|Beta Bio: general description as a beta reader
i must say one thing before i get started: i love helping people with their writing. so if you ask me to beta, i will undoubtedly say yes. it makes me smile to help people. that being said, let's get into the mechanics, shall we?
1) though i don't seem like it outside of my writing, i am a VERY professional person. grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, all of that is extremely important to me, AND to your writing. the mechanics are what keep your story flowing correctly and makes it appetizing to other readers. if it looks professional, most likely it will sound professional when they read it. varied vocabulary also helps with the flow of the story, as does the sentence structure (i like to nit-pick at that). run-ons are so annoying, and if you say 'cold' five times in three sentences, the story gets boring (which i have been known to do). that and lack of dead verbs (is, was, have, had, etc...) help SO much in description/detail, and that makes the writing REAL for the reader. be honest. which sounds better? "the warm aroma of sizzling apples entwined with spicy cinnamon wafted in a heavenly cloud through the halls, beckoning enticingly to her senses." OR "the apple pie smelled so good she almost ran in to steal a taste." okay. so maybe that was a little exaggerated, but you get the point. you can SMELL the cinnamon and apples in the first sentence, rather than IMAGINING it in the second. i pick at all of this, so be prepared if you enlist me.
2)when i betaread, i read the entire manuscript as many times as necessary (the first time to get the feel and actually READ it, and the rest to correct any mistakes). once you send it in to me, i will begin work immediately. i'll most likely leave little notes where i think there could be improvement with wording, but if something is flat out WRONG i will change it and THEN leave a little note. it is YOUR writing. the mechanics, those are hands down the law in literature and they need to be followed. but i won't change anything with the plot or wording unless you specifically say "okay, i wrote the rough, you make the final, including changing anything you need to. ANYTHING. including wording or plot. i don't care. just do it." but you MUST specifically tell me that or i won't do it, because it's YOUR work and YOU decide ultimately what it is.
3) i am a beta-reader. a critic. i provide the critical eye that some authors don't have when they look at their work because they're too proud of it to see mistakes (i do this occasionally, but i'm so protective i'd rather write it and then go over it myself). if you ask for my help, i will be reviewing it with a perfectly unbiased perspective. what i say or do is not meant to hurt you, it's meant to help you and encourage you to learn to see and correct the mistakes on your own, ultimately making you a better writer. please do not get angry with me if i say something you don't like. we're all writers here, we should act professionally about our work. so if you want my services, be prepared to deal with suggestions in a mature way.
|My Weaknesses: beta, writing, or reading weaknesses
i don't like hurting people. that's that. but i am very critical, and the two tend to clash. since i can't see if your face is falling when i review your work, it will probably be easier for me to be completely professional. but if you think i'm being too soft, tell me right away, and vice-versa. if you think i'm being too harsh, tell me right away. i'll probably go crawl in a corner somewhere but i'll be back in a matter of seconds.
|Preferred: types of stories I prefer over others
obviously, if you have a story in something i love as well, i would be ecstatic to beta. but any story really, anything at all, i'll review with a smile (how cheesy, right?) because i like helping people. just as long as there's words and a plot to go with those words, i'm in.