Beta Readers vs. Manuscript Critiques

MS Editor Elizabeth talks about the difference between Beta Readers and professional MS critiques. I’ll add that strangers can be Beta Readers, but it’s best to pick acquaintances—they are objective, yet you can get a hold of them IRL if they drop off the planet or steal your work (FYI, this happens way less often than writers think). I had twelve friends read my novel and give feedback anonymously using a Google form—it worked well!

MS Editors

You just finished writing the last page of your story—congratulations! Whether you pumped out a NaNoWriMo victory or spent the last five years agonizing over your dream book, you now have a full manuscript sitting in front of you. Give yourself a pat on the back; you deserve it for making it to the end. Now what? You want to make your story better, but you’re still too close to see its weaknesses and discern whether readers would enjoy it. It’s time to get an outside opinion.

If you take your work seriously, you should show your story to someone other than your mother or best friend. Run far away from anyone who has an obligation to tell you that your story is great as is! No book will be ready for publication without major revisions, so you need to hook up with someone who can give you informed feedback…

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