|Beta Bio: general description as a beta reader
Apologies for the 'wall of grey' that I hypocritically decry later on. FF is having its usual share of technical issues, this time with line breaks in the middle of a profile section. br /
I've been writing amateur original fiction for a decade, and have had a few works published in an e-anthology. As such, I look at fanfiction like I do original fiction: the story, the characters, the dialog, all of it has to mesh. Additionally, fidelity to the canon is appreciated, though not required - if you say ahead of time you're trying to darken the setting, or you want to re-imagine the relationships, that's fine, so long as you say so ahead of time. In general, I hope to have a few PM exchanges with you before we start looking at your work - what do you want out of the beta reading, what should I expect to see, what might be a cause for differing opinions, etc. From these discussions I expect we will come to an agreement on how deep I should review, how much effort I should expend on any issues I find: just point them out? Suggest and alternative? Actually write out the alternative prose? I can do any of that, but would like to know what you want before spending more time on it than will be appreciated.
|My Strengths: beta, writing, or reading strengths
I am very good at 'expository dialog', where the author wants to communicate something by way of in-character conversation, but does not want it to sound artificial. In a prior fiction workshopping site, I learned to keep a wary eye for tense and singluar/plural inconsistencies. I also am good at spelling and punctuation correction, but do not guarantee myself to catch every error. like tight prose, and can help with 'flabby' passages. Note that if you want it to have a slow pace, please say so.
|My Weaknesses: beta, writing, or reading weaknesses
Most importantly: I have Asperger's syndrome. This means I do NOT have a good sense of what the 'average' reader will see/feel/want/like/hate/etc. I will tell you how I feel, but I cannot say, for example, that "everyone will be confused reading this." Additionally, there is a huge difference between an author reading a work of fiction and an 'ordinary reader'. The author is constantly trying to anticipate the next plot twist, always analyzing what props in the scene are actually foreshadowing. That will be how I read your work. There is a huge gray zone between style and language correctness. At times, an author's style is to be incorrect in some ways that would get red-penned in English 101, but is a deliberate and knowing choice on the part of the author. I am not likely to see that without it being explicitly stated. I am not familiar with many source materials that seem popular on this site. I am willing to read fiction in those settings, but keep in mind that fanfiction is rife with 'assumed knowledge', of which I lack if I am reading a fanfic in an unfamiliar canon. I 'miss' words frequently. Often, I 'see' what I expect to see, not what is written. This is endemic in my fiction, and, as such, I cannot help you spot the same if you have this weakness as well.
|Preferred: types of stories I prefer over others
I prefer shorter chapters, in the 1k words range. I can do longer, up to 4 or 5k, but 1-2k is my preference. I prefer 'light novel' style - heavy on dialogue, with short sentences and paragraphs. I am reading for fun after a tiring day, so 'thick' or 'dense' reading will not be received with enthusiasm. I like stories with strong emphasis on characterization, and, if length permits, character development.
|Would Rather Not: I do not beta for these stories
I don't 'get' poetry, so having me try to beta it is a waste of both our time. I can read combat sequences, but they bore me if there isn't any motivation to them. If you're just trying to think of more over-the-top ways to slaughter mooks, I'm not your reader. I need a paragraph break every five or ten lines. If you give me a solid grey wall, I'm going to have a bad time with that. Try not to have a "twist in the tail" ending, unless you are confident it's original and not 'telegraphed'. Sex is likewise risky. I'm not a prude and have written out-and-out smut at one phase (very early) in my time writing. However, most of the time, those who write sex write for the purpose of writing sex, and that means the fiction will suffer from the neglect. If you're going to write sex, make sure the relationship isn't "love at first sight" or something otherwise cliched and hard-to-swallow.