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Reader Comments on "Beta Readers"

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Author: pokey1984
Date posted: 4/24/2004 12:24:10 AM
pokey1984's Comments:

This article give a lot of good tips. I like that you've given instruction on both accepting a Beta readers advice and on giving said advice.

I have two questions though:

What do you do if you are asked to beta a story that is practically incomprehensible. No plot, undeveloped characters, no descriptions, in essence, a story so bad you feel it's a lost cause. How do you say 'don't quit your day job' without crushing the autors hopes and dreams?

I also wonder what story your excerpts came from. For all I know you posted the best part of the story but you snagged me with that handfull of lines(the Obi-wan/Anakin bit just made me giggle). I figure if I am that interested in a story and all I read were a few admittedly flawed lines I am likely to enjoy the rest of it.

Author: Anon
Date posted: 7/14/2004 8:51:33 AM
Anon's Comments:

Very helpful article. I especially like the suggestion about the Sandwich/oreo technique. When I beta-read, I always feel guilty when I write negative things to an author that's actually really good, when it's my job to find the negative things.

[i]What do you do if you are asked to beta a story that is practically incomprehensible.[/i]

Hehe, I know what you mean. I usually pick the biggest problem w/ the fic and try and explain why I don't like that, and then ignore the rest. Even if it doesn't get them archived, it'll at least give them somewhere to go for improvement. It's really amazing how fast the really devoted authors improve.

A question of my own: What do you say to an author who's writing style irks you? Where do you draw the line between helpful stuff and personal opinion?

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