Beta-Reading & the Art of Criticism

  • Jun. 2nd, 2009 at 10:22 PM
origamiflowers: (guitar)
At online forums like [livejournal.com profile] fanficrants, beta-readers are treated a bit like objects of worship. Goddesses, perhaps, or Holy Grails. Comma out of place? Should've had a beta. Typo? You needed someone else to look at it. Homonym error? A beta would have caught it, keeping you from looking like the total moron you have now revealed yourself to be. (I poke lovingly, FFR.)

It’s a common piece of fandom wisdom. There are a myriad of communities for it, from the general to the fandom-specific. If you're creating an original character, there are comms where people volunteer to evaluate them and tell you whether or not they're a Mary Sue, which seems like a form of beta-reading to me. And beta-reading seems like a smart, simple concept: get someone else to read your fic before you post and fix any errors they notice.

Beta-reading & the Art of Criticism )


If you've had other experiences, disagree with something I said, want to add some advice, or suggest more resources to add to the resource list, please comment below! I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts.

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