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Resources > Beta Readers

There are three fundamental things you should do before posting a story to any mailing list or website. 1) Spell check! It only takes a couple of minutes maximum and your potential readers will thank you for it, instead of lynching you; 2) Make sure you include all the necessary information in the header of your story: the title of the story, your name, your e-mail address, a plot summary, rating for sexual/language/violence content, distribution notes, disclaimers and spoiler warnings, etc; 3) Most importantly of all, darlings, have your story beta-read.

Even the greatest of grammar gurus or spelling sophisticates can often miss mistakes or errors that a more objective person might have picked up on. Your plot may also be somewhat dubious in places - Faith taking up cross-stitch? I don't think so. Ultimately, using a beta-reader means getting a second opinion. After all, you want your masterpiece to be perfect, do you not? That's not to say that beta readers are experts, they simply offer their time and knowledge to help authors improve their works of fiction.

So listed below are the kind and fabulous people who have generously offered to volunteer their services. They offer constructive criticism, not damnation, so don't take what they have to say personally if it isn't all glowing praise. A good beta reader can make an average story better and a good story glittering and fabulous. Take heed.

If you would like to be listed as a beta reader, just e-mail me.

Dolores Labouchere
Looks for: Grammar and spelling.
Harshness: Honest but tactful.
Areas of knowledge: World history, classics, geography, Britain in general.
Response time: Two or three days.

Looks for: Character motivation, canon accuracy, plot.
Harshness: Average but can be picky.
Areas of knowledge: Computers. Programming. Communication Theory. Movies. Games. Various Mythologies. Lovecraft's stuff.
Reponse time: Under a day.

Looks for: If something isn't right I'll let you know.
Harshness: Fair but critical.
Areas of knowledge: Greek Mythology, Shakespeare, various types of literature, Pop Culture, basic medical knowledge, American History, Basic World History.
Response time: As quickly as humanly possible.

Riley G
Looks for: Grammar and spelling.
Harshness: Light
Areas of knowledge: Anatomy, Egyptian History, Irish whiskey and video games.
Response time: One - two days.

Looks for: Spelling and grammar.
Harshness: Not at all harsh.
Areas of knowledge: Knowledge of French, Italian and German. Degree in Marketing.
Response time: A day or so. Depends on length of fic.

Looks for: Spelling and grammar.
Harshness: Nothing too drastic or rude.
Areas of knowledge: Horror, Mythology (any type, but my strong points are Greek, Norse, and Hindu), Science Fiction, some Medical (orthopaedics is my strong point), Law (anything to do with the police, and some Business Law), Conspiracy Theories.
Response time: One - two days.

Looks for: General
Harshness: Not very.
Areas of knowledge: Various cities and countries. Travel.
Response time: Two days.

Looks for: Grammar, spelling, and thematic concepts.
Harshness: Stern but fair.
Areas of knowledge: Humour, eroticism.
Response time: Up to four days.

Mood Indigo
Looks for: Spelling and grammar.
Harshness: Very patient and polite.
Areas of knowledge: Spanish, some French and some Italian. Anything related to Criminology.
Response time: As soon as possible.

Mocha Leaves
Looks for: Spelling and characterisation.
Harshness: Medium.
Areas of knowledge: History, Greek and Roman Mythology.
Response time: Two days.

Looks for: Spelling/grammer, plot structures, characterization, continuity, and esp. plot holes.
Harshness: Not rude but no pats on the back.
Areas of knowledge: Broad knowledge of mythology and history.
Response time: A day or so.

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