Tips, Tricks, and Do's and Don'ts
Every writer may need help from time to time, whether its trying to conquer writer's block or creating realistic OCs. This Forum will have some tips, tricks, and some of the Do's and Don'ts centered around writing fanfiction.
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PimpedOutGreenEars

Usually when you look for a beta you simply go searching through beta profiles, but there are a few things you need to consider.

1. What do their stories look like?

Always look at a potential beta's stories. If their stories are poorly written it is a good indication that they won't make a good beta. It doesn't matter how great their beta profile looks, or if they say they are better at editing stories for others- if their stories aren't well written look for a different beta.

2. Has the beta ever written in the stories fandom?

Just because a beta is willing to beta in the fandom your story is in, it doesn't mean they've written in it. That means you can't check and see how well they write in that fandom setting. When possible always pick a beta that has been involved in the fandom you're writing for.

3. Ask questions.

It's okay to PM a potential beta and ask questions. For example, how quickly can they beta a piece, are they willing to fact check, are they willing to beta a particular couple, ect, ect. However, when asking question, always be polite. They are the ones helping you, not the other way around.

4. Make sure they have strengths in areas that you are weak in.

If you aren't good at spelling, you should look for a beta who is. If you are great at grammar, but bad at tense changing, then look for a beta who is good at tense changing even if they are weak in grammar. A beta is there to make up for your weak areas. No one is great at everything, so just try to find someone who works well with your strengths and weaknesses.

5. Take the time to look.

Don't just pick the first person you find with a beta profile to beta your story. Look for someone who you are confident will make your story all that it can be. Sometimes finding the right beta takes awhile, but you have to be patient and find the right one in order to reap as many benefits as possible.

7/4/2011 . Edited 7/4/2011 #1
sam temple

Thanks for the great information PimpedOutGreenEars.

I have never really used a beta before, so this is perfect and gives a lot information I have never thought of before.

But, I'll definitely will be using this post when I get a beta for this huge story I've been working on for the past couple of months.

7/20/2011 #2
refuge-in-reading

Is there a place to look through Beta profiles, where they are all compiled as one?

2/16/2013 #3
refuge-in-reading

Sorry, stupid question, I've found it now. Thanks for your advice though, very helpful.

2/16/2013 #4
Technical Technicalities

How do you become a beta reader? I've helped edit people's stories before. Some of my stories back then were so grammatically incorrect...but at least I improved! Oh wait, what am I talking about?

8/1/2013 #5
PimpedOutGreenEars

When you're logged into the site look to the left of the screen and click on Beta Reader. Then hit Beta Profile when it drops down. From there you can fill out your beta profile. After you finish that, go back to your side bar and click beta preferences. There you can click the fandoms you're willing to beta for.

After that it's simply a waiting game. If someone wants you to beta for them, they'll most likely send you a pm.

Hope this helps! And I'm sure you've improved :)

8/3/2013 #6
Anna10327

I'm still having a little trouble here. I am looking for a Beta who is in the Gravity Falls fandom, will accept anything K through T rated, and is good at detailing and dialogue, but it's way too hard.

11/4/2013 #7
PimpedOutGreenEars

If you use the beta search you should find lots of options. Are you having trouble finding that, or are you just having trouble choosing?

11/12/2013 #8
Anna10327

Choosing.

11/28/2013 #9
PimpedOutGreenEars

Ah, I totally understand that. I've gotten frustrated many times and just stopped looking. However, I've never regretted taking the time to find a beta. It's crazy getting a chapter back and realizing just how much you were missing.

11/29/2013 #10
magiclumos5269

Maybe I am just struggling more than the average person here, but I can't seem to find a way to filter down the list of betas any further than by category (i.e. movies, books, etc). Is there a way to narrow the list down further to specific categories (specifically people who will beta for Harry Potter)? Just wondering! I feel like that would make life a lot easier! :)

2/5/2014 #11
magiclumos5269

Never mind, apparently I just struggle with life. I found it! Thanks though!

2/5/2014 #12
animefreak10000

Is there a way to narrow down the results to what fandoms they will beta for? Like Game of Thrones?

9/10/2014 #13
PimpedOutGreenEars

Yes! At the top of your screen next to Forum, you'll see Betas. Click it. To go to Game of Thrones you would click on TV (the last option. Be careful because if you click on the first listing of TV you'll be looking at betas for all TV shows). Click on Game of Thrones, and there you have it! From there you can narrow results further by using the side bar on the right side of the screen!

9/15/2014 #14
DandyDonut

What's a beta?

Sorry, I'm new so I don't know lotsa things.

;p

Thanks for the advice!

10/7/2014 #15
PimpedOutGreenEars

It's all right! Feel free to ask questions whenever.

A beta is basically someone who proof reads your story and helps you edit and/or go over ideas.

10/8/2014 #16
DandyDonut

THX!

:D

10/9/2014 #17
DaleJr.88

I got a question.

10/17/2014 #18
PimpedOutGreenEars

What's your question?

10/19/2014 #19
DaleJr.88

how can I improve my writing style?

10/19/2014 #20
PimpedOutGreenEars

Um, that's a very broad question, lol. Honestly it's something that will come with time as you read and write more. Something that will help primarily with style is just experimenting with the way you write. Try different points of view. If you're used to writing in first person then give third a try, find out what you like best. Try to find your own unique voice. And, of course, read a ton. Developing a style is something that I really think comes with time as your writing matures.

10/20/2014 #21
DaleJr.88

Thanks, it sounds like that you have a lot of experience.

10/20/2014 #22
quinnofhearts
Question... I've been writing story's and stuff for a little now and heard a few things about a beta but I have no clue as to where to find a beta page? I guess I would call it. I would really like to get a beta so if you wouldn't mind pointing me in the right direction, thanks! -Quinn
1/20/2015 #23
PimpedOutGreenEars

Okay, at the top of your screen after you've logged in you'll see 'Betas' with a little drop down arrow. That's where you'll want to click. Then pick the section you want. The top categories are separated into sections in general (i.e. Anime- people who will beta any fic based on an anime, Books- people who will beta any fic based off of a book), the bottom sections (which repeat the name of the previous sections) will let you narrow things down to a specific fandom.

So if you're writing a BTR fic, click Betas, click on the second TV, locate BTR. That will give you a list of people willing to beta for that fandom. From there you can look at their profiles until you find one you like.

Let me know if you need more help, Quinn!

1/22/2015 #24
quinnofhearts

Haha wow! Can't believe i didn't see that.. Thanks for the help!

1/23/2015 #25
moltenichor

Sorry if this makes me sound unintelligent, but, though I've read a lot of fanfictions and been a member for quite a while now, I've only recently started writing here. I'm looking for a beta, but I don't know how to ask one to beta my story.

3/5/2015 . Edited 3/5/2015 #26
ThatHydrokinetic

Quick question....I'm writing my first fanfiction, and I'm looking for a beta. Is it normal to ask multiple people about betaing? Or is it more standard to only ask one at a time and wait to see what they say? :p I feel like this is a stupid question. Oh well, I really am confused....

3/13/2015 #27
PimpedOutGreenEars

I think that's a personal choice. I don't really see anything wrong with it. Unless of course you've been messaging back and forth with someone a lot, and then after they've agreed you're like, "Nah, never mind I found someone better." Just be polite and you should be good.

3/18/2015 #28
ThatHydrokinetic

Ok, thank you.

3/18/2015 #29
alqui

Excuse me, but it's not really working with my beta reader. How do I politely tell him that I want to change beta readers?

4/13/2015 #30
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