Part 2 of ‘The Wolf of Dalriada’ is now off to the Beta Readers!

Phew! 80,000 words of ‘The Wolf of Dalriada – Part 2’ are now winging their way to the Beta Readers! A significant moment. But who are Beta Readers and what do they do? Brenda Pollard answers these questions clearly and my own feeling is that Beta Readers are vital to the big picture.

I also provide my Beta Readers with a list of questions to guide their thinking. Not that they need much guidance but I do want to make the most of their expertise as talented readers. The questions I pose are:

  1. People?
    Does each character work?
    Is there consistency even when there is change/ development?
    Do they seem real?
    Is their speech distinct and typical of them?
    Do you care what happens to them?
  2. Setting?
    Is the setting authentic?
    Has too much detail (research) been included?
    Are there any historical inaccuracies – factual; linguistic?
  3. Plotting?
    Are any scenes or sections unnecessary or superfluous – for example, is Chapter 3 in the right place?
    Is the pacing is too slow/too fast at any point?
    Are there any plot-holes or inconsistencies?
    Does the story engage you?
    Did you know how this story was going to end? Was this a problem?
    Please look out for any repetitions and/or too much inclusion of first story in the series?
  4. Anything else?

 

This list may also be useful for your own self-editing. It certainly concerns itself with the bigger picture. This is called developmental or content editing and does not involve your very kind Beta Readers in proof reading or copy editing. Those are professional areas – necessary and fee-paying. Contact the Society of Editors and Proofreaders for a practitioner near you.

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About Elizabeth Gates

When I was four, I wrote my first story - mainly because no-one else had written the story I wanted to read. Later, with two degrees in English Language & Literature and Linguistics, I toured Europe as a creative writing tutor and then went on to work as a public health journalist for twenty-five years. Writing has always played a huge part in my life, coupled with history and travel. So my debut novel, The Wolf of Dalriada, seems a natural part of my progression through life. And when not writing, l like to spend time with my family and friends and the livestock that delights in trailing after me.

1 thought on “Part 2 of ‘The Wolf of Dalriada’ is now off to the Beta Readers!

  1. One reason why I fielded my draft so early was because I wanted advice about how much backstory to include and where (because this is the second in the series). Opposing views resulted. Lively discussion followed. All remarks on this point will be useful. I am the final arbiter but advice from readers about specific worries helps.

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