7 Links To Understanding (And Finding) Beta Readers

April 14th, 2012

Perhaps one of the most daunting things I have yet to accomplish with my current WIP, Apprentice Cat, is finding enough beta readers. I imagine its a problem many of you have or will face, too. I’ve put together 7 links to understanding (and finding) beta readers, as well as critique partners and editors, in this post in hopes that it will be helpful to us all.

  1. Finally, an answer! Here’s the difference between line, copy, and content editing by Pavarti K. Tyler: Besides giving a quick idea to what beta readers and critique partners are, Pavarti shares gives us the inside scoop on what each type of editor does and why you might want one.
  2. 3 Ways to Determine if Your Writing is Crap by Jody Hedlund: In this post Jody breaks down the different levels of readers an author might use from “unskilled” beta readers (those who aren’t writers) to fellow writers to professional editors.
  3. Does my manuscript look fat in this? 7 reasons why writers need critique partners by Laura Pepper Wu: Laura explains what makes a great critique partner and why having one is so important.
  4. Ask Jami: How Do We Find Beta Readers? by Jami Gold: In this post, Jami goes into detail what a beta reader does and some ways we can find them, including offering ourselves as beta readers.
  5. The Art of Critiquing: I explain what makes a good critique and give some suggestions of what to do before handing over your manuscript to a beta reader or critique partner in this post.
  6. Critters Makes for Better Writing: In this post I give a more in-depth look at one online resource for critiques.
  7. Bad Critique Groups—8 Things That Can Push a Group Over to the Dark Side by Anne R. Allen: No one wants to be in a bad critique group, so Ruth gives us 8 things from having no rules to dogmatic PC/Religious policepersons to watch out for when choosing a crit group.

Do you know of other resources for finding a beta reader?

Making God Your Partner

March 3rd, 2012

If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you know I’m in the process of re-visioning what it should be. I’m still not entirely sure what that’s going to look like, but I have a better idea how to go about it.

As part of my job as a writer, I do a lot of reading, including various blogs. Recently I came across You’ve Got “Connections” by Cheryl Ricker on Wordserve Water Cooler in which Cheryl speaks of connecting through prayer with God to reach our dreams as writers.

Although this post specifically addresses writers, I think what Cheryl says can apply to anyone with a dream. She gives 5 ways one should connect in order to fulfill their vision:

        • Connect with God
        • Connect with prayer partners
        • Connect with God for those we’re in mission for (for a writer that’s the reader)
        • Connect with God for those who will be helping you with your task (beta readers, cover designers, editors, etc.)
        • Connect with God for those who are working in the same mission field (other writers)

Prayer is an important part of our spiritual lives. Through our connection with God things that before didn’t make sense become clear and things that seemed impossible become easily accomplished.

Cheryl gives the example of a friend who posted a status update about his writing on Facebook:

One of my friends posted this on Facebook:  “I struggled with my writing for three hours, but after praying, I couldn’t stop the flow.  Why did I wait so long?”

What her friend experienced is so true. When we fully turn our challenges over to God they suddenly disappear. Is it easy to give them over? Not always.

We humans have a tendency to believe we can solve all our own problems. Sometimes we can. Other times we need a big helping hand. When we keep taking our problems back, though, it slows everything down because, just like a helpful child, we get in the way.

God loves us and wants the best for us, guide us in achieving our dream. To do that God asks that we make a connection through prayer and then let God take control.

When have you been stuck with a problem getting to your dream and prayed about it? What were the results?