BSV Forum - Writing - Beta

Volunteer to Beta

Jun 03 2007 05:02 am   #1Spikez_tart

Hi everybody - Slayme came up with the brilliant suggestion that we could start a temporary Beta volunteer thread since there are so many new writers that need help.  If you can help a fledgling writer, please leave a short note here about yourself, the kind of help you can offer, the kind of stories you're willing to work on, etc.  Writers - please contact volunteers through email so we can keep this thread devoted to Beta Volunteers.

Betas are a very important part of keep that Spuffy flowing - so please sign up. 

Advice to Writers:  I've mentioned about ten times, but it's worth repeating.   I think that James Frey's book "The Key" (and his other two books = How to Write a Damn Good Novel I and II) is essential reading for new and/or struggling writers.  Get this book!  Read it.  Read it again.  You can't believe how much it will help your writing (and your understanding of what Joss was doing with Buffy.) 

 

 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Dec 20 2007 11:07 pm   #2jess2357

*********EDIT!!!!! I'm currently horrendously busy, so cannot take on any new writers (if I'm already betaing for you then I will continue though!) Will edit again when I regain something like free time. *********

Amazing - how have I only just found this?! I WANT TO BETA!!!!

I am British born and bred, and have moved around a lot, so my specialist knowledge would be in British slang and general information, as well as in psychology and astronomy (NOT astrology though! ). I'm 21, and am willing to Beta any kind of story of any genre or rating. Having said that, I would be of limited help with S8 comic fics as I haven't read them and so don't know the canon requirements.

Aside from my "special knowledge" areas, the other help I can offer is in grammar, spelling etc., and in pointing out plot inconsistencies. I would be of less use to someone looking for help with creating believable dialogue or future plot twists, as these are the reasons I don't write myself!

Please contact me if you want me to beta for you (email jfp34@hotmail.co.uk) - I would be very grateful for the opportunity! I hope to have a turnaround time of 24 hours or less, though if my internet connection dies on me then it'll be longer.

Dec 21 2007 03:46 am   #3SpikesKatMac

I'd love to beta; I'm currently betaing for two authors, and would love to take on a couple more, either on a permanent basis, or to help out if your usual beta is busy/unavailable.

Don't have any particular specialty; I have a dustbin mind, and know a little bit about a lot of things; I read A LOT, just about anything I can get my mitts onto.  When it comes to the Buffyverse, I'll read anything, be it Spuffy, or God Forbid, other relationships.  Spuffy is of course my first love, but Spike is my obsession so I'll read/beta anything where he's featured.  

I'm good with sentence structure, grammer and continuity; I rock on spelling errors, and I think I'm pretty good at pointing out characterization issues or plot flow problems.  I'm also available online just about every night, so if you need somebody to bounce plot bunnies off of, I'm your girl.  I also provide tons of feedback, so your muse will be well fed! 

I can be reached at macbyrne@eastlink.ca; please contact if you're interested!

Kat

A beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain - Matthew Arnold
Feb 03 2008 03:06 am   #4S O S Bitten
I've never been a Beta before, but I'd love to do it !! Like JESS2357 I'm a British girl, have been all my life. So I can help out with any general knowledge, traditions or language.
I'm not put off by long fics, [yes even the REALLY long ones] I can't get enough of them. Any ratings. My main strengths are with grammar, spelling, character information and the general flow of the fic.

hunni_bun_2k@hotmail.com

Vicky.

