Writing Discussion

Tips For A Good Beta Read

I’m guest posting today on the Clarion Blog! That makes it two weeks in a row I’m writing elsewhere. Not intentionally ๐Ÿ™‚ It just sort of worked out that way.

Red Pen
Red Pen by Jenny Kaczorowski (CC)


I’ve written up some basic tips for a better beta reading experience. Here’s an excerpt:

It can be nerve wracking to get feedback on something youโ€™ve spent weeks, or years, working on, but getting feedback on your writing can be invaluable. Here are some tips to help make the process easier:

1. Pick the right people for the story. Only ask people whose opinions you respect and who read the genre or subject matter that youโ€™ve written about.

2. Have at least one cheerleader. Their job is to point out all the good things about the story. Youโ€™ve worked hard, created something new, and itโ€™s good to celebrate that!

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10 Comments to “Tips For A Good Beta Read”

  1. Rule #3 is one I never thought I had the right set before you mentioned it to me. I used to let test readers walk all over me. Considerately asking them for a realistic timeframe has been enormously helpful.

    And go you, TS! Busting out on the Clarion Blog!

  2. I agree in general, but I do think you can get useful feedback from people who aren’t in your genre. Both because a lot of writing is genre-specific but a lot isn’t, and because I always like to think that my potential audience is not entirely determined by genre.

    1. That is true ๐Ÿ™‚ Though I’ve found that people who are not typical readers of the genre I am writing, usually aren’t that interested in reading it for me either. I do sometimes solicit other readers, but have to be careful to take the feedback with a different filter.

      1. “…people who are not typical readers of the genre I am writing, usually arenโ€™t that interested in reading it for me.”

        Usually, but some might be. ๐Ÿ™‚

        And, yes, you do have to apply a different filter, but I’ve found that pretty easy to do.

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