Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Beta Reading

9th grade special ed. English

The class was working on writing a short story. Specifically, they were writing a "sequel" to "The Most Dangerous Game". They had started this on a previous day. This day they were to finish it up so they could type it and turn it in.

Several students wanted me to read their stories. And tell them what I thought.

What I really thought: There were some grammar issues, but not as many as I expected. A couple of the stories went in interesting directions. Many of the characters were wandering around without any clear objective. Or any hope of running into one.

What I said: Very good.

They weren't asking for my opinion. They wanted to know that what they were writing was okay. And it was. They were doing the assignment. And it was written pretty well considering.

But it made me think that when I ask someone to read my writing, this wasn't the sort of feedback I want. I want someone to point out that that whole conversation where the two characters are meeting can be cut. (I don't need the whole, "My name is..." bit.) I want to know that the whole long explanation as to why someone is on the island could be inserted without that big info dump.

I want to know where the issues really are.

It's time for me to find beta readers again. For the first time. I think.

I'm wavering. My novel is in a place where I could take another pass. Or I could send it out to readers. 

Now, I just need to find some willing volunteers...

1 comment:

  1. I'd be happy to beta read your book. I know what you mean about wanting someone to tell you the truth so you can figure out what's not working with your MS. Plus I always need someone to tell me about the grammatical errors I make :)


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