S O S Bitten
Feb 03 2008 03:39 am   #5LindsayH
This thread was a great idea!  I recently got the chance to be an emergency beta for a friend, and I really enjoyed the process.  So, onto my qualifications, I guess.  I am an avid, quick reader.  In college, I put together two anthologies as a component of getting my degree with honors.  I've been a BtVS fan since 2002, and I have all the episodes on DVD, so I'm also good for asking detail questions.  Finally, I am an English teacher.  If anyone is interested in me for a beta, then send me a message through the BSV! 
"Do you like my mask?  Isn't it pretty?  It raises the dead!"--Giles, "Dead Man's Party'
Feb 03 2008 04:51 pm   #6slaymesoftly
Thanks everybody! It's wonderful to see that I have some good options to which I can refer new writers.  Many of them really struggle to find someone willing and able to beta for them, and end up too discouraged to continue.  I hope we can keep this thread visible on the forum list so that it will be easily found.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Feb 03 2008 05:53 pm   #7nmcil
While I can't help with writing I would be very happy to help with any grapics for stories - can't help much with slash projects however as my heart belongs to spuffy -
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Feb 07 2008 01:33 am   #8LindsayH
Hey, just saw that this thread was the last one listed on the main page.  I thought I would do what slaymesoftly suggested, and keep it visible for the people who might need it.
"Do you like my mask?  Isn't it pretty?  It raises the dead!"--Giles, "Dead Man's Party'
Feb 07 2008 03:01 am   #9slaymesoftly
Thanks, Lindsay!
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Feb 09 2008 12:34 am   #10slaymesoftly
I'm just bumping this up again because we have some submissions that will be needing beta assistance, and I want them to be able to find you easily. 
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Feb 10 2008 06:06 am   #11LindsayH
I never have known where the word beta comes from in this regard.  Since we're trying to keep the thread visible, would someone mind having a conversation with me on the subject?
"Do you like my mask?  Isn't it pretty?  It raises the dead!"--Giles, "Dead Man's Party'
Feb 10 2008 03:31 pm   #12slaymesoftly
I'm not sure either - I would call a beta an editor. I think (just guessing here) it comes from the computer world where a "beta" version of something is a test version.  Perhaps the users who do the testing are known as betas?  Which was then somehow adapted to mean someone who sees a fic before it's public and finds the bugs in it?  Anyone?

And thanks for keeping this active!
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Feb 10 2008 05:10 pm   #13LindsayH
Yeah, that does make sense.  I mean, if the creator is the alpha, or the first to see it, then the second to see it would be the beta.  For some reason, I thought it might have something to do with Betamax tape players.  Thanks for the info, Slaymesoftly!
"Do you like my mask?  Isn't it pretty?  It raises the dead!"--Giles, "Dead Man's Party'
Feb 10 2008 06:17 pm   #14Eowyn315
From Wikipedia, that everlasting font of semi-reliable knowledge:

"A beta reader (or betareader, or beta) is a person who reads a work of fiction with a critical eye, with the aim of improving grammar, spelling, characterization, and general style of a story prior to its release to the general public.

"The author or writer, referred to as the alpha reader, may use several betas prior to publication. The term "beta" is an appropriation from the software industry which uses the terms alpha and beta for software that are internal works in progress, and publicly released tests, respectively (though a beta may still be tested internally)."
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Feb 10 2008 10:35 pm   #15jess2357
Awesome! Thanks guys for telling us this - have been trying to explain to friends what a beta is, and having the explanation of the term itself really helps.
Feb 13 2008 06:00 pm   #16Izzy
I was thinking about a temporary beta and thought this should be put up as recent again for others people to see if they need anything.

Feb 14 2008 12:34 am   #17SanityFair

I would happily help with spelling and grammar.   I'm strictly a Spuffy shipper.

"I'm fine. I mean, I'm not running around, wind in my hair, the hills are alive with the sound of music fine, but..." -- Jenny Calendar
Feb 18 2008 02:04 pm   #18slaymesoftly
Hi, I'm just bumping this back up because I've referred several writers to it recently, and I want them to be able to find it easily.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Feb 22 2008 03:58 am   #19Spikez_tart
Bump
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 25 2008 05:34 pm   #20devonkmiller
 Hi, my name's Devon and I would love to be a beta! I'm a voracious reader of BTVS/ATS fic and I would really like to be more involved in fandom. If anyone would like to try out a first-time beta, I'd do my best for them.
I am very good at spelling, grammar, etc. I have a history degree and would be helpful in that area also. I also speak a little French. My email's devonkmiller@gmail.com.
Thanks!
Devon
 
