Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Writer Wednesday: Critique Partners/Beta Reader...WTH Part 1

I know what you're thinking. But that's what the heck. You have a dirty mind! Shame Shame...If you know me then you have noticed that my online presence has tone down drastically. Why might you ask? Because I finally got the point. I'm wearing people out. I've also been busy doing what should always be the top priority and that is reading and writing. (No... no rithmetic.)

Whenever I do something I throw myself in fully. With that said I'm trying several new things at once. One of those new experiences is critique partners/beta readers. Another is I am writing two novels at once. So of course in an effort to evaluate the productivity of these two endeavors I decided I'd do a blog series.

First I'll define what a critique partner is. Wikipedia says Critique is a method of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. They also say Partner is a friend who shares a common interest or participates in achieving a common goal.

Second I'll define what a beta reader is. Wikipedia defines Beta Reader is a person who reads a written work, generally fiction, with what has been described as "a critical eye, with the aim of improving grammar, spelling, characterization, and general style of a story prior to its release to the general public."

With these two definitions in mind I can't help but want to create a new title combining the two. Something like Betacritreader or CritiqueBeatpartner. Idk. The point is I have a combination of both talents in two people. Each one working on a different story.One novel being a romantic suspense thriller the other a paranormal romance. The only thing the two novels really have in common is they started with a digital short prequel and I'm the author. Needless to say I realize I have only added to the complexity of writing two novels at once by making them completely different genres. Well that's me...always the hard way.

Pro's of having critique partners/ beta readers so far. By working on two novels at once I seem to be working on them more. If I get stuck on one I'll work on the other. I like having someone who is intimate with the story to be able "to talk it out with." My partners are accessible and are willing to listen and contribute at times when I need to get it out verbally. I also like being able to send them a chapter or a few chapters at a time.

Cons of having critique partners/beta readers so far. I don't have anything to report yet. I just sent my first email of material to both last night. I'm sure I'll have something to say next Writer Wednesday.

Those are my thoughts on partners. Here are some others you might enjoy too...
3 things I want in a beta reader
Why your book needs a Realtor

After all that what do you think? Do you have any experience with beta readers/critique partners?


  1. My writing was HORRIBLE just over a year ago. Oh, I had occasional snatches of brilliance, and my ability to tell a good story is inherent to my nature. But a year ago, my writing was filled with three things that made it awful: Archaic dialogue tags, too much telling versus showing, and point of view breaks. I don't have these problems anymore. Why? Because of a great set of critique partners. I do, however, have an all new set of issues...but they help with those, too.

  2. My crit partners are the best. I have three, they each have different specialties, so there's always someone with the ability to rip a story apart and clue me in as to what's wrong. Writing life without them is unimaginable.

  3. Just one big question Bri... 2 at the same time? Wow. I've found critique partners are invaluable in offering those criticisms that make you better as well as serving as a sounding board for new ideas. Beta readers are there to offer that last bit of advice before final edits/revisions and can give you a broader sense of the story. Both absolutely invaluable. Again... 2 at the same time? Wow. I applaud the challenge.

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one who works on multiple works at once. With that said, finding good beta/critiquers is hard. You have to find someone who knows your style and can improve it at the same time. A lot of people I've tried to get to improve my stuff spend more time rewriting it rather than making suggestions. Others are vicious and others are too nice. Finding a good partner is like finding a soulmate lol.

  5. Kay...It's nice to see you aren't as perfect as I think

    1940...I hope I get to that point with my partners.

    Phil...You and I need to talk off loop. I'll tell what else I do two at once.

    Jilly...Holla girl I know what you mean!!

  6. When I wrote my first book years ago, I was living where I had a critique group I belonged to and they were invaluable. They were also great in brainstorming with when you get stuck on something. Where I live now, I need to find some online critique partner(s) (Alaska is so far away from everywhere when you live on an island with only way here is by boat or plane and expensive) and not sure how I am going to accomplish that. But, like you Bri, I also write several different books at once; always have. When I get that writer's block on one, I can switch to another. Right now I am working on a murder mystery, a thriller and self-help bio, lol. We'll see which one I get finished with first. Good luck with your writing on two books.

  7. well i'd better get myself one, don't i :-)
    great post bri. living in my own world i was always wondering what a beta reader was .... yeah i know .....