All Hail Beta Readers
My deadline for the end of this month is fast approaching, and, against many odds, I managed to get my draft finished in time to have a few beta readers look at it before I send it to the editor. I have four people working on this draft, all of whom I trust to the ends of the earth with my writing. Why? Because they all have their pet peeves, and between them they can corral most, if not all, of my writing tics and general bullshit. I have a habit of using the word "gotten" in British narratives, which my British beta reader just highlights without needing to leave a comment. I can picture her head-shake of disapproval that, once again, I have let my lazy American speech patterns bleed into my England-set story. My best critic, my sister, isn't afraid to tell me if a sentence wanders too much, or is boring, or needs deleted altogether.
The best part is that they're all writers too, so they can follow my train of thought, and then pick out the things I already knew were weak but wasn't ready to let go of yet. They're essential.
I still have to go into my Google Doc and respond to the comments and suggestions. I have another bad habit of leaving this to marinate too long so... wish me luck on the editing part of our show.
How do you use beta readers?