Monday, November 28, 2011
I’ve long since come to the understanding that I’m not going to agree with every beta. That would be impossible. Still, I never want to disregard someone’s hard work. Whenever I get feedback that is a bit hard to take, I always take a few days, weeks, or sometimes months, and come back to it with fresh eyes and an open mind. If I still find the comments off, or bizarre, or just completely out of left field, then I disregard them. Sometimes I don’t need days or weeks or months. I know instantly that I’m not going to heed the comment.
My most recent venture into Beta Land was with someone I’ve never worked with. I want so desperately to form a core group of good betas, but I’m not sure how to do that other than to give strangers a chance. Yeah, you can read their sample work, and like it enough to say, ‘okay, you seem to have some writing chops, take a whack at my work.’ But in the end, it’s still a person you don’t really know pawing over your manuscript. This is what we as writers have to do, so I’m not really disputing this process. I lucked up three times and found betas who give honest, constructive criticism—beta’s who have helped me immensely. One is sadly no longer with us, Zellie, whom I miss dearly. The other is Tere and the third is Abby. I’m looking for two more to have a core group of four. I don’t need a like mind, because sometimes someone who thinks differently will see things I miss. I just need some good tough love.
So tell me, do you debate the disagreements with your beta? Generally, I don’t. Unless I truly don’t understand her point, or I think she has misinterpreted something I’ve written. Otherwise, I don’t bother.
If any of you out there are interested in swapping manuscripts with me, let me know...or should I be asking for a crit partner? Do you think there is a difference? I’m nearly done my current WIP and will need a reader/critter sometime after the new year!
Hope everyone survived the tryptophan coma!