Feb 27 2008 12:08 am   #21slaymesoftly
Thanks, Devon. The more the merrier!
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Feb 28 2008 12:21 am   #22SpikesKatMac
I know I've spoken with Izzy and Lady Yashka, but there are a couple of other people I've been beta'ing for, and I may not have your latest email/entry *kicks stupid computer 'round the room*; if I've been beta'ing for you, or if you emailed me about beta'ing, and you've sent me something lately, please please send it again; I don't have anybody's contact info, and when my damn computer decided to give up the ghost *kicks computer again* I lost everything; then I got it back for about...oh...maybe 2 hours??... and then lost it all again, just in time to lose a new batch of emails.    So, please, PLEASE, if we've been discussing your stories, or if you sent me an email in regards to beta'ing and are wondering why I haven't gotten off my lazy ass to reply, it's not my fault!!!  *Points finger accusingly at computer*.  It's his!!  Please email me again; I'm soooo sorry!!  *Drop kicks computer until it cowers in the corner*  Thanks, guys!! 
A beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain - Matthew Arnold
Mar 06 2008 12:42 pm   #23slaymesoftly
I'm just bumping this up again; but while I'm at it, I'd like to ask if you all (those of you who have put your names on this list) have received any requests? Partly out of curiosity and partly wearing my mod hat and wondering how many authors actually avail themselves of the help sites that we suggest. 
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 06 2008 01:58 pm   #24SpikesKatMac
hey Slayme; I've gotten several requests; at last count, I think three authors have contacted me in regards to being their beta
A beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain - Matthew Arnold
Mar 06 2008 02:38 pm   #25jess2357
Am currently/have beta'd for 3 people. Seems to be working.
Mar 08 2008 01:26 am   #26dawnofme
I thought I'd bump this up again and add my name to the list of available betas.

I've beta'd for two others in the recent past.  I've been focusing on grammar in my own writing, so the rules are fresh in my mind.   I'm catching on pretty fast.  

Thanks to Slaymesoftly, who has been a great beta for me, I have had the perfect example of what a beta should be and do.  

I can help with research, plot, dialog, catching the odd typo, spelling, etc.  

You can contact me at dawnofme@gmail.com.  

I prefer Spuffy, but I can tolerate Spangel and other pairings.  All ratings and subject matter are okay.
Mar 08 2008 01:42 pm   #27slaymesoftly
Awww. Thank you, D! 

And thanks for letting me know that authors are following up, you other gals.  You're doing them and the fandom a real service by helping them polish their ideas into something special.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 13 2008 01:39 am   #28slaymesoftly
Just bumping this thread up again. We have some new authors/submitters crying out for help.  I want them to see who has offered it. *waves at all my cheerful volunteers*
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 13 2008 10:56 pm   #29slaymesoftly
Bumpity bump, bump.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 14 2008 12:57 am   #30LindsayH
Hey, slaymesoftly, I got a message from a person wanting a beta, and in her message she mentioned she was in the 6th grade.  Um, I know it's none of my business, but isn't that a little young to be reading some (most) of what's here?  I sent a message to Dia, but I guess she hasn't gotten it yet.
"Do you like my mask?  Isn't it pretty?  It raises the dead!"--Giles, "Dead Man's Party'
Mar 14 2008 01:22 am   #31slaymesoftly
It definitely is, Lindsay. Thanks for mentioning it.  It also goes a long way toward explaining the quality of some of the submissions we've been getting lately.  We were sure some of them were written by very young writers - but not that young! If you have her e mail address, you might suggest to her that she should not be on this site.  However, in looking at the disclaimer below, I see that it only says to use your head about what to read, and tells parents we can't be responsible, so I guess we can't tell her to go away.  We can only hope that she sticks to the PG or PG13 ones. (fat chance, I'm sure).   I think Dia, Always and I may need to discuss this and see if there is something more we can do. 


I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 14 2008 02:41 am   #32LindsayH
Thanks, slaymesoftly. 
"Do you like my mask?  Isn't it pretty?  It raises the dead!"--Giles, "Dead Man's Party'
Mar 14 2008 04:14 am   #33Eowyn315
However, in looking at the disclaimer below, I see that it only says to use your head about what to read, and tells parents we can't be responsible, so I guess we can't tell her to go away.
I know it's difficult to control what people read, but what about what they write? I mean, would you delete an account if you knew the author was under 17 and was writing an NC-17 fic? I'm not sure how you'd know, unless someone volunteered the information, but I was just wondering if you had a policy about that. When I took on a new author last year, I could tell she was pretty young, so I asked how old she was and told her I wouldn't feel comfortable betaing for her if she was under 17 and planned to write an NC-17 fic.

Also, while I'm here, I may as well add my name to the beta list. I'm currently betaing for 3 different authors, but they're not keeping me too busy, and as I'm not writing anymore, I find I have more time on my hands. I'm very good at spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and I'm happy to offer plot, characterization, or style advice if you need it. I'm also a canon whore, so I'm good for fact checking.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Mar 14 2008 11:58 am   #34slaymesoftly
Woopie! Eowen is on the beta list!  LOL  Thanks for volunteering your expertise and knowledge.

