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Showing posts from August, 2021

Beta Readers and Where to Find them

Beta readers: what are they and where do you find them? Firstly, alpha and beta readers aren't the same thing. An alpha reader is someone who reads your draft and helps you with story development as you write it. You need someone qualified to analyze story structure with knowledge of the expectations of your genre. A terrific, qualified critique group can serve as your alpha readers. There are many places to connect with other writers willing to work together, virtually as well as in person. I built my critique group by going to local writing events. Finding Your Tribe A beta reader is someone who reads your completed, polished novel and spots problems. They react to the content. Some authors consult sensitivity / diversity readers to evaluate their content for political correctness. Please note that alpha and beta readers are not a replacement for editing, though they catch typos. Unless your critique partners are experienced editors willing to work for free, it is best to fi

Author Intrusion

The more I write and the more I edit, for myself and for my clients, the harder it is for me to read for pleasure and not want to whip out that old red pencil. Sigh... Most of the time I've been able to ignore some simple craft issues. There seem to be more and more lately in so many published books, so I've told myself to throw away the editing hat, and the writing hat, and just read. That works for a while, then I come across another book by an author with a penchant for going to extremes in finding active verbs that absolutely make no sense in the sentence.  For instance: "Frank ditched around the door and headed for the desk." And: "Sam jammed out of the dining room and grabbed his briefcase before leaving for work."  Changing common verbs to something unique seems to be a thing now in writing, and I get it. We often tire of using the same ol' same ol' words for a character's movements. I can get so tired of having a character simply walk

Gaiman's Sandman and Crafting a Quest

I admit I have not read any of Neil Gaiman's books. I should probably remedy that. I have, however, enjoyed the TV series Lucifer . I was on the fence about the new series Sandman based on comics which are described as "a dark, fantastical, fearless genre-bending riot of creative storytelling." The story breaks genre expectations.