Friday, January 9, 2015

Beta Readers

 What is a Beta Reader?

Now that the New Year has officially started, I want to share how much I appreciate my beta reader. She’s great. 

I’m working on the long process of rewriting my manuscript for Yellow Creek Book Three, Spirit Catcher. Once my rewrite is completed, I’ll send off my manuscript to my Beta Reader.

If you’re a fiction writer, you know the importance of a beta reader. My beta reader does not edit, she reads the story. If there are any niggles in my manuscript, she'll find them. What’s a ‘niggle’, well, that’s my word I use when my beta reader finds a bump in my story. She’s finicky. 

A ‘niggle’ is something that nags, annoys, irritates, troubles my beta reader, because it doesn't pull the story together smoothly, or something was left out. 

Writers see it all in their heads, and sometimes they forget to put it in print. It can be a tiny word, a statement, or a sentence, something that pulls the read out of the story. Your beta reader will give you a simplified feedback on your book. They too want your book to be a good read.  And, if you forgot to clear up some part of your story, she’ll let you know. She also might ask why you wrote a scene that didn't belong. I trust my beta reader because, she’s a reader.

Another perk for the beta reader is they get to read the manuscript first, before it’s published.  

Do you have a beta reader? Or, are you a beta reader?


  1. I have a couple friends who read my stories before I publish them but they also edit. I always feel that I'm taking advantage of their time as they don't charge a fee. Does your beta reader charge? And do you beta read for others?

    A friend beta read for Bud. She didn't like the role of the mother and suggested Bud cut her out of the story (like kill her off or have her die in child birth). When Bud changed the mother (made her demure to her overpowering husband) the reader refused to read more if Bud didn't eliminate the mother completely!

    Glad you have a good one!

  2. Shelia, I love hearing from you. No, my beta reader doesn't charge me. She's an avid reader and loves reading my ms before I published them. She never tells me to delete anything, but will tell me if something isn't clear or didn't seem to connect with the rest of the story, or why I wrote something or left out a reason for why my character did what she did, and she lets me know if something pulled her out of the story. I'm luck to have her.


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