I can remember BSB or Dia telling someone on the forum (I think it was Dia - we didn't have a forum before) not to mention her age, because then we would have to tell her that she shouldn't be here.  We can't control what people read - and as someone who read whatever she wanted to when I was a kid, I'm not sure that I want to.  However, we definitely shouldn't be accepting NC17 fics from writers who are younger than that.  We're going to have to address this.  Maybe we need to ask for birthdates in the bios for new authors.  Yes, they could lie, but at least the site might be covered. 

So far, I don't think it's a big issue in terms of what's on the site, because most of these submissions lately have been completely unacceptable.  It's annoying for us - to have to read them and respond to these authors - but it does keep them off the site.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 14 2008 04:29 pm   #35SpikesBoii
Can anyone Beta me for my story "Dreams Of Eternity"? Because I could really use the help.
To all who like writing stories.... I need help real bad if anyone would like to help me email me at gangstarr663@hotmail.com thanks!
Mar 15 2008 01:36 am   #36slaymesoftly
Sorry for the spamming, but I've promised to keep this easy to find.

Also - for those of you looking for beta help - don't forget that there are threads on the forum that provide some help. It's possible that you could study them and perhaps do a great deal of the hard work yourself, so that the beta just needs to polish it up for you.
http://www.bloodshedverse.com/forum.php?go=sub&no=17 is the main thread, just click on the things you think you need.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 17 2008 10:50 am   #37just_sue
*waves*

Just dropping by to volunteer my services as a beta. Currently beta for a few folks but have time for more.

All I know of AtS5 is basically from fanfic, so defo not a good area for me if research and canon guidance is needed! LOL Otherwise will happily look over plot, grammar, characterisation, punctuation, spelling etc. Feedback and suggestions given unless told otherwise. *grins*

Strictly Spuffy to any rating, just drop me a maile at justsue2005@yahoo.co.uk. BFN!
Apr 07 2008 11:13 am   #38LadyYashka
I'm not actually offering to beta, but I saw the new "I need a beta" thread and thought I'd bump this one up. (I have my reasons for not being a beta, dyslexia being one of them.)

Anyway, those looking can check this thread out. Also, Spuffy Realm now has a beta list as well.

Hope this helps.
Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters. — Neil Gaiman
Apr 07 2008 10:54 pm   #39slaymesoftly
Thanks for bumping  it up.  I was thinking about doing that yesterday, and then, there it was!  We refer people to the the list all the time, so it helps to have it visible.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 08 2008 03:31 am   #40LindsayH
I was just reading through this thread and saw that a question about the response to this thread.  I've been asked to beta by four authors.  I didn't want to beta for two of them because they were too young to be writing what they said they had written, and the third sent me his/her stuff.  I didn't like the story, so I didn't take on that author for betaing.  Is that wrong? 
Anyway, with the fourth author, goldenusagi, I was lucky to find a story that I really enjoy.   I totally recommend "Sideways."
"Do you like my mask?  Isn't it pretty?  It raises the dead!"--Giles, "Dead Man's Party'
Apr 08 2008 03:55 am   #41Eowyn315
I didn't like the story, so I didn't take on that author for betaing. Is that wrong?
No... betaing shouldn't be a chore. It's a voluntary service, and it should be an enjoyable experience. If you don't like the story, why would you want to force yourself not only to read it, but to spend time working on it (especially if it's a long fic that you're going to be spending weeks or months on)? Some betas actually specify in their profiles the types of stories they'll work on - maybe only certain pairings, or they won't do fics with certain warnings or ratings, or they don't like all-human. We all have different preferences, and the author would probably be better served by someone who does like the story.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Apr 08 2008 04:23 am   #42slaymesoftly
Sideways is great., Lindsay.  Congratulations on being a part of it.

No, you aren't obligated to take on anyone that you don't want to.  Certainly turning down writers who are going to be too young to post what they're writing is more than all right.    I also think it's all right to tactfully tell a writer that you don't care for the story. As someone put it when asking me that same question, "I just feel I can do a better job as a beta if I'm enjoying the story." I think that's a fair thing to care about, although maybe a hard thing to say to someone.  It's easier if you don't like the theme - you can just say "I don't like vamped Buffy fics" or "I don't like slave fics" or whatever.  Harder to say kindly when it's just so bad that you don't want to read it.

