The Knight and the Beta Reader

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Hi everyone! I hope you are all well.

It’s been aaaages since I’ve written anything at all, I don’t really have an excuse either. In all honesty I’ve just been tired. I started a new job a few months back and it’s spreadsheet after spreadsheet so the last thing I want to do at the moment is look at a computer screen when I’ve finished. I did have a brief spell on Football Manager and yes, I know that’s a contradiction. But for the passed few months, once the little one is asleep and we’ve settled for the evening I’ve been building Lego…yes Lego…yes I am an adult. I’ll go into the details a little more in another post but ultimately it’s relaxing.

Anyway, I digress.

A while ago I enlisted two Beta Readers to read my latest WIP and provide feedback. Firstly I want to say how grateful I am that they agreed to look at the manuscript for free, it’s a massive job even though it’s not a particularly long book. Secondly I would like to express further gratitude to them as finding any kind of free Beta Reader is near impossible. Thirdly I wanted to thank the Twitter Writing Community who are so supportive and helped me in finding a Beta Reader. I feel so bad as I haven’t contributed to the Twitter Writing Community for almost as long as I haven’t been writing, terrible.

I would like to digress again if I may. I just wanted to touch on an important topic; mental health. Every one has a mind which means every one can suffer from some from mental health issues. It’s especially hard at the moment with COVID-19 for everyone including myself but I just wanted to say that if you’re reading this and feel lonely, depressed or just not yourself then I am always here to listen. I’m certainly no psychiatrist or qualified in any way but I can be a good shoulder and happy to be ranted at. Drop me an email to dan@daniellucas.co.uk and I’ll reply as soon as possible. It always helps to talk but sometimes it helps to talk to a stranger. I’ll go into this topic in more depth in a later post but I just wanted to touch on it now.

Anyway, back to the Knight and the Beta Reader. Oh by the way, I’m the Knight. I don’t know why it just sounded good at the time of writing.

So, early Jan I received an email from one of the Beta Readers who was full of apologies. They felt bad as they meant to send me some feedback in November but it was stuck in the drafts! Within the email was a sentence that seemed logical at the time of reading; it was along the lines of: “I don’t think now is a good time to pursue Beta Reading” or something similar. I thought fair enough, you do you.

But then I read the feedback. Oh my god this person should be a professional Beta Reader and earn some good money doing so, the feedback was perfect. It was honest, constructively critical, complimentary and so well rounded. I couldn’t have asked for any more and I’m so SO grateful to them for the feedback. I, of course, replied to the email and told them as much, hopefully when their lives are not so hectic they can pick Beta Reading up again, and when/if they do I want to be there to support in any way I can (that includes paying for the service).

I feel Beta Reading is such and under rated thing. I see a lot of people on Twitter looking for free Beta Readers (I was one) and I totally understand why. I think maybe the lesson I have learned here would be useful to a lot of writers and hopefully some will read this and take heed. Perhaps professional Beta Readers should offer a “free first chapter” service or something along those lines, just to give the “free hunters” a taste of what they can really do. Having said that maybe some of them already do!

I’ve rambled a bit here (I’ve not checked through it either to be honest) so to summarise:

I have a lot of work to do
Sorry to the Twitter Writing Community
It helps to talk, feel free to get in touch dan@daniellucas.co.uk
THANK YOU to the Beta Readers
Don’t begrudge paying for Beta Readers

Thanks for reading.

Dan

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