Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Dreaded Evil THING

Your friends don't hate you, I promise. If you're in that boat, however, you probably just received a beta-read (Of course, I suppose if your friend tried to run you down with a Sherman tank, cackling and cussing, I might seriously suggest blocking them from your Facebook account. Just a suggestion.). I repeat: your friends don't hate you.

No, I promise. No matter how nasty and shitty you feel after reading their comments, it passes, normally by the time you wake up the next morning, and easily by the next time you see them.

I've received more than a few beta-reads in my time, and I do have a tiny bit of insight to give, although I'm sure you tire of my preaching by now.

  1. You aren't mad at the beta-reader. If that's all you remember from this, I'll be happy. 99% of the time, you aren't really mad at the beta-reader (Not to say it never happens, because I know it does, but only rarely.). You're mad at you. It's something you're either pissed that you didn't notice, or pissed that they noticed. Those are by far the worst. You find yourself cussing them out because they had the audacity to notice your mistake. Be pissy now, but get over it.

  2. You were always going to receive negative feedback. I know, it seems like a stupid thing to point out, but admit it--you, like every writer, has at least a small part of him/her that wants to hear that it's the single most brilliant piece of literature ever written, all praise, all hail. Of course, that doesn't happen. Even in the most amazing of published works, unchallenged in their complete brilliance, can be overhauled. Why should a pre-publishing manuscript be any different? The problem is that we have that little, unrealistic ideal in us, and it makes it considerably harder to take critique.

  3. You're considerably better than you were when you wrote that drivel. Unless you're using Bart Allen as a beta-reader (i.e. The Flash), you've spent at least a little time since you sent it to the beta-reader, and you've kept writing, and you've gotten better (we're talking a novel, not just a short story--although sometimes...). Remember that. It might seem like they're harping on the same old, same old, or that they're being vile and truly nasty, but you're better. It's not as bad as it might seem, from the comments--it stuff you probably would have caught on your own anyway, a lot of the time.

All right. Feel better? I didn't think so--but you will. I swear you will. Go eat some chocolate, sleep, and come back to those beta-reads ready to go.


Not now.

Peace, love, and chicken grease,



Michael Baker said...

I love this post! It makes me happy.

Ella said...

This is so true. So, so true :]