Without getting terribly critical (and reminding everyone that I am the wicked witch of the west), there are some people who should not be writing things for others to read. True fact.  In some cases, you could add a "yet" to that; and bless those people with the patience and willingness to suffer who are able to work with those writers and try to help them improve.  I am of the opinion that it doesn't do these other writers any favor when no one speaks up and tells them (gently) that they have a long way to go before they will be able to write something that is enjoyable (not painful) to read.  So, being turned down by a beta because just fixing their mechanics isn't going to create a readable fic could be something that will help them out in the long run. Whether because they change their minds about posting their work and thereby save themselves some very unkind, flaming reviews; or because they determine to improve to the point that someone wants to work with them and do whatever it is they need to do to get there.

In light of what I've seen somewhere else on a list of betas, I'm just grateful that we have volunteers who are actually literate. LOL Feel free to turn down anyone if you don't feel that you can help them.

The other side of that coin, of course, is that some of these writers might very well become much better with some help. The key there, is whether or not they think they need help and are willing to accept it and to try to learn from it. As painful as it might be to beta for someone whose work you don't want to read, think how accomplished you would feel if you could help turn someone who couldn't write into someone who can.


I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 11 2008 04:57 am   #43TrenchCoatVixen
I've never done it before, but i'll beta if someone needs me too. I'm anal about spelling and grammar. Hope I helped!

"The pen is mightier than the sword...Unless that sword is a lightsaber, in which case we're screwed!"
~Trench~

Apr 13 2008 06:45 pm   #44Eowyn315
Just bumping this up as we've had requests for betas posted.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Apr 14 2008 02:41 am   #45TrenchCoatVixen
I need a beta. So, who wants to stretch their beat stuff?

There are cookies involved...

floo_sypmtomsLJ User

"The pen is mightier than the sword...Unless that sword is a lightsaber, in which case we're screwed!"
~Trench~

Apr 14 2008 01:04 pm   #46Always_jbj
Just a suggestion, but if people are being rejected for poor mechanics, volunteering to beta for others is probably not a good idea.
Aim from the heart
Some will love and some will curse you, baby
You can go to war
But only if you have to 


Fanfic ~*~ Artwork ~*~ Live Journal
Apr 16 2008 10:55 pm   #47slaymesoftly
Just bumping this up again.  You'll all be happy to hear that Dia is hard at work on the structure of the new beta list, so we should have something up and running soon.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 16 2008 11:46 pm   #48Spikelissa
I know that this is a volunteer forum but I have to comment.  I have taken your suggestions Always_jbj and understand.  I have gotten grammar books and even vocabulary books to brush up on.  I am not coming on here sounding like a disgruntled  reject.  What upset me when I was turned down for my story was grammar and spelling.  Spelling errors I was more than upset with.  I have always been a great speller.  I can understand being turned down because of grammar but that is why I had it betaed.  I have since purchased a few things to help me with this.  Books, programs, and whatever else I needed.  This is very important to me because besides reading this is getting me back to writing again. 

*Putting the RL on backburner and helping me cope.* I worked pretty hard on my first fan fiction...I have work on a non fiction and trust me right now that is struggling and I might possibly try to turn it into a fiction instead.

I am having a difficult time getting a beta.  I thought I had one but well, after the turn down from BSV she kind of disappeared on me.  I have sent numerous emails out.  I just saw this forum posting and will possibly send an email or two to someone else but...I'm really to the point of giving up. 

I was told my idea was insane that there are too many characters but they're so many for a reason.  The plot I don't have any problems with.  Apparently, it is my grammar, vocabulary, and spelling that seem to be the problem.  I am to the point that the three stories I do have started should be for me because I have sent and sent and sent and maybe I just have this vibe that says ignore or quite possibly invisible.  Personal, you betcha.  RL is hard as it is and the computer, the only place I get lost in has me running too.  I didn't want to take this hard or get slightly personal but for someone who has no self esteem took this hard.  I am a very emotional person, sorry.

I needed a place to bring me out of my doom and gloom *lol* and with my beta...god knows where, and the fact I can't find others to beta...I have lost hope.

So I thought I would add that this is great and all but to some who I might add is NOT an underaged writer took it hard when she took always_jbj's advice and help.  I purchased some tools to help, books, and bookmarked certain sites.  After a week I am very discouraged and ready to quit.

If someone could maybe brighten my day that would be great.  I have tried every venue and have been so close to actually going to my fanatically proper English etiquette mother who just so happens to be a Speech therapist for the deaf.  She is very critical and this is something I don't want her to read.

