“Beta” is a name I hadn’t heard before I began this crazy journey called writing a book. We all know what editors are (but who knew how many types there are!), but betas are a different animal.
My editor takes the incoherent dribble that I spill onto the paper and makes gentle suggestions (“are you serious?!” “Um, no way Jose” “no man has ever said that before in his life”), corrects
mispellings misspellings, and teaches me the finer points of computer email encryption.
Betas take that semi-final story that you are beginning to hate after 7 revisions, that you have lost all perspective over, and sit down to just read. Betas tell you if all that work was worth the effort. They tell you that despite your attempts to simplify the politics in your make-believe world, they are really clueless about who is fighting whom and why. They tell you that it’s not a good idea for the two of the main characters to have names similar to each other cause they can’t keep them straight.
OK, maybe I’m a little worried. This is the first time I’ve asked people to look at my stories before they are published.
But wait, I hear you say! You published three books with 30-something chapters total over the course of a year on Literotica! You had thousands of beta readers! Who had no trouble telling you exactly what they thought of your stories! (Just so you know, the misogynist comments still hurt a bit after all this time).
Yeah, but these six betas like me. And I like them.
Please be gentle ladies. And remember, if something doesn’t make sense, it wasn’t my idea!