POINT OF VIEW: Back in Beta Land

beta reader - 123rf purchased

Hey all,

I am on the downslope, the final approach, the last few miles before reaching manuscript-sending home. “The Shoreless Sea,” book three in the Liminal Sky trilogy, is finished, and the beta reads are coming in.

This is always a nervous-making time for me, as I am sure that at least one of my beta readers will want me to re-write the whole damned book. *pulls out hair in anticipation*

So far, I’ve been lucky… but there have been some big issues raised.

For “The Rising Tide,” one astute beta called me on killing off a character too early and not giving him a proper ending to his character arc. I looked at it –  changed it, and it vastly improved the book.

For “The Shoreless Sea,” I don’t wanna give too much away, but I include an enby (non-binary) character and a deaf one. It was imperative that I have someone from each of those groups read it, and I am so glad I did. They helped me avoid some pitfalls, including dead-naming and accidentally linking non binary identity to abuse, that will vastly improve the book.

And of course, all that’s in addition to all the other things, little and big, that a good beta will flag.

I’m actually starting to look forward to getting my beta reads back – they make my book that much better before it ever gets sent off to the publisher.

For my writer friends – have you used beta readers? If so, what’s the best advice one of them ever gave you?

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