Little run down I have three stories plus notes on a nonfiction.

Blood Ties - the many characters but works just ask me I can fill you in.

If I'm not in love - song story post BTVS

Live In My skin - A game crossovers two groups of people.  I have another love and its called One Tree Hill.  Just Like I love Spuffy,,,I love Lucas and Peyton.  So if you know the show you have been warned. 

Help?

Sorry this was so long.  I am at work now but I will check back later but I must warn you I am close to giving up.

Apr 17 2008 01:15 am   #49Spikez_tart
Lissa = don't give up.  You should never put the thing you love to do at the mercy of other people. (Especially your mother.)  Writing takes time and effort and the ability to get over disappointments.  Personally, I found that I really needed to learn to edit my own work.  I went over one story about 35 times (literally) before I posted a single chapter.

I'm sorry I can't help you myself, but I have three or four other writers that I'm neglecting.  Maybe you need to take a writing class or join a writing group - then you can get some personal help in the areas you need and meet some other writers.  Nanowrimo.org has regional sites and some of them have started writers groups.  They're mostly amateurs so I think you'd feel comfortable and there's no cost really.

I did have an idea, which I throw out for the gang to consider.  What if a writer volunteered to post a chapter of a story or an outline on a forum and let anyone who wants comment and give advice?  I'd be willing to be a guinea pig.  What's everyone think?
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Apr 17 2008 02:46 am   #50Always_jbj
Spikelissa,  I'm sorry if you took the rejection hard, it was not my intention to hurt you.

Unfortunately the BSV is a moderated site, and when you submitted your chapter you did agree to the rules which state that a story has to be beta'd and reasonably error-free. All new (to the BSV) authors are subject to validation. Many don't get validated on their first submission, and we always let you know that you are welcome to resubmit once the mistakes have been fixed. I gave you links to quite a few places (not just this thread) where you should have been able to find a good beta to help you go over your chapters and fix the mechanical errors.

Also, I didn't mention spelling once, so I'm not sure why you are upset about the spelling, nor did I mention anything about the idea or the number of characters, so again I'm a little confused.

Please don't feel that the rejection was an indication that you should give up writing, simply one that you (like ALL of us) could do with a good beta to help you. 
Aim from the heart
Some will love and some will curse you, baby
You can go to war
But only if you have to 


Fanfic ~*~ Artwork ~*~ Live Journal
Apr 17 2008 02:47 am   #51Eowyn315
Lissa - just sent you an email.

Spikez_tart, that sounds like an idea with potential. I know there are a lot of readers who would like to offer constructive criticism, but aren't sure if the author wants it or will appreciate it, and there are probably authors who would like that kind of feedback, but aren't getting it from readers. I certainly wouldn't consider it a substitute for a regular beta, but it could be a fun and helpful exercise.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Apr 17 2008 04:04 am   #52Spikelissa
Always_jbj it wasn't you per say and I took what you said easier than another on Spuffy Realm.  That crushed me. 

I appreciated what you gave me and it wasn't necessarily what you said that made me almost give up.  As for the spelling comment that was in the original message along with grammar mistakes.

I have ran this quickly through my WhiteSmoke program and I see what you mean.  I should have looked more at it.  It was more the rejection of finding another beta and the lack of getting another eyeful on what needs to be corrected.

As for the characters of my insano story that comment wasn't towards you always_jbj someone else made this comment that I was pushing the limits with so many new characters and not to mention using all of the BTVS and AtS characters.  Sorry I generalized and vented what has been said to me.  Again I didn't take yours that badly...more about it wasn't as perfect as it should be.  I really took someone else's badly.  It was truly a bad day.  Thank you for being a good mod!  Better to look good than messy.  I tell my daughter that all the time!

Eowyn you have no idea what your email made me feel.  I want so much to be able to write at even the slightest caliber that I have read on here and your stories that I have read are written so well.  I hope you can help, thank you.

Sorry for sounding like depresso girl but it really was getting frustrating finding a beta.  I'm really glad I found this forum!  Good on you Spikez_tart!  Spikez_tart I'm not going to give up that easy but sometimes it feels that way.  All of you have inspired me to try writing again...thanks for giving me something to make me feel like me again!  HUGZ

Apr 17 2008 04:46 am   #53Spikelissa
I did have an idea, which I throw out for the gang to consider. What if a writer volunteered to post a chapter of a story or an outline on a forum and let anyone who wants comment and give advice? I'd be willing to be a guinea pig. What's everyone think?

