|Beta Bio: general description as a beta reader
Hi! I’m Mimi, and I’ve been doing this editing thing for a while so I’m pretty sure I’m good at what I do. Not saying I’m professional, definitely not, but I’ve got plenty of experience. I have a very strong grasp of the technicalities of the English language and am very eager to help others improve. If you want, you can determine whether I'm worthy by looking at the latest thing I've written.
If you think I can be of any help, don't hesitate to send me an email or PM. I should respond within a day or two.
My beta reading style goes like this: I first go through the document quickly, scanning for general weaknesses. Then I’d go more slowly and bust out Microsoft Word comment balloons. I highlight problematic words and phrases to refer to them, with my comments on the side. I’ll highlight any stylistic changes I’ve made too, the exceptions being typos, spelling errors, punctuation, and anything else I’m completely sure about. However, I'll rarely make direct changes if I believe the issue is subjective; in those cases I would just comment a suggestion.
Your document might come back with way too much highlighted text because — and I warn you — I enjoy nit-picking. I love the English language and I will point out every little bit that bothers me. I could be wrong; I could be right. And that’s why it’s all up to you if you want to change anything. If it’s a recurring technical error, be prepared for some lessons/tips, because I want you to improve in that area yourself! You better hope you don't have any pervasive punctuation issues because I LOVE punctuation. Feel free to argue with me if you think I'm wrong.
Important: I WORK ALONE. I don’t like to co-beta stories. At all. I don't mind if you yourself change something I corrected, but it hurts if you ignore me for someone else.
|My Strengths: beta, writing, or reading strengths
Dialogue formatting. I'm good at making it sound natural and and flowy.
Punctuation and format. I've impressed quite a few teachers with my knowledge of the mechanics of writing as well as my aesthetic formatting of manuscripts (a.k.a. I'm good at spacing paragraphs). So many people, including distinguished writers on this site and even beta readers themselves, are not aware that their punctuation used in dialogue is incorrect. A tiny detail, yes, but I view correct punctuation placement as a sign of careful writing and I kind of have trouble trusting you as a writer if I see frequent mistakes. I WROTE A GUIDE FOR THIS. “How to Use Correct Punctuation in Dialogue.” The link is in my profile, so if you'd like some help, check it out!
Spelling. I always aced my spelling tests back in elementary school. But since most of you use spell check anyway (hint: DO IT), I don't really have to do much. But I can easily spot typos and incorrectly used homophones and the like.
Catching repetitiveness. Unpleasant repetitiveness can occur in several forms. Words. Phrases. Sentence structures. Sentence length. It can result in awkwardness. I can catch it for you.
Making the story believable. There's nothing I dislike more than a story where everything is so perfect, the events so ridiculous, or the OCs are such Mary-Sues/Gary-Lous. Even if it takes forever to get to the action, I need to give the story a realistic feel.
Flow. I suck so badly at this in my own writing—but I can easily detect areas in other people’s writing that lack flow or smooth transitions.
|My Weaknesses: beta, writing, or reading weaknesses
Commas. I despise them. I have only a general knowledge of where to place them, so if you ever notice that I added/removed some of your commas, I can't guarantee that it would be accurate. "When it doubt, leave it out" is my philosophy.
Descriptions. Describing a room, someone's feelings, a person's looks—I can't do it very well. I won't be of much help if you shove a paragraph at me and ask if it’s descriptive enough.
Romance. I love romance. But writing it? It's very difficult for me. The only relationship I can manage is a relationship where the two "lovers" despise each other's guts. And it's not a love-hate thing, just... hate. I always run into problems when I have to try and figure out how the heck the two are supposed to fall for each other, without making it overly sappy.
Vocabulary. My vocabulary can be described as average, at best. Nothing spectacular. I have what people would call a casual vocabulary. I prefer to work with what I have and use simple words in unique ways.
Speed. I'm a /very/ slow person, probably because I'm lazy. When it comes to beta reading I’m pretty thorough, so if you prefer quality over speed, I’m your girl. :D We can negotiate how fast you want a chapter back, of course.
|Preferred: types of stories I prefer over others
Cardcaptor Sakura is my specialty!
I do prefer a bit of romance (unless it’s a humor fic, in which case I can do without), but I’m pretty much okay with anything. I work best with serious fics, though, when it comes to plot. I’ll put my hardest effort into Cardcaptor Sakura fics, since I am extremely familiar with the plot and characters. That does not mean that I will do a sloppy job if you send me, say, a Kingdom Hearts fic. It only means I'll be able to give you more help with the canon stuff if it's CCS. Also, my absolute favorite kinds of stories retain the characters' canon personalities.
I am also a fan of well-executed crack fics. Crack/odd pairings are acceptable too. I will never reject a fanfiction merely because I dislike the pairing. I'm open to all fics with any pairings, including same-sex ones.
But sad or fluffy fics are great too! I'm super appreciative of a good angsty fic.
|Would Rather Not: I do not beta for these stories
Anything that’s entirely in script form, especially if it's one of those author/characters Truth or Dare interaction things. Aren’t those not allowed anyway?
Explicit plot-what-plot sex scenes. I just grew out of them after my teenage years and would rather not read 3000 words of it, though I'm okay with smaller scenes.
Stories with many OCs that play main roles and/or are described meticulously to the last, unnecessary detail.
If you honestly have no writing ability whatsoever, no grasp of the English language, I WILL reject your request. I am here to correct your technical errors, offer suggestions and commentary, lend a helping hand with plot holes, and occasionally boost your morale. I can’t do these things if you have a terrible plot or if I can’t tell what language you're using. If you can’t write for your life, just practice. Writing is a skill that develops over years, not one that takes an hour to perfect.
Poorly formatted fics. This includes ones where spacings between the paragraphs are nonexistent. Do you know how difficult it is to try to read and edit a giant block of text?
Excessive fangirl Japanese. Made that mistake before as a novice writer, not making it again. Japanese with no English substitute is acceptable, like honorifics or food, but characters should never declare their love with “Aishiteru, Sakura!”