What is a beta-reader? Why do authors need them? What makes a good one? These questions I will answer, from both a reader and a writer perspective.
The purpose of a beta reader is to help the author write the best story they can, by pointing out the weaknesses in the story, and telling the author they can do better than that. The latter is aided by leavening the negatives with positive encouragement, and there's two good reasons for that:
- to spur on the author to enthusiasm by encouragement. Different authors vary in the amount of positive feedback they need, and different betas vary in the amount they can give.
- Pointing out the good bits so that the author doesn't unknowingly remove them!
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