That should be posted as a new forum.  It could get lengthy!  It should be more along the lines of a short synopsis to give those an idea, then go from there.  It could help first time writers like myself, give prospective beta's an idea where they are going with there story.

Example post a few key paragraphs or suggest a certain amount of words that can be posted on the forum.  The writer should pick a piece that is good that can lure a prospective beta in.

If I'm not making sense I am beat.  Work was unbelievably boring and way too much to do and I'm counting the days until I have my cherished three days off next week.

If a forum can be started this way then I would choose my best paragraphs for those to see but I will be sneaky and run it through my program first.  I love this program it makes me think and re-word what I said!  It's not cheap though and WORD pales in comparison.  I use to love Word and now I completely use this program.  Unfortunately I didn't have it when I tried posting my story but I used it on my second and wow its great!  When I am stumped on a word I think of a word closely related to what I am looking for type it into the dictionary and out shoots the definition and thesaurus.  I know you can get this online but this proof reads!  Sites don't.  It made me rethink everything until it was correct.  I can even use it here but too lazy and tired to right now.

If you did that idea Spikez_tart I would be right in that forum or here!  But not a whole chapter...just a bit of it.  Good idea it can help get writers and prospective beta's involved more.

Apr 17 2008 05:20 am   #54Eowyn315
I don't think the goal would be to post your best work in order to get a beta. The goal should be to provide a space for writers to get the kind of constructive criticism they would get from their beta, but from a whole bunch of people at once. If a reader and a writer connect and a beta relationship happens out of that, great, but it's not an audition, and writers shouldn't post thinking they need to impress anyone.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Apr 17 2008 07:15 am   #55Spikelissa
Interesting way of perceiving what I wrote.  Maybe I wasn't clear...sorry over tired but what I think I was trying to convey so ineloquently (I'm really tired if I'm questioning  that  word  I  hear it enough at work) was the idea as a good one to the writers mostly.  Mainly to help them and to see responses of what they, the writer, can improve on.   I would partake in this and not just to snag a beta...it would be an added plus but not the primary reason for it.  I think its a rather good suggestion but the reasons behind posting a few paragraphs to me was sound.  What I tried to say was I would do my best to make sure it had little to no mistakes but not to audition.

Wow I didn't mean it in that sense.  I meant it more from the point of getting readers interested and yes if someone who happens to be a beta takes notice thats good too.  It IS hard for new writers to find beta's and especially in a strictly computer environment.  Well, I found it hard.  OOPS sorry if I made it sound that way.  I chuck it all up to the men who are my bosses at work and they drive me crazy!  So I rambled sorry!  I will be clearer and less drained.  More precise next time!  Night!  Thanks again you've all been great!

Apr 17 2008 01:07 pm   #56Spikez_tart
Work was unbelievably boring -  LOL, isn't it always?  Another fine reason not to give up the things you love to do. 
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Apr 17 2008 06:29 pm   #57Spikelissa

Couldn't agree more!  Youtube seemed to start singling people out and permanently suspended my account and well I have no idea why and no letter stating why...it's just gone.  Yes I made vids and oh boy did they drive me insane but I loved doing it.  I always took absolutely no credit except for having fun and being creative.  I wasn't making money off this and for some reason others are still around making their Spuffy or what ever kind of vid they choose. 

Don't get it but won't stop doing them although took a break so I could write.

So on top of the beta issue which I believe its changing...Thanks to Eowyn and finding out my other beta was sick...come to find all my vids and my favorite vids were gone.  Talk about upset...I was at the point I refuse to go back. 

If anyone knows about Freewebs let me know.  I'm trying to fix my site but leisurely. 

All of you have been so great!  Thanks!  Back to boring work!

I may be a beginner writer but an avid reader and can catch 'others' errors.  I can be like the last person to polish it so to speak. But I will wait on that until I have improved my writing first.  I will keep you posted.  I have a knack for picking up on those tiny errors...now if only it can bleed into my own...





**If I cannot do great things, I'll do small things in a great way**


Apr 18 2008 02:49 am   #58slaymesoftly
Wow! Go away for a day and things really start jumping.  I take it that Spikelissa has found some help, so that's good (and the purpose of this thread).  Hopefully, the support from everyone on here will help her recover her enthusiasm.

