see how your ideas have come together (or not come together). After implementing edits, I print it out, read it again, and implement more edits.

Then comes the time, after many reads and edits, that you have to let it go. It is so important for a writer to have people who will read their story with a critical eye and point out the details that you as the writer can't see because you're too close to the story. After you receive their feedback you can say, "Wow, you're right. I totally missed that!" or "Well, I think I prefer to keep it that way." Yes, everyone is going to have a different opinion about how you can improve your story. If you changed everything to please everyone you'd never finish.

In the end, you are the writer. What you do with your book is solely up to you. But don't underestimate the importance of beta readers. Without the wonderful feedback, support, encouragement and comments of everyone who was kind enough to read my book and provide feedback, it wouldn't be what it is today.

So, I'm sending a BIG shout out to all of you! Words can't express how deeply thankful I am! : ) XOXO

Cheers!
T.H. Browning

16 comments:

  1. This is so true! I hope my comments helped at least a little. GOOD LUCK ON SUBMISSION!!!! <3

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  2. I agree! I'll be forwarding this to my awesome writing partners.

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  3. Thanks, Michelle! Of course your comments were helpful. I only have the most awesome critique partner ever! :)<3

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  4. Thanks for your comment, TL! Writing partners are SO important and a great support system. :)

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  5. I agree. One of the important steps you have to take to grow as a writer is to be open to critique, realizing that your baby is not perfect. And then another step is to realize that the story is first and foremost yours--all critique is not helpful. Sorting through helpful and nonhelpful critique can be challenging.

    Take care,
    M

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  6. I agree completely! Beta readers make all the difference in the world. They love books and understand what makes a good story. So their comments are incredibly helpful.

    Congrats on finishing and good luck on submission!

    Donna

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  7. You're so right. It is a team effort! CONGRATS on getting it ready to go and GOOD LUCK on submission. I'm pulling for you!

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  8. Marilyn - Great point! Sorting through helpful and non-helpful critique can be VERY difficult. Books are subjective and what might work for one person won't necessarily work for another. In the end, it's your book -- do what works best for you! :)

    Donna - Thanks for the congrats and your help in the quest to find the "perfect" title! :)

    E.C. - Thanks for the congrats. I appreciate your support & am rooting for all the BC peeps. This is going to be a good year for all of us! :)

    XOXO

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  9. Yup, you've said it all. Beta readers help me find those things that I can't seem to find on my own. Just like in my day job as an editor after sending a file to proof, I can take the beta readers comments and follow them or not. It's a wonderful thing!

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  10. Great comment, Kris! It's interesting to know that it applies to editors as well. Thanks! :)

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  11. Wow! I couldn't agree more...
    Joni
    :o)

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  12. Excellent post! It's very difficult (impossible) to be objective about our own work. Beta readers are invaluable, they can see what we can't. And the more input we have, the better. That said, it's still important we know our own "voice" to know when to say yay or nay to that feedback.

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  13. Thanks, VR! :) I love that you mentioned "voice."

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  14. Isn't it amazing how we miss our own plot holes, punctuation mistakes, etc.? I am humbled by how my critique partners and beta readers (and my AWESOME agent, Christine) improved what I thought was my "final draft," having edited it myself at least three times. But what I learned this time around will serve me well on the next one.
    Manhattan Mary via Mozart

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  15. You're so right. There are things we just can't catch as writers. We're too close to the story. I think we get better the more we write, but we'll never outgrow our need for fresh eyes.

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