Thursday, May 12, 2016

Beta Readers as helpers

It has been a busy winter/spring where I have finished draft five of my third crime novel in the Stella Page series. I have given a copy to two Beta readers who read it cold. No previous information on what it was about although both have read my previous two in the series.

Great experience to have two people approach my work as readers, not editors. They both had to hold back from correcting my punctuation or grammar as much as they might have liked but I asked that they not worry about it unless it was so bad it interfered with their enjoyment of the story. Neither said it did and both did include a few edits.

The thoroughness of their read-through was amazing. I now have two copies of my one story that show similar issues and yet different in ways that are making me stop and think about what I want to say and what my readers may think I'm saying. I am making changes that resonate with me and leaving others alone if there wasn't any agreement between the two readers.  So far  I am siding with the one that agreed with me. Seems fair. The challenge is to stay true to my story while appreciating what has either concerned or confused a reader.

Being an author who self-directs my own publishing this has been very helpful before the manuscript heads off to my editor.