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Green Room - Week 4 - Day 2

Last night, I sat down and wrote a thing.

Just under 1,300 words in a little over 3 hours and it reads like it. :)

Which means that it's going to spend a couple days with beta readers to make it into a better thing - and then a lot of back and forth to figure out how to make their suggestions fit.

There was a time when I would have rejected the idea of beta readers outright. Which is also the time that I wrote something - and years later found out that the reason why it never saw the light of day was that it wasn't very good. That happens. Not everything is going to be a home run. Heck, most things aren't going to be a base hit. Especially when you are in the middle of a swing, it's sometimes hard to tell if you're going to connect at all.

Which is why beta readers are so useful. If you have one, or a few - people that you trust with your words, then you are going to be better for it. If not, then the full weight of editing is falling back on you, and I hope you are able to take a harsh eye to your own work. I know that I, personally, can't.

Kudos to you if you are someone who can!

It's interesting, because there is this idea of writing as a solitary task. Which is strange, because so much of it relies on other people on almost every stage (other than first draft).

Who is it that YOU rely on?

There is a NEW TOPIC: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/965056.html

and a new Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/965184.html


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2017 03:18 pm (UTC)
Is this whole season going to be about sports metaphors?

ETA: first

Edited at 2017-01-04 03:19 pm (UTC)
Jan. 4th, 2017 04:04 pm (UTC)
As I was writing this, I actually thought about that. :)

In which case I'll say - Yes, it is. (even though I *think* that by bracketing the end and beginning of the year with those topics that I've used them up. But I won't tell YOU that, so it will drive you crazy waiting for the next one)
Jan. 4th, 2017 06:39 pm (UTC)
Jan. 4th, 2017 05:58 pm (UTC)
Haha-- a worthy question, because, seriously.
Jan. 4th, 2017 06:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, sometimes there's a theme for the season. It's pretty early to clue into it, and way early to realize I'm likely to hate the topics for months.
Jan. 4th, 2017 03:55 pm (UTC)
Last year I didn't realize we could have beta readers...I admit I feel much better when someone goes over my words and helps me make them better.
Jan. 4th, 2017 04:23 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I put out a distress call for a Beta Extraordinaire as I dub them last night. (So far no takers) I rely on myself, but I have trouble with tense/punctuation, and I know it. I adore Beta's who actually teach you while giving crit/edit suggestions. I'm a hands on learner, slightly (ok more than slightly) dyslexic, so I try to make sure my tales and writes do not read that way.

I appreciate them, and I'm grateful Gary allows us to use them. Thank you Gary!

Oh and that being said I still need one- please PM if interested. Peace and hugs...
Jan. 6th, 2017 06:47 pm (UTC)
I was going to say the exact same thing. My beta reader is no longer in fandom but I am such a second guesser and feel far more
Comfortable when something is beta read.

If you are up for it I'm happy to do swapsies. I beta yours and you mine ?
Jan. 6th, 2017 07:11 pm (UTC)
That would work! I already posted mine, but pm me and we'll work out details! Peace~~~ :)
Jan. 6th, 2017 07:13 pm (UTC)
Think I'm taking a bye this week anyway. So we can start at next prompt. Will
Jan. 6th, 2017 07:19 pm (UTC)
Should we spit on palms and shake on it? (Laughing) Alrighty! Next week is good! It'll save me some begging. (Ha!)
Jan. 6th, 2017 08:25 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what I wrote up there

It was meant to say I'll PM you.

Shouldn't chat on phone
Jan. 4th, 2017 05:08 pm (UTC)
My husband is my * sometimes* beta (*sometimes* because it depends on how busy he is). Unfortunately he seldom gets into the nitty-gritty of how to make something better or what-have-you. He'll tell me if something "works", though.

It's weird because he also writes and I usually beta whatever he's written before he posts it.

One thing I've run into with him is that he associates "beta" with "editing". I've explained to him editing can certainly play a part in beta-ing but it's not the central thing. I wonder if others have run into a similar issue?

Jan. 4th, 2017 05:49 pm (UTC)

Beta readers are great if there's enough time.

Jan. 4th, 2017 06:09 pm (UTC)
I am my own Grandpa-- I mean, beta-reader.

I have used a beta once in a while, mainly when I wasn't sure where to go with something I wanted to write, or to see if the idea "worked."

But I'm usually pretty hard on myself, and use the delay-and-proofread thing (and reading the story out loud in my head) to see what's wrong or missing.

When I've had group concrit in the past, it often has gone into the area of wanting the story to be something I never intended it to be (like, deeply exposition-y when the story is a vignette), suggestions that are different but do not appear to be better, or... (the worst of all)... conflicting feedback from multiple directions, where the thought of trying to resolve all those inputs down to a convergence just makes me tired.

The type of beta writer I try to be? Catch mistakes, preserve the style the writer is going for, note when the writer is "burying" an important character or plot point, improve the pace and flow. In general, try to make the story more of what the writer wanted it to be-- unless it just doesn't work at all, in which case discussion as to "What did you want to do with this?" starts up.

Hardly anybody betas like that, and that's what I would find useful. I think maybe I'm a contextual beta/editor? And I suspect most people really aren't. That may also be my learning style, which... ook. Is definitely more challenging.

Jan. 4th, 2017 07:39 pm (UTC)
You have been there for me time to time- and you ARE a beta extraordinaire precisely because you are contextual.
Jan. 5th, 2017 02:01 am (UTC)
Me? (this didn't go to me directly)

That is a wonderful thing to say!
Jan. 5th, 2017 05:08 am (UTC)
You're most welcome. :)
Jan. 4th, 2017 08:02 pm (UTC)
I keep telling myself I'm going to use beta readers and then I keep writing things at the last minute.
Jan. 6th, 2017 12:57 am (UTC)
I tended not to use a beta reader during competition, but I did post early and then sort of "live-edit" up to the deadline, so my beta readers were anyone who wandered by. ;-)

That said, beta readers are proving to be a fantastic boon out in the real world, so I highly encourage their use. Your fellow Idolators are good candidates -- don't ignore their advice just because you're competing.
Jan. 6th, 2017 08:59 pm (UTC)
By the time my baby piece is given to someone, it's a complete thought/plot if you will. I need someone who can tell me if that thought is explained properly, so that others can understand what I was attempting to convey. That everything is clear and nothing is muddled.

Oh, and punctuation is a plus!!!! I'm such a comma queen!
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


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