The Benefits of Beta Groups
by Lori Power
you don’t know what you don’t know until you need to know
And KNOWING someone who does know makes all the difference between success and failure.
This is as true in writing. Many times, authors will write and submit to various publishers never to understand why their material, to which they have attached their heart and soul, has been rejected. Knowing someone who has experience who can point to repetitive flaws in the writing, small stylization issues, does make all the difference between acceptance and rejection.
Due to the vast connective power of the internet, in the last few years, I have been privileged to get to know a variety of writers through associations and the social media networks. But the very best way I have grown as an author and gotten to know my peers is through Beta Reading or Critique groups.
Some authors express concern about joining groups for fear:
• they may not have anything to submit occasionally
• they don’t feel they produce enough writing each week
• concerned for the time commitment of critiquing other member’s work
• concerned they are not established enough to offer an opinion
All of these concerns, and any other’s you may come up with, should not form barriers to connecting with other authors because … we’re all human so if you don’t have any writing to submit one week or another, it’s really not that big a deal. I have found being part of the group motivates me to produce and stay on track with my writing schedule. It really doesn’t matter if it’s two pages or ten, the point is to write and move the writing forward.
As far as the time commitment, givers gain. What you will receive in other’s opinions on your work will far outweigh the time commitment—perhaps an hour or two a week—to critique other’s writing. Besides, everyone who reads is an excellent critique partner. What interests you and motivates you to turn the page is what matters most. What keeps you enthralled in the story or takes you out is valuable information.
Some authors will use this information weekly to edit and change their stories to accommodate the group’s feedback, while others will get the bones of the story down and wait to the end to review the critique notes and use this feedback as the start of the editing process. How ever you choose to use the information is up to you. The most important point is to participate, because you will never know what you don’t know until you ask. A Beta group is the one venue authors have to ask what they need to know prior to sending it off to a publisher. A second opinion working for your benefit.
About LoriTurning passion into words in print is a dream come true for Lori Power. From Radio host, DJ, news reporter to newspaper journalist, like many author’s, Lori has been writing most of her life. Lori’s first novel “Storms of Passion” was published by Wild Rose Press in 2014. “Hit ‘n Run”, Lori’s second novel, the first in the “Under Suspicion” series was published in the summer of 2015. “The Tables Have Turned” book two in this series is expected in early 2016. Collaboration is important to improving one’s craft and as such, Lori is an active member of the Romance Writers of America, TransCanada Romance Writers, The Alberta Romance Writers Association and belongs to both a Critiquing group and a Beta Reading weekly group. Lori looks forward to continuing to find the good story; hashing out a scene, having fun with a character and writing the story she would love to read. www.loripowerwriter.com http://www.marinerwrites.com/blog
It’s more than a “Hit ’n Run” that needs to be taken care of at the police station. False identification, miscommunication and a past better left buried surface to plunge these recently reunited lovers into a deadly game of cat and mouse trying to figure out who the bad guys really are.
All threads pulled threaten the very fabric of their fragile relationship. Caught between desire suspicions, each must decide who to trust and how far to go to follow their instincts.