Not sure where else to post this, so here goes. I like to do critiques and help people, but I’m not sure if I have the necessary skills to do Beta reading. Is there some way to know if one has what it takes to be a Beta reader?
You can have a look at this #story-services category. I suggest that you read this article -
Thanks so much for your help!
I’ve been a beta reader for ten years. That gives you an idea of qualifications in giving advice. If you are a member of Goodreads, they have a beta club with guidelines.
Grammar, punctuation, holes in story, flow, pace, sentence structure, dialogue flow, filler, too much back story, are just the beginning of being a beta reader. To do that, you need to know how yourself.
That said, you can be good at a couple of things and concentrate on those telling the writer what you are good at. I’ve had help with love scenes from a couple of writers who helped tremendously. What are your talents?
Word usage, filler, dialogue, punctuation, spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. Not so hot on pace, flow or holes in story. Separate subject: do you do all your reviewing for free? I like volunteering, but reviewing is time-consuming.
Okay, you tell them that and point out what drags and what catches your interest in the story. That helps them. I often do a 2nd viewing because I am good at pace and flow and catch a mistaken timing quickly. I am honest to a fault, but that pays off for them. Many writers need help with your talent. Focus on that and work on the rest. The review isn’t line by line for beta reading like it is here. Funny-say so. Good emotional point–say so. Mistakes, point it out. Line by line mistakes add up too. If you think anything rough needs improving–say: work on this sentence or concept or that paragraph. A beta reader doesn’t write it for them. Suggestions are good. Hope this helps. There are a lot of writers here that want that kind of help–especially seasoned ones. Ask and then have at it.
One thing I have stopped doing with newer, less experienced writers is a complete review. I’ll mark up half of the piece, but I tell them that they need to apply my suggestions to the rest of the story/chapter. That way they learn by doing. Thanks for the info. Looks like I need to just keep at it, and my weak areas will become stronger.