|Beta Bio: general description as a beta reader
I'm just going to address anyone reading this. I'm Lira. I'm an English and Secondary Education major in college. I love creative writing and have taken creative writing classes on the recreational, high school, and college levels. I don't like to seem like a snob, but I like to think I know my stuff. I take writing seriously, I love doing it, and I quite literally do it all the time. From the submission dates of my stories here, it's pretty obvious that writing is what I do with virtually all of my free time (I do have a life, honest, I am a social creature outside the internet) and I do write a lot of my own original fiction as well as fanfiction. I'm used to college workshops these days, where we follow a format that works for us. This is what I will hypothetically do for you.br /br /
br /First, I'll read the story once, marking down any technical problems with suggested corrections and marking down my thoughts on the content. This includes any issues I have in terms of logic and my reactions to the story from an enjoyment perspective. Then I'll put the story aside for a day. Next I will come back, read through again, mark any technical problems I missed the first time, and consider a few things. Namely, plot, characterization, dialogue, setting, description, point of view, language, and voice. Feel free to ask me what each of these things means to ME. I will note what I think was working and where I think there is room for improvement for each area. I will then send the story back with the changes and notations throughout and with all of my lengthier feedback at the bottom of the document or in a separate file. I will happily discuss all of my opinions via email back and forth or if you prefer, through instant messenger. I possess all of the commonly-used services. (And at some point soon I will figure out how to keep FFN from doing horrible things to my profile with HTML.)
|My Strengths: beta, writing, or reading strengths
Writing-wise, I'm very confident in my characterization. Whether or not everyone will agree with me, I consider every action I have the characters take and every line of dialogue or thought that I attribute to them and whether or not it makes sense for their personality as I understand it. I write fairly strong dialogue as I tend to consider diction and word choice and make sure not to let the characters "speechify." I have been told that some of my dialogue feels just like an actual conversation one might overhear. I think I handle word choice well overall, and I am consistent with point of view. I prefer a fairly close third person, past tense, but I am comfortable writing in present tense or with use of an omniscient narrator as the story calls for. I make an effort to keep language appropriate for which character is narrating, especially in regard to the character's education and what their vocabulary likely looks like. I think I maintain the forward narrative drive of a story well; you tell me if there are places in any of my stories where you just wanted to get up and get a coke, and I'll benefit from knowing where. I think my plots are pretty solid, although for fanfiction, I tend to write a lot of romantic plots to the exclusion of more action-oriented stories.brbrWhen it comes to beta-ing, I have a firm grasp of SPAG (spelling, punctuation, and grammar) and can help you with word choice, language, diction, flow of individual sentences, individual paragraphs, and the story as a whole. I can point out any clunky phrases or places where I feel you are being unclear. I can weigh in on starting and ending scenes effectively, keeping the action moving forward (yes, even if the action is simply a conversation, or a sex scene), and on the matter of the number of scenes and where the emphasis of a story should likely be placed. I have a lot of thoughts on characterization for my fandom of choice, and will happily hash out reactions and thoughts and feelings of the characters. I am willing to admit when I don't see eye to eye with someone on handling of characters. I will not try to force you to change your story, but I will give my honest and at times blunt opinion. I will weigh in on plot and will point out any plot holes I detect or places where I think the connective tissue of the story can be made stronger.
|My Weaknesses: beta, writing, or reading weaknesses
When it comes to fandom, my biggest weakness is my inability to write action-oriented stories. I'm rarely completely happy with my fight scenes (and I actually have written some, even if they segued into sex) and if you want feedback on a fight, there are people better than me who might help you. I'm not as strong with plots where all characters involved are platonic towards one another. These things are simply not my area of interest and are things I choose not to write. I can still give my opinion on these types of stories, but they are instances where my technical abilities may be more useful than my expert opinion on that type of storytelling. I tend to skimp on physical descriptions, as these are fan characters and we all know what they look like, and on descriptions of locations. I believe in giving just enough for scene direction to be effective - moving a character around a location and around other characters - and for a reader to start building a picture of the place. I'm quite happy to let the reader fill in the rest of the details as they like, rather than giving exacting specifics. I will likely find any lengthy descriptions of setting, character appearance, or pretty much anything, to be areas where things can be cut. If your writing lends itself towards the purple, you may not want to deal with me.
|Preferred: types of stories I prefer over others
I write a lot of fairly explicit content, and do quite enjoy reading sex scenes written by others, just to see how other people like to handle these things. I love romance and I love UST (unresolved sexual tension, and I do like to see it ultimately resolved or at least addressed) and I love when there's relationship drama in a story while having an external plot beyond just the characters' love lives. I love well-handled fluff. I will likely love anything where the writer feels their characterization was strong, or where they feel they penned some really snappy dialogue. I love twist endings when they're foreshadowed and are not instances of deus ex machina. I love character growth. I am aware that most of these things are aspects of story and not categories of story, but I believe these are helpful assertions.brbrRight now, I would greatly prefer to beta one-shot stories of less than five thousand words. If you are looking for a beta for a chaptered work expected to be longer than five chapters of roughly two thousand or more words per chapter, I'd like to read a shorter work of yours first and talk for a bit, as I consider this to be an invested relationship I would be entering into. I want to know we'll work well together.
|Would Rather Not: I do not beta for these stories
I am only willing to beta stories for the Hanna is Not a Boy's Name fandom. I'd rather not read anything including Conrad and Toni as a romantic couple. I'd rather not read anything overly dark without sufficient justification, and I reserve the right to decide if a story is just gratuitous angst and not something I want a part in. This is a "who" rather than a "what," but I reserve the right to decline beta-ing services for any person who rubs me the wrong way, and the right to simply not explain why I feel I would be unable to work with any person. While I enjoy sex scenes, I would rather not read anything that is a PWP to the exclusion of characterization. If I could swap out the names and it wouldn't change the story, I don't want to read it.