Beta Readers: Pros & Cons (Part I-CONS)

As great, and as much as I sing the praises of Beta Readers, they do have a downside.

Beta Readers are the best weapon you can have for a new work especially when they read and get back to you. Beta Readers are the best when they read your work and get back to you. The crucial thing to remember is that communication is essential to any draft or revision.

If you give your baby that your carried for almost a year, and turn them over to someone your trust, only to have them tell you they have nothing else to tell you? Even after they have been with your child all day? You would be a little suspicious and a lot aggravated. You would think the horrible and the impossible all at once! The main thing you may think is:

“Did they even pay attention?”

The same with Beta Readers. The best Beta Readers are engaged, they are excited to read your work, give feedback and even criticism! As the writer, as the creator of any work, your primary job is to protect your work. Your job is to revise and finish your own work.

Think of a WIP (Work In Progress) as baking a cake. All the ingredients go into the batter:  milk, sugar, butter and flour. There are elemental things that go into it which are not to be disputed. A WIP requires imagination, time, a draft and a reader. These things are immutable.

One of the best metaphors I heard in regards to having an editor or another reader was:  “Would you do you own eye surgery?”

If you’re a rational, wise person, you wouldn’t. This means that you can’t always see what is the best thing to do! But this element of the draft process can only work if the readers do their jobs!

Beta Readers have to be engaged. They have to value your time, your intention and you work. If they cannot do that, if they will not do that, don’t trust them with your work.

You wouldn’t trust your baby with just anyone. A WIP is the same way! Don’t trust your baby to someone that can’t won’t talk to you. Those are the ones whom are most likely to take your work. Be ware. You’ve been warned.

Spring 2019-Writing Workshop

The second writer’s workshop is in the next 2 weeks!

The purpose of these workshops is to assist budding and aspiring writers with with manuscripts, ideas or works in progress! For 2 hours, there will be advice dispensed, questions answered as well as resources given!

I am excited for what this second workshop will bring and the work to be created from it!

Pushing writers is what I do, and this platform is one more way to do that!

Best,

JBHarris

The Things To Ask A Beta Reader

Beta Readers are the wild cards in your deck of writing tools. What I am about to tell you will save you so a ton of frustration.

As you’ve reviewed here, you know a Beta Reader is someone that looks over your work and gives feedback. They often do this for free of for a minimum charge.

However, it is good to know exactly who your beta readers are, and what genre they are most likely to read. Here are a few things to ask before you all get started:

What genre are you comfortable reading?

Are you comfortable looking over a work more than once?

Are you comfortable voicing what you like and didn’t like about the piece?

You may think these questions aren’t important or even silly. But they aren’t, I promise you. They can be used to weed out whom would be a suitable Beta Reader for your work. You want to be able to give/send your work to someone that will value your work along with their time.

Take heart!

If your potential Beta Reader doesn’t want to read your work, or may not have time at present you can still expand your pool of readers. You can still ask people you may not have thought about to read for you.

Cardinal rule: Protect your work. Value time. Keep writing.

Protecting The Work: Integrity In Chosing Beta Readers

The most important thing for Beta Readers is not the reading.

No, it’s not a joke.

Yes, I’m serious.

The most important thing for a Beta Reader is not to steal your work. Even if it’s a rough draft.

In choosing your Beta Readers, the best advice is to keep your number small and composed of people you trust. It also doesn’t hurt to have your Beta Readers sign a contract that dictates not to share/plagiarize the work you show them.

Intellectual property is still property! It needs to be protected to the fullest extent of the law.

Take pride in your work! Protect it.

There is nothing worse than having your work stolen by the very people you believed you would trust with it.

[image from ad-Martin.com]

Writer Corner: Rebecca Quarles, Author of ‘Running Away From God’ Series

I have known the lovely and grounded, Rebecca Quarles for better than a decade. When we reconnected last Spring, it was as if no time had passed! When I found out that she was writing, and still very much in love with the craft, I had to know more about her process and future projects. Between her full-time day job, and the release of her fourth book in the Running Away from God series, she sat down with me for an interview.

SG Writing Services: How did you start writing?

 

Rebecca Quarles: I initially started writing when I was in high school. I was in an African American studies class. The teacher had us do some writing assignments and suggested that I stay after school to join the African American Poetry club. I did that until my sophomore year. 

 

Shekinah Glory Writing Services:
Are you published anywhere?

 

Rebecca Quarles:

I am currently published about 700+ locations including, Amazon.com, Lulu.com and Barnes & Noble.

 

SGWS:
Do you have current projects?

RQ: Currently I am working on the spin-off of my first series that I just finished. I don’t have the name of it yet, but I am extremely excited about it. It’s completely different that anything I have ever written.

SGWS:
Do you have a writing schedule? Have you been able to stick to it?

 

RQ:

No, I do not. I am a sporadic writer. Sometimes I will get ideas and I can jot them down and at other times I can write for 2-4 hours. Consistently writing multiple chapters in one sitting. 

 

SGWS:
What do you wish people realized about writing?

