A beta reader brings a reader's perspective
While walking the picket line, I reconnected with a lovely co-worker who just happens to have a Masters in English. My writing came up during our conversation like it usually does:
"What have you been keeping busy with?"
"Oh, still working away on my novel."
Within five days, my manuscript was back in my hands and peppered with the suggestions I needed to improve it. Dania's attention to detail was fantastic.
- She caught my protagonist slipping between slang and formal language.
- She marked every point where the content pulled her out of the story, and therefore, would pull every reader out of the story.
- She questioned the logic behind the protagonist's thoughts.
"The Fergus She" Novel EditsShe noted enjoyable sentences and dialogue, so I knew what to keep.
- She highlighted Canadian references that might push away international audiences.
- She pointed out my protagonist was not very lovable, or even likable at times.
- She caught errors in the timing of my events.
- She questioned pacing and detail.
- She noted vague writing where the reader might become confused.
- She picked up on imagery, contrasting and thematic, and then, juicy of juicies, she discussed thematic imagery with me.
On top of all this, I now had someone who understood the plot, the characters and the deeper meanings within the text, which meant I could actually bounce ideas off another human being.
Or just as soon as I can find a way to ask for help. I'm still working on that personality trait.