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Beta readers and critic partners

edited May 2020 in Writing
Hi everyone, I have a quick question:
Where do you find your beta readers and critic partners?
I've tried a group on Facebook, but I wonder if that's the right way to go.
any comment, map and other directions most welcome 😊


  • It depends what you're looking for. Some readers will like your work others won't – but that doesn't help you if you're looking for objective feedback. When searching for critics, you need to be sure that they are at least as good as you and, ideally, better. Even then, they need to be able to explain not only what you're doing wrong but how to fix it. Ultimately, you need to know if your writing is working – not whether someone likes it. Message me if you like. I do professional critiques.
  • I did an MA and then that group of critics became my group of critics - already trained in upbeat and helpful and constructive feedback. As Gerald says, a general group - there's no point. You need people who are as good and better and who you can trust. Ideally writing for the same age-group and in the same genre as you. I don't think that a critic should tell you how to 'fix it'. I think they should tell you what is wrong. Fixing it is your job. 
  • It seems we're on the same page, Liz, but sometimes it's necessary to explain how to fix a broken scene or structure. Not all writers have all the tools to fix their own work, even if the faults are clearly pointed out. 
  • I've been wondering about this.  Do I need one as I'm writing the first draft of my novel or after it has been finished?  Where would I find one?  I want someone to push me and tell me that things aren't working.  I also want someone to help me with how to fix it.  
  • HI Doglover - I wouldn't bother getting your first draft critiqued - first drafts are always pants - it's all about getting the ideas down on paper or screen.

    Then you'll go back yourself and spot loads of errors etc, it's not worth paying to get a critique at that stage. Get it as good as you can, then go for a critique.

    Bear in mind there are two types - a critique is a structured assessment of the manuscript in terms of what works and what doesn't. They won't necessarily tell you how to fix it as they are then stepping into the creative space and even technically ghostwriting it...Personally I just need to be told what's rubbish. Once it's been pointed out to me it's rubbish (like a Voodoo member of the IRA - what WAS I thinking) then you'll be like me - what was I thinking. LOL

    A full manuscript edit deals with grammar and technical elements of the prose and paragraphs etc. A critique may comment on these but won't offer to fix them and a proof-reader type person may comment on some aspects of the narrative but their main focus is the spelling etc.

    A proof reader isn't required until the thing is ready to be read, if that makes sense? You probably know all this. Then if you get published you have to do it all again 5 times!!!
  • Thanks @Datco2019 I appreciate all that knowledge.  I will wait until I have finished it before even looking into one of these.  
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