 

RQ:

That this is trurly my hearts desire and there is a lot of relatable messages in the characters that I write about. You can read these chapters and identify certain traits that you may have or someone you know. I wholeheartedly want people to get the messages and learn from them.

 

SGWS:What have been your greatest joys in writing? Challenges?

RQ: Joys? Coming up with complicated characters and making their stores intertwine. 

Challenges? Finding the time to write. I work a 9-5, so I believe if I didn’t have to work, I would have more time to write and could get a lot more done. 

SGWS:
If you could offer anything to potential writes,what would it be?

 

RQ:

Enjoy what you do, don’t stop being creative and don’t allow what others think you should write about deter you from what you want your book, poems, spoken word pieces to be. You are the producer of your writing. Allow your heart to help you write. If you come up with an idea, jot it down. Even if you don’t use it in your current project. You can potential use it for another one.

Stay focused!

 

 

The Ears And Eyes: Why You Should Consider A Beta Reader

I love to call beta readers personal superheroes.

Beta readers are the those special group of people whom are anxious to read your work, with no other motivation than to read. It is glorious!

As a writer, beta readers can become your allies and secret weapons! Don’t discount them! They can be the difference between a wonderful revision or a barely tolerable rough draft.

As a writer,  it is easy to think (and believe) that the only person whom needs to read your work is you. It is easy to think that drafts, freewrites only need to be seen by your eyes.

This is a two-edged sword.

On one hand:  there are certain projects you may not want to be seen or read yet. They may not be ready, complete or even read over (Every writer is guilty of drafts that we forget are there!).

What Is A Beta Reader?

According to Wikipedia:

A beta reader is usually an unpaid test reader of an unreleased work of literature or other writing, who gives feedback from the point of view of an average reader to the author.

Note: A beta reader is not a professional and can therefore provide advice and comments in the opinions of an average reader.

Let me make this clear, to publish or become published, you don’t need to have a beta reader.

Let me also make this clear: beta readers are a tool and Shekinah Glory Writing Services is a fan of beta readers!

Beta readers are a great, living addition to your writing tool kit. They can give honest opinions and observations about what you’ve written. They can be just as passionate about your characters as you are. They can ask questions of you to pull out more story–sometimes parts you didn’t think about!

Beta readers are the unsung heroes of revising and drafting! Don’t believe me? Ask Stephen King. It was his wife, Tabitha, that rescued a novel from the trash because she liked what she read! That novel was Carrie.

Keep writing dear ones!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Image result for 2019 new years

 

2019.

If you have been following this space, I first want to tell you:

THANK YOU.

Thank you for following.

Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for you referring the space to other writers, and those of the odd oracle ilk.

I am bold enough to believe in all the good this platform will and can do! I also am humble enough to know that power cannot come unless there are people whom have seen that same power.

Please know that you all are welcome to follow me on Patreon as well.

In the new year, there will be more media with the podcast being linked to the blog. Please know that I love you all, and thank you for every email and follow!

Keep following!

We’ve just gotten started.

Keep following!

[image from Google]

Final Thoughts On Morning Pages

Morning Pages are one of the most adaptive tools you will have in your arsenal as a writer. As I spoke of before, an all this month, they are a tool that can be used as you see fit. In the foundation of the concept of Morning Pages is discipline.

Writing will always be a discipline.

The fact, in the English-speaking world, there less than thirty letters that make up better than one hundred-thousand words, that you can master and repeat as you see fit. Some of those words trickle out so that more words can come in.

Morning Pages forced me to write, and not think. Something that is alien for a writer. We are expected to be aware, salient, sentient in all we do. From the recording of the world, or in the making up our own, we are expected to focus; expected to pay attention. Morning Pages forces you to write blind. Whatever is on your mind is to be on the page, for however long it would take. Whatever that would look like.

Morning Pages force you to write, even when you don’t want to–and write that out without thinking about it.

Therein lies the hitch. The drive. The mystery and passion of writing. You are a writer, because you write. In that mastery, in the acceptance of what is no longer a hobby, you must seek to tame it.

Writing is a curious vocation. It allows the freedom to test out, discard and revamp the things that don’t serve or propel you to the heights you desire. Morning Pages can only help to help you see what is on your own mind. As a writer, that sometimes is the best way to unclutter your head. From the uncluttering, you can create what you desire. Being able to focus better as you do.

[image from YouTube.com]

On The Christmas List

The year of 2018 was formidable.

The one thing that is on my Christmas list for this year is growth!

If you like what you see here, if you believe there is a topic that needs to be discussed, let us know! Email us at sgwritingservices@icloud.com!

Also, I am looking for more indie authors and publishing houses to share some light with in the upcoming year! Writing can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility, but I want to share light and space with as many people as I can! If you have book you’re marketing or an author I should be aware of use the author’s name or project in the subject line!

I wish you happy writing, easy but furious brainstorms and extended battery life on your laptops!

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Shekinah Glory Writing Services!

[image from blogmannequinmadness.com]