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Must I truly need beta readers? : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Must I truly need beta readers?

Here's the place to share a writing or marketing tip you've used successfully and want to pass along.
ChristineMorgan
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Must I truly need beta readers?

Postby ChristineMorgan » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:07 am

First of all, they are so hard to find. It's probably me and my tiny-almost-non-existent group of writing friends, but I have managed to find one good, reliable one so far. One. And there's something sketchy about sharing my stuff online with random strangers, but they're all I've got — no writing groups where I live. :|

I was wondering ... Can a book succeed to the final draft without beta readers? Can you research all you need to know about drafting, and endeavour the journey alone, without anyone's input but your own? Would it work out? Have many authors tried this?

What do you think?

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shadowwalker
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Re: Must I truly need beta readers?

Postby shadowwalker » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:56 am

It can be done, certainly, but you have to be able to distance yourself from your "baby" and see it as the neighbor's kid. Paradoxically, you also have to be able to "admit" when what you've written is damn good. This was my problem when I got back into writing - I thought it was good, but I also believed I was puffing myself up. So having two good betas to work with really helped me learn to be objective. That's really the key - teaching yourself to look at the work as something someone else wrote.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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DrG2
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Re: Must I truly need beta readers?

Postby DrG2 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:10 pm

Some people don't really benefit from beta readers.
Considering the title of this thread, I think you might be one of the ones that could benefit.

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Re: Must I truly need beta readers?

Postby williamadams » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:35 pm


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shadowwalker
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Re: Must I truly need beta readers?

Postby shadowwalker » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:51 am

"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

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devildogwhite
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Re: Must I truly need beta readers?

Postby devildogwhite » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:04 pm

There's an old saying from the bible that goes "two can accomplish more than twice as much as one." Meaning if you can build one house, and I can build one house, than working together we could build three houses. Can you write a great novel without the aid of a beta reader? Of course you can. But at the same time, just because you don't have one readily available, I wouldn't give up on the idea. I take it you already have a first draft ready and that's why you're wondering if you need a beta reader or not, so my suggestion, put the book down for a bit, work on something else. After a couple weeks, go back through it with a fresh set of eyes. You'd be surprised how differently lines are actually read than how you heard them in your mind while originally writing them. This is why it's helpful to have someone else read for you, but if you can't, you need to step away from the project for a bit so you can be more objective when you look at it again.
There is no Miss Zarves. There is no nineteenth story. Sorry.

Grumpy Mike
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Re: Must I truly need beta readers?

Postby Grumpy Mike » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:25 pm

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robjvargas
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Re: Must I truly need beta readers?

Postby robjvargas » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:14 am

In my not-so-comprehensive experience, for every "best practice" in the book (pun intended), there are successful writers who've done just fine while violating those practices.

So, in the end, it's up to you. Do you REALLY think you can succeed without those extra pairs of eyes on your work? Do you REALLY think you can pull it off not doing X, Y, or Z?

There really isn't a rule to writing that's as solid as, say, the Law of Gravity. Hell, even the Law of Gravity ain't a law at all. It's a physical property of matter, and it's only true until (possibly) someone finds a way to violate it.

I say understand WHY some practice is so well regarded. Understand what you gain, what you lose, and what you risk when you do or don't do one of those practices. And proceed accordingly from there.
Slowly putting together a "replacement" forum at http://writerswriting.proboards.com.

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williamadams
 

Re: Must I truly need beta readers?

Postby williamadams » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:43 am


williamadams
 

Re: Must I truly need beta readers?

Postby williamadams » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:45 am


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