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Beta-ing

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by AgentSatan, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. AgentSatan

    AgentSatan First Year

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    This thread is for people who need a beta, and people who are willing to beta.

    Recently, I've needed a beta, and I noticed DLP doesn't have a thread for beta-ing. The FFN system of beta-ing doesn't work, because most accounts on there aren't active anymore. Basically, I haven't come across a system for beta-ing that works.

    Therefore, this thread. My idea for this thread is that people post whether they're willing to beta, for which fandom, and their strengths and weaknesses as a beta. If someone needs a beta for a story they're doing then they can PM a person who seems to fit what they want in a beta; someone who covers the weaknesses that you have as a writer.

    Alternatively, writers looking for a beta reader can also post for what they are looking for in a beta, and what their story is about. If a beta is willing to beta the story they can PM the writer; whatever works for you.

    I'll start. I'm looking for a beta that can critique plot, and the ideas I have for the story. Obviously, if they can pick up grammatical errors that would be great, but I'm mostly good on the grammar side. My story's title and summary(I'm open to critiques on this too):

    Jack White: Forged in the Fire
    Every legend has its beginning. For the legend of Jack White it began with asking a simple question. What is Durmstrang? What follows is an epic tale about how a muggleborn attended Durmstrang. Jack White is thrown into the fire, and one can only hope he will be forged stronger.

    Hopefully, this will help writers such as myself that are looking for a beta, and create more polished works in the fandom.
     
  2. Stealthy

    Stealthy Seventh Year

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    You're right, DLP doesn't have a thread for it. There's a whole subforum for it.
     
  3. AgentSatan

    AgentSatan First Year

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    WbA isn't the same thing for me, because some stories aren't ready to be posted on the internet yet. And it says under fanfic discussion "Place to discuss fanfiction in general or find help/beta readers."
     

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  4. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    The level of attention paid to a fic in WbA is too varied to work as a place to beta a story. It's good for feedback. In fact, it's great for feedback if you can get the traffic. But it's more hit and miss for beta work. I've been lucky with my story, but that's not always true.
     
  5. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Minister of Magic

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    In my experience the WbA works best if you have a few dedicated readers who you know will give varied and useful feedback. Most of the time those are people you already know from other contexts on DLP and who you can write pms to. That can make it harder for new people to find traction in the WbA. I know from myself that if I'm not exceedingly bored, I mostly skim the WbA for either highly commented-on topics or authors I've already read.

    Once you get around to reading the snippets in the WbA though, they're a marvelous way of ascertaining whether there's a spark in the story that makes it worth the time. Ideally, you'd want to develop an author-beta relationship from a WbA thread. People already know roughly what kind of quality they're getting. And you can estimate the level of feedback on offer. The next step would simply be to write them and ask for help. If you're polite, they can't do much more but say no.

    I'd say the best way to get feedback is to have a good foundation so that people wanting to help aren't at a loss of where to start (even though there are some kind souls who'll help anyway). I think @Halt had a good series going on writing advice. Study that. Practice it. In the words of ol' freckle cunt Bill Burr, "become undeniable." Once you got a solid foundation and people don't have to nitpick every grammar and word choice their feedback will automatically lean more heavily in the direction of theme, images that don't work, plot, character voice, dialog, etc.

    At that point it'll be much easier to find a beta reader and ask them for assistance than setting up camp in a separate thread, hoping they'll come to you.
     
  6. AgentSatan

    AgentSatan First Year

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    I've read that thread and it's very helpful, but beta readers are supposed to correct any errors you missed or if the story just doesn't work. In short, beta readers polish a fic that isn't ready for posting yet. There needs to be a thread for stories an author doesn't want to post yet, because they need a beta. I have had this problem, and I assume others have as well. That's why I created this thread.
     
  7. Jarizok

    Jarizok Professor

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    I can understand wanting to keep a fledgling fic under wraps with just the author and a beta or two before posting it to WbA. Help with ideas and plotting is in that area where WbA can't really be of help just yet anyway. When I was trying to get my fic of the ground I wanted to bounce stuff like that of people as well and was told to try IRC and the discord, but I imagine having a dedicated beta who's at least somewhat invested in the fic makes for better back and forth.

    All that said, I'm willing to beta for people in the HP/aSoIaF/Pokemon/Warcraft/WoT/Parahumans fandoms. I don't have a lot of beta experience, but my English is up to snuff and I've done my share of plotting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
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