Chronicling The Craft: A Conversation About Beta-Reading, From Nailing Your Critiques to Finding Good Candidates


Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, which is now in its third draft. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today it’s the tips-oriented post to celebrate 80% completion of Draft #3.

I had trouble thinking of a subject to cover this time. The past three tips-driven Chronicles (word-cutting strategies, planning changes to one’s writing routine, and wrestling writer’s doubt) were inspired by challenges I experienced at different points during Draft #3. Lately, though, no one single “issue” with editing has stood out to me. Yet I’ve started giving serious thought to the next stage: beta-reading.

Yes, that terrifying yet exciting phase of sharing your writing for feedback is the topic of today’s Chronicle. I’ll share lessons and advice based on my past experience with beta-reading for other writers. I’ll also touch on how to decide who might be a good beta-reading candidate, and give you a peek inside my plans for my WIP’s beta-reading stage. So, let’s dive in!
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Recent Reads: “The Writing Circle” by Corinne Demas

When it comes to buying books by authors I’ve never heard of before, my choices can sometimes be spontaneous. Or, in the case of Corinne Demas’ “The Writing Circle,” inspired by coincidence. I’d been part of a local writer’s group for a couple years when Demas’ novel caught my eye at a bookstore. My reaction was immediate: “Hey, I’m in a writing circle! So maybe I should read this book.” Of course, I read the critical praise as well as the summary on the inside cover before making my purchase, so I knew well in advance that this book was more than just a discussing about editing and literature. Continue reading