Why Beta Readers Can Revolutionize Your Writing

Why Beta Readers Can Revolutionize Your Writing

What exactly is a Beta Reader, and why should you care? The term ‘beta’ is borrowed from the software industry, meaning the beta ‘tests’ (reads) your full, finished manuscript to help you eliminate ‘bugs’ (problems) before it’s published. Here’s a more official online definition I like: “An alpha reader or beta reader, also a pre-reader or critiquer, is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestion to improve the story, its characters, or its setting.”

All true, but they left out the most important benefit.

Beta readers are invaluable to your writing. Here’s why…

Don’t Let This Common Writing Mistake Ruin You

Don’t Let This Common Writing Mistake Ruin You

I hear from writers about your struggles all the live long day. Many problems (doubt, procrastination, perfectionism) have the same solution — it takes time, patience and practice to improve your craft. However, there’s one common writing mistake that gives me chills every time because it’s harder to help…

Your #1 Responsibility as a Writer

Your #1 Responsibility as a Writer

A writer friend I know adores her hero and heroine so much that she’s afraid of hurting them. She realizes her story reads flat, but can’t seem to put any real obstacles in their paths, despite the depth it would add to their journeys and the improved experience for her readers. Another writer recently told me he dislikes dark books, characters, plots, anything. He feels that life has enough suffering and not enough happiness.

I agree there’s too much pain in this world, but I also believe there’s a bigger discussion that needs to take place here at The Write Practice.

In my opinion, your #1 responsibility as a writer is…

The 3 Most Important Times to Keep Writing

The 3 Most Important Times to Keep Writing

I’m drawn to the dark side of creativity, the fears and phobias we let shut us down. I wasted too many years allowing the blank page to conquer me, doubting each word of every story, and worse, waiting for permission from others to call myself a writer. Now, I’m almost on a mission to save others from those painful mistakes because they’re both unnecessary and abusive.

There are just three times when fear will try to stop you from writing…

3 Traps to Avoid When Writing a Rough Draft

3 Traps to Avoid When Writing a Rough Draft

I’ve started a new novel, as in a blank page 1 in need of 275 – 400 more pages written to be complete. I’m lucky, because this book is second in a series, so I already have the plot and framework in mind (sort of ). I just require about 70,000+ more words to fill in the blanks.

It’s so simple, but difficult to do.

Fortunately, I’ve completed four other novels and will publish book #4 later this year. I’m trying to apply what I’ve learned in the past to remain more sane this go-round. Let’s discuss three pitfalls I’ve learned with first drafts.