I like the idea of writers who are interested and willing submitting chapters for feedback from mulitple people. That's what writers' groups do and it does help tremendously.  This one will spot the confusing sentence, someone else may bring up a possible developing plot hole, and another eagle-eyed member will catch the typos.  I'm not sure that sort of scrutiny is necessary or even desirable, though, for someone who has a lot of mechanical problems.  It could be kind of overwhelming to someone who is sensitive to have several people correcting your spelling, grammar and sentence structure.  Most of the people in the writers' group that I'm familiar with are  pretty strong writers already and strong people, to boot. So for them, a criticism of the way they've worded something is a welcome flag that they haven't gotten across what they intended.  However, for someone with less self-esteem, hearing that a particular paragraph didn't make sense, or that a particular character didn't sound right could be something difficult for them to accept cheerfully.  Not to mention, if the chapter comes back covered in red ink due to mechanical errors, that could be depressing.  Until a writer has confidence in her story and her writing, I think it might be better to keep that sort of thing between her and her beta.  That's just my opinion, based in part on Spikelissa's reaction to being rejected at more than one site. 

Being rejected is always disappointing, but if it's for mechanical issues - those are easily fixed, the rules can be learned and steady improvement is possible.  Having good story ideas and the desire to tell them is something that is much harder to teach or learn. If you've got that, you're way ahead of the game already.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 18 2008 09:46 pm   #59Spikelissa
*EDITED* Wow Slaymesoftly.  I'm warning people who offer to beta to tread carefully with me I fall in, well actually no, I fall below those in your comment about self-esteem.

I can take it...sometimes.  I guess my writing is not as good as it once was.  But I'm glad I had some come forward to point it out and point me in the right direction.

I really thought I went scene to scene thoroughly, guess not. 

Currently looking for sites that could aide me in writing because I am bummed the class I wanted to take coincides with my job.  I'm not looking for sites that give you rules and regulations and examples.  I'm looking for something constructive with visuals and testing capabilities.  I'm more of a see and do.  That sticks with me rather than reading nonsensical words and lectures that bore me to tears.  I'm action girl.  Give me a brief run down then try it and learn it that way.  I have no idea where to begin to search for something like that.

I am not in anyway looking for a new beta I am pleased she came to help me!  She is a fantastic writer and honestly I want to be a great writer too.  So I am taking everyone's advice. If someone else wants to help too...well the more the merrier...and I will improve rather than try to fail out like I did when I was about to bail.  What I am doing is...Going to brush up on skills...Do a little schooling...I want to be like those strong people Slaymesoftly spoke of...

Eowyn you did an amazing job along with LadyYashka and a few others to keep me going but to improve. 

I sometimes let my emotions get the better of me...Slap me upside the head when I do that. 

I also need to learn to get to the freaking point...

Thanks again

Apr 19 2008 02:36 am   #60slaymesoftly
LOL - well, that little piece was fun and amusing, so you're off and running.   If you'd rather learn on your own, so to speak (although, you need to know the rules - sorry, there's no getting around that), I suggest you find a used high school English text book (even 8th grade would do it).  You can read the rules, read the examples, and then each section will be followed by a short practice test.  Of course, unless you can get a teacher's edition, you won't know if you did well or not; but you might be able to figure it out by flipping back to the examples and comparing them to your answers.  *shrugs* just a thought.  (By the way, what are examples but visuals? Not sure what you're looking for by way of helpful sites.

Another suggestion - your fic that has been giving you trouble is a very ambitious undertaking.  Perhaps you should put it on the back burner for now, and try writing something shorter that can be beta'd and re-written (if necessary) fairly quickly and easily? Something in which you are not quite so emotionally invested might be a little easier to work with.  
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 19 2008 06:44 am   #61Spikelissa
What I meant by visual.  I want something interactive.  DO something not listen to the professor or instructor go on and on, on the subject.  Sure teach but don't do it the whole time.  That's why I hated my Comp & Lit 1 professor but absolutely LOVED my Comp & Lit 2 professor.  I was even nervous when I found out he wrote his own textbook but the way he taught his class was interactive.  I like that a lot. 
I haven't gotten to go through all the sites I was given because well I am focused on something else right now that's more important.  An inspection on my apartment.  I hate them they are yearly and personally it feels like an invasion but I say whatever.
Yes, I have two very long stories on hold.  One I will probably make two versions of it.  I have one that will probably run under 11,000 words almost done.
I do better being taught than self taught but what Eowyn is doing for me is remