|Beta Bio: general description as a beta reader
I am a hard man to work with. Demanding. Sullen. Persnickety. Perfectionist. Protectionist. Luddite. Grammar Nazi. Sort of like a male version of Rosalie Lillian Hale. Yes, I may feel complimented when you start calling me a 'biotch.'
I more than occasionally overstep bounds and put my foot in my mouth, but I am very grateful to receive a "STFU, geophf" or a "this is my tolerance line." When I do receive your warning, I back off very quickly. When I'm wrong, I apologize. I can work with people who can work with me and, much more importantly, work on improving themselves.
I want you to fight me. I want you to win. I severely doubt that you can, but I want you to try. And when you do win, and when I do lose, you've made my day. I'm the happiest man in the world when I lose a fight. Why? Because that means that there's something in your story worth fighting for, and that you've managed to convince me of its intrinsic worth.
Oh, and if you can't bother to use spell check, don't bother to talk to me, either, because I'm far more interested in story arc than I am at correcting word choice, spelling and usage. I am a person, not a human resource: use me, but don't you dare abuse me.
|My Strengths: beta, writing, or reading strengths
Grammar. Full stop. Do you know the difference between the objective and nominative cases? You d-mn well better. Do you know when to use the subjunctive case? You will when I'm finished with your first chapter.
Punctuation. Full stop. You are missing commas. You are seriously missing commas, aren't you? After a couple of chapters, you'll get the hint ... or you can get lost.
|My Weaknesses: beta, writing, or reading weaknesses
Impatience. Intolerance. Indiscretion.
If your story sucks, I will really, really try to break it to you gently.
I'm not very good at that.
If you want honesty, I'll give it to you in spades.
If you want someone to cry into your hefe weizen with, well, then, I'm good for that, too, but you had have better have shown me that you've earned the right to sit next to me and cry in yours as I cry in mine.
|Preferred: types of stories I prefer over others
Preferences? You bet.
You had better have a story, not a "Oh, this is Bella IMing Edward drabble."
If it's cutesy, it had better have a really good raison d'être for being cutesy.
Is life random? Maybe. Are random fan-fiction pieces good? ... maybe not. Show me you and your story have a clue.
Show me your story is populated with people who think and feel and talk and breathe and need to go to the bathroom and bleed and cry and live and die.
Show me your story is set somewhere. In a house? What kind of house? In a town? Which town? When? What is the population? Ethnicities? Are they Indians? Which tribes? I'm Choctaw. Did you research the town? The state or province or country? Alaska IS NOT covered in snow (maybe Attu, Alaska, with it's national forest of 14 pine shrubs has a BIT more snow). I have lived there. Seattle is sunny ... often!
What is the reason for your story? Why are you telling it? What happens in the story, and why? And how does that happening develop the character or advance the plot? You have heard of plot, right? Show me your plot diagram. What is the climax? What is the dénouement? What are the visceral mise-en-scene in this chapter? Why?
|Would Rather Not: I do not beta for these stories
Do you know what I hate?
Glad you asked.
I hate deus ex machinia. I see that, and you are in major trouble, particularly, multiple POVs in one chapter. I see that, and I say bye-bye. Sure this is fan-fiction, but just because (nearly) everybody else writes crap does not give you a license to present yours for my review.
You trade in archetype, and I'll show you the exit. You give me a hyperactive shopaholic named Alice who tells the story's conclusion whenever she is magically needed, then I'm giving your chapter a thumbs down.
Oh, Edward reads everybody's mind? Deus ex machina if not handled properly. Most fan-fiction DOESN'T handle it properly. Yours had better.
Jasper diffuses a tense situation? Then why have that standoff in the first place if Jasper was going to render it moot?
Sure, you are handling very, very powerful characters, so you had better handle them with respect.
You disrespect your characters, you disrespect your story. You disrespect your story, then I'll have to ask you to go elsewhere.