After writing for years, I’ve found the best writing resource: beta readers.
Beta readers are writers who critique your manuscript before an editor or literary agent sees it. Most of the time, you don’t know your beta reader personally. They can edit as much or as little as you desire. Usually, writers have one or two beta readers at a time.
Beta readers are critical. It’s difficult to know where your writing sounds confusing, because it always makes sense to you. Beta readers catch those mistakes for free!
Ever since I got my awesome beta reader, my novel has improved so much. I cleaned up all the sentences that were confusing. I caught all the simple grammar mistakes that I read over. I found more places to “show” and not “tell”. It’s been an amazing experience to have someone help me with my manuscript every step of the way.
Another great part about having a beta reader is being a beta reader for them. You can find new ideas for your stories through other writer’s stories.
When getting a beta reader, I suggest finding someone who loves to read the same genre you enjoy writing. Having a beta reader who doesn’t enjoy your genre can become unhealthy. They may try to make your work more like theirs.
Also, find someone who likes the same writing style as you. It’s a smoother process if you both love what you’re writing.
Here’s a few sites that have beta readers:
- Beta Reader Group is a forum group on Goodreads. On this site, you post about wanting a beta reader and beta reader will answer back.
- Critique is a site dedicated to having in-depth critiques. On this site, you get critiqued after you critique another writer’s work.
- Critique Circle is a site dedicated to getting many different writers to see your work. This site uses a credit system. By critiquing another writer’s work, you get credit. You need credit for your piece to be critiqued. I use this one the most.
- Scribophile is a writer’s workshop that helps not only to get critiques, but also gives tips in publishing.
- Wattpad is a community filled with different stories. Readers comment on the stories to give feedback.
- WritersCafe is another community site where you post your story to get reviews and advice.