|Beta Bio: general description as a beta reader
I am a stay-at-home sort of person who happens to have a huge adoration for books. Mmmm, books. Yummy. Good books tell stories in the best way ever invented, I think. It is excessively rare for me to like a movie version of a story better than the book version, but if you tell me you are working from a movieverse I will keep that rigorously in mind.
Good stories are what it's all about. If it's entertaining, then it can be a completely serious drama, and I will still love it. If it's good comedy, then what's not to love? Fiction is meant to be fun, is it not? If a story drags incessantly, or if it gets excessively depressing, I probably will not want to continue with it
I have had a little formal training in the art of writing - not much, but enough for me to care about style, context, over-arching story plans, and general tone. I generally know what I'm doing, and I usually expect other people to know what they are doing too.
If I have no clue what your fandom is about, I will not comment. I only will give opinion on what I am qualified to give opinion on. I might still HAVE an opinion, and may give it to you if you specifically ask me for it, but I try to keep my emotions out of most of these sorts of opinions, and I will NEVER try to deliberately offend someone. If I can't handle a story, I won't flame it, I'll just say "sorry, not my thing" and move on.
I think research is important, even if you are making fun of something. I know my fandoms, and expect others to know theirs as well.
Good storytelling is a gift. Fanfic is a tool for the betterment of the craft. Enjoy it, but do not abuse it.
|My Strengths: beta, writing, or reading strengths
Research, characterization, and overall story planning. If I know the characters and world you are writing in, I will comment on the whole of your story, not just chapter by chapter. I rely heavily on how a story "feels" when I pass judgment on said story, so I look for consistency, purpose, patterns and personality. I can tell when a character leaps off the page and takes the tale into a world of its own, and I will encourage a balance between action, dialogue, and descriptions.
If you are trying to write something in a "canon" manner, and I understand your canon, I WILL keep you to it. "Scene Crafting" is an art, and it is difficult. If I recommend rewriting a whole chapter, it is not because I think it is bad, but because I think it is worth keeping and making better.
Poetry is perhaps the hardest thing in the world to critique, but if the muse descends upon you, I will brave it out, and try to figure your rhythms and rhymes and reasons.
I can get nit-picky (is that a strength?) But as I said, I don't try to offend, and if something I say comes across the wrong way, tell me, and I will apologize. At the end of the day, we're all here to have fun, so let's make it fun!
|My Weaknesses: beta, writing, or reading weaknesses
Grammar. I can usually intuit when grammar is wrong, but I can't give you all the rules and regs of how to make it right. An online dictionary is my spellchecker, because I have a horrid time with spelling. I will look up every word I don't know, though, and may question the use of a word in context.
Comprehension. I'm slightly and annoyingly dyslexic. This means I do not always catch small errors, hence my tendency for nit-pickiness. *Hah-HA! I found the missing comma! Be proud of me!* But, really, if there are small errors like "to" instead of "too" or "form" instead of "from", I may not pick up on it, or it will take several read-throughs for me to notice.
Time. If it's very long, I may not have time to be as in depth as I want. If it is meant to be updated, and you do not update within a month or two, I may need to read a lot of it over again to give helpful feedback, and this may make my review less in-depth.
Communication. I work much better if there is a good stream of communication between me and whomever I am working with. Please do not ask me to work in a vacuum. Talk to me.
|Preferred: types of stories I prefer over others
Stories that respect their source material or at least skillfully make fun of it. Adventure, drama, mystery, romance, sci-fi, poetry, whatever, I like a story that knows where it's coming from, and at least knows where it wants to go.
|Would Rather Not: I do not beta for these stories
Slash/non canon ships/RPF. I sometimes find an OC story or two that I wouldn't mind reading over, and a genderflipped AU can be interesting, but most of the time, slash, most non-canon ships, and all RPF, do not appeal to me.
Horror. Gruesome death, graphic torture, or any other majorly gross things. If your story has a happy ending, I am capable of enduring a lot of bad things happening, but if the bad things happening is the point of the story, then no thanks.
Gratuitous language. Occasional various "!$%" that stay in character are OK, but please, keep it non-R-rated. If the TV would *bleep* your story, then it probably isn't for me. If your character swears a lot, could you rein him in sometimes for me? I promise it will not ruin the story if you do.
Sex. Descriptions of gender specific body parts or in depth mentions of sex of any kind that go beyond - "the married couple kissed and then the screen faded to black" - are not for me. Sexual tension is fine if played for plot or humor, but I think tastefulness is a beautiful thing. Romance is fine, but keep it PG-13, and I will be very happy. Nothing graphic please. People in love do what people in love do, yes, we know this, but I like stories that get into such people's heads, not their pants.
Alcohol and Drugs. I would prefer not to read about people who are addicted to anything, but I understand if alcohol or drugs are part of the plot. Just keep it "canon" (if that applies), and please don't glorify the drunken state. However, incidental and in-character usage of legal substances is not a
Spiritual, Tragedy, Western and perhaps Supernatural are other specific genres that I do not think I am inclined to beta.