Connections and Beta Reading

10372903_785769518121244_5951835746202887627_oA while ago I offered to be a beta reader for a friend of a friend. I had given feedback on several books though these consisted of haphazard replies rather than a streamlined critique. In any event I thought I was ready to tackle a formal beta reading. Note to self, no matter how much planning goes into it writing the first draft is not a good time to beta read. The reason why I offered is because I think feedback prior to publication is valuable. Be prepared to set aside a bit of time, it is not the same as reading for the sake of enjoyment. You get to answer questions, and make comments at the end so it is worth taking notes.

Ask Questions

Beta reading is best done with a genre that interests you, find out the basics such as the word count, either a blurb or synopsis, and a few basic details like the first chapter. After all this is a story you are going to become familiar with and it helps if you like the style. To be honest I was not sure what I had gotten myself into, it was a big commitment and I was not sure how much I would pick up or be able to comment on.

Take Notes

My greatest concern from the moment I began was how fair I could be, and would the comments be amicably received. Not everyone wants to hear something constructive, I use that word because I think there is a distinct difference between constructive and negative feedback. Constructive feedback is about providing a balance and an explanation. I find it just as important to highlight both the strengths and weaknesses to create a clearer picture for the author.

Be Honest

Honesty is best but if something really does not work explain why. It is a fantastic effort for anyone to complete a manuscript even in draft stage. A great many hours have been spent, and it is worth holding onto that thought when providing comments. Also, be honest about what you can and cannot do. I shy away from grammar, but my strength is the overall story and its rhythm. I have spent too much time away from writing my first draft, though I am thankful to assist as others have done for me.

Published by Chantelle Griffin

The ultimate quest is about to begin. If you love fantasy with adventure and a hint of the unexpected. Escape into fantasy, and the mystical world of magic mixed with adventure. Where you are in good company. Although chose your company wisely. There are anti-heroes, wizards, and a range of chaotic characters ahead. Not to mention dragons. A fantasy world set in an ancient mythical world has to have dragons. Tales of sword and sorcery with danger thrown in. Captivated Chantelle from a young age. Reading until all hours of the night to find out what would happen to the characters. There was just one problem the fantasy world was not enough. The story would finish far too soon. Hidden away in the distant past the life of a fantasy writer began. The real life struggles have been a saga all of their own for author Chantelle Griffin. Originally known as Chantelle Lowe and born in Tasmania, Australia. Her dreams haunted her from an early age. Vivid tumultuous dreams carrying adventure and danger. Took the author into her own fantasy world filled with sorcery and treachery. A story that continues to captivate her writing. If you love fantasy with adventure follow the Legacy of Zyanthia series.

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