Please Won’t You Be My Beta?

800px-Beta_uc_lc.svgSing that line to the classic Mr. Roger’s tune and you’ll see just how goofy I am. However, the title of this post has nothing to do with goof-ism (sorry, folks). The concept of peer review is not new, nor should it be taken lightly.

A beta reader or two can provide insight into your work that helps you think of things you never thought about. Questions will be posed about what your main character is doing, what his/her motivation is for an action, and how there is a disconnect when the antagonist goes from creep to sex god in one chapter. You may also receive other invaluable goodies from your beta, such as proofreading to ensure your apostrophes are in the right place, as well as an overall critique of the plot. You may even become friends!

Every beta reader has a gift, and no two are alike, which is great because that makes things more exciting – provided you and your beta reader are a good fit. Grooving with the beta is essential for a relationship that works. You must have a good rapport and understanding of what each other wants, and what each will give. Whether this means your beta moment lasts for three chapters or through an entire book, clicking with each other is key in the beta reader process.

The result of having your work reviewed by a beta can mean presenting an agent or editor with something good, and something that makes them grab the phone. If you desire perfection that moves the soul and makes the heart flutter, do the right thing and go get yourself a beta.


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