My pre-reader was pure chance. She was friends with a bunch of the girls I was friends with, and ended up reviewing my fic for The Fictionators. I think I had to talk her down from the fence one night on gchat over what was going on in my fic, and from there it just kind of happened. Best luck ever. Aside from me, she is the only one who knows the entire outline. I bounce ideas off of her all the time, and I honestly couldn’t do it without her. She used to beta for quite a few well known fic-writers, but she had to step back and now she only does my fics. I love, love, love her so much. She is awesome.
My beta was kind of the same situation. I didn’t have a real beta when I started and the person who was kind of reading through it for me disappeared. V was betaing exclusively for one of my closest fic-friends, Goldenmeadow, who kind of got us together and offered to share. V had wanted to get her hands on my fic prior to this, but didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes or anything. It just worked out, and she has been doing it ever since. She’s awesome, and I really appreciate all of her time and suggestions and help.
My betas found me. Suzy was just some lady that I chatted with regularly, and bounced off my ideas off of. The next thing I knew, we were having daily conferences about plot and character development and flying across country to visit one another. She added a huge comic relief to the angsty stuff in HA. She also keeps my writing consistent. She’ll find flaws and nitpicky things that no one else would.
My other beta, Erika, was just a reader, who would kindly point out grammar and punctuation mistakes my other beta overlooked. I officially took her on as a beta for HA because they chapters were enormous. She knows her stuff and I am almost embarrassed at the mistakes I make sometimes.
Lately, I’ve also been using Beegurl13 and LovelyBrutal as prereaders for their input. Because they are writers, they both have such different outlooks on writing as a craft and provide me with constructive crit that really enhances my storyline. I have a great team to work with and I am truly grateful for their friendship as well as their efforts and patience.
My beta for The Foreign Papers is DeJean Smith. I found her by sending out a tweet on twitter that she responded to; I am so thankful that she did. My pre-readers for that story are friends and other writer’s whose judgement I trust and who I know will not pull any punches with me. I want betas and readers who will tell me if I write something that doesn’t work or that isn’t true to my characters. I also want to hear if it just plain sucks. Better to hear it from them than from dozens of irate readers!
I’ve been friends with my beta forever, since before I even started writing. The same thing with my prereaders. I asked people who I thought would get the story and my characters, as well as pick out blatant inconsistencies.
I asked on Twitter and they volunteered.
I am very grateful for their invaluable help.
I told them up front what I needed (in a nice way) and asked them if they would be upset if I didn’t take all their suggestions.
They were fine with it and went on from there.
I started early on with PTB, and as I met more people the relationships happened pretty naturally. Don’t be afraid to ask someone whose opinion you respect to preread or beta! Even if they aren’t able to, they may be able to recommend someone to you.
My beta and first pre-reader came from my blog. I used to write about TV shows there and we met on chat forums and they read me and when I started writing they both volunteered to be involved. My other pre-readers have morphed out of relationships with readers. They volunteered, I took them up on it.
For my very first story, “Love Path,” I asked Camilla10. We are both Italian, so talking is very easy (I tend to be lost in translation when I talk in English). I asked Solareclipses to be the story beta, because the fic had been inspired by her story “Sins of the Piano man.” She suggested me to get in contact with Project Team Beta and it was such a great advice!
For my second story, “The Moon over Volterra,” I sent a message to a couple of writers I had particularly appreciated. They were very kind and betaed the o/s for me, although they were really busy. I appreciated it very much: I’m very pleased when authors with thousands of readers find the time to beta.
For “The Cliff,” back to Project Team Beta! It won a contest, so Project Team Beta is my lucky charm.
For my first multichapter story, “De Immortalitate,” my friend Camilla followed Romanward and Bella step by step since the first day. She’s read every draft (including 11 — eleven! — different drafts of the last chapter!). To post the fic, I was looking for a beta willing to deal with a historical fic, since the story is set in the Roman Empire. I put a message on “A Different Forest” and I found LJSummers – great!! I sent the stuff also to Project Team Beta. I appreciated very, very much the opportunity to work with different betas in the first chapters. Then Duskwatcher and Marly580 became “De Immortalitate”‘s permanent PTB beta and I absolutely fell in love with them. JMolly gives the chapters a final check before I post them. Every one helped me so much! It’s been a wonderful, rewarding, unforgettable ride!
For “An Italian Winter,” at this point you already know that…say the name! Camilla10 held my hand Marly580 and JMolly came from the team who followed “De Immortalitate.” I’m thrilled that they have accepted to beta this story too! Through Camilla, I met Corinne Tate, with whom I’m working so well!!!
LJSummers and Duskwatcher are currently busy with their own writing, so they aren’t following this multichapter story as betas, but I promise that I’ll do my best to put in “An Italian Winter” the writing suggestions they gave me with “De Immortalitate.”
Most of them are internet friends that have followed my stories from the beginning, and close friends that I can trust will give me honest feedback. Honest feedback and people who are invested in the stories are a must for successful collaboration.
Project Team Beta! I originally had two, but one kind of stepped out of the fandom, but I still have my other original beta from my first story, tiffanyanne3.