Editors and Beta readers

February 22, 2013

Are Editors and Beta readers helpful?

Most say that editors are a necessity and I fully agree with that. If not for spell & grammar checking software, I wouldn’t even consider doing this writing thing. Then there is my editor. Must have! Mine lets me know if I start using one word or phrase too much, tells me when I need to do some more research into this English language thing. And then she adds just a little touch here and there, that, most of the time adds to the scene. Sometimes I don’t agree, and change it. I would never consider sending my editor a rough draft or first draft, that would be cruel. I do the best I can, and when I think I have gotten it good enough, then I send it on. I don’t know if this is normal or not, but I send my work, one chapter at a time to my editor, trying to have a chapter ahead of the one she is working on, in her mailbox. I know a few writers that send the whole manuscript, and wait for the editor to get done with it. I like this chapter at a time, work in progress stuff. Once all the chapters are back from editing and beta reading. I give it a once over, and then send the whole thing back to editing.

So, are editors helpful? For the good editors, I give them five thumbs up, 5 stars, and a life time supply of Wanka bars.

Beta readers. Can you live without them? Some might think so, but, I believe most writers would say that they are needed almost as much as editors. I have a good one, if I can keep him on track. He is not really into the fantasy stories, and I think, not much into reading at all. Which I find to be good. I sent him the outline and the first chapter. Right off the bat he came up with a problem. I hinted at action in the first chapter, but, according to the outline, there was nothing hinting at said action. Ooops! I went over the story, the outline and then the chapter. Everything was fine as far as I could tell. Everything matched, looked good and sounded good. WRONG. So in this case, the beta reader did exactly what he was supposed to do, find content that didn’t seem right. Not so little in this case.

Beta readers, are they helpful? For me, just as much as editors. More Wanka bars.

2 Comments

  • Eden Ashley April 8, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    The comments I received from an “official” paid-to-do-this editor were invaluable in my manuscript. She really helped me to write a much stronger start to my novel, The Siren’s Heart. Beta readers are a wonderful tool as well. Confusing or underdeveloped plot points, any inconsistencies, and even some missed typos–those guys and gals will catch it. Beta readers boost my confidence in the confidence in the manuscript. When they “get it” and like it, I know the book is ready!

    -Eden

  • Jennifer Farmer August 14, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    Hey there,

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