How to be a Computer-based Beta Reader

10 Comments

  1. Actually my own understanding is that beta readers and crit partners are different beasts. Some of this may be simply how my own CP and I work together, but a CP is someone who’s there through the entire process. They help you brainstorm, critique your scenes and chapters, often as they come. A beta reader, on the other hand, is someone who reads a completed manuscript–they’re your test subjects who will, as you say, read with a critical eye to improving the work. Certainly in the long run CPs perform beta reader functions, but that’s not all they do. Thanks again for another plug for CPM :D!

  2. Actually my own understanding is that beta readers and crit partners are different beasts. Some of this may be simply how my own CP and I work together, but a CP is someone who’s there through the entire process. They help you brainstorm, critique your scenes and chapters, often as they come. A beta reader, on the other hand, is someone who reads a completed manuscript–they’re your test subjects who will, as you say, read with a critical eye to improving the work. Certainly in the long run CPs perform beta reader functions, but that’s not all they do. Thanks again for another plug for CPM :D!

  3. Thanks for pointing out the difference, Kathleen. Both roles are equally important, and it seems to me as though writers tend to want one more than the other. This usually depends on the phase the written work is in…for instance, you’ll need a critique partner as you brainstorm a new work, but as you get to the second and third drafts, you’ll need a beta reader to address overall concerns.

    So would you say a beta reader is a subset of a critique partner?

  4. Thanks for pointing out the difference, Kathleen. Both roles are equally important, and it seems to me as though writers tend to want one more than the other. This usually depends on the phase the written work is in…for instance, you’ll need a critique partner as you brainstorm a new work, but as you get to the second and third drafts, you’ll need a beta reader to address overall concerns.

    So would you say a beta reader is a subset of a critique partner?

  5. It was my fanfic-ing friend who told me about beta reading in the first place, so that makes complete sense! Do you know the history behind the term, Zoe?

  6. hehe I knew the term “beta reader” before “crit partner” because of fanfic, lol.

  7. It was my fanfic-ing friend who told me about beta reading in the first place, so that makes complete sense! Do you know the history behind the term, Zoe?

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