Archive | 10:13 AM

How do you Beta read?

12 Jul

A fellow writer from my monthly group asked me to read a piece of his recently. Having more time from school, I obliged and asked for the Word document version so I could use tracked changes and comments to give my feedback. He told me he didn’t have MS Office and my brain exploded a bit.

This is the second time some has asked me to read for them and given me a PDF or OTF file. Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I’ve only ever used Word to Beta read for someone. I could manage Google Drive fine as well because of the similar features. I can leave comments right where I want them, not at the end saying, “In the second paragraph of the third page…” I can make quick comments on grammar and I can leave a tirade on why I don’t like a sentence that hides easily when you don’t want to see it anymore. The only other way I can do this is on paper. But, with modern technology, that’s not always the easiest.

Maybe I’m set in my ways. Maybe I need to update myself to other file formats or maybe I’m too detail oriented for a Beta reader. I give overall comments and detailed comments. I know 90% of a first draft gets re-written, but I’m going to make sure the remaining 10% has no split infinitives!

How do you Beta read for a friend? What kind of feedback do you look for from your Beta reader? I’d love to hear what others are doing and how I can help my cowriters more.

Until next time, write on.

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