Monday, July 2, 2012

My best beta reader secret... by Christine Locke

is really not a secret.  My best beta readers have been my daughters.  In fact, I've learned that if they can't put the story down and nag me for more when I only give them half of it, then I've got something.  In fact, that was when I realized I could stop tweaking Open Door.  My daughter wouldn't leave me alone until I gave her part two.

Other beta readers have become my second rung--even my best friends and most constructive critics.  My girls are not going to sugar coat it for me or walk me through it.  Their readings are my fool-proof litmus test, and I've totally loving it.  Here's the scale:

* "Oh m'gosh, Mom, is this about me?"...(bury it UNDER the trashcan!)

** Read a few pages and wander off reading a text that's probably not real...(scrap it!)

*** Leave the manuscript open to about 25% read under the bed until I come back and dig it out myself...(needs a lot of work)

**** Read half of it and tell me its great...(good story, bad pacing)

***** "Mo-om!  You left me hanging!  Is it ready yet?  Is it ready yet?"...(BAM!) 

Try it out on the nearest willing teenager.  Just steel yourself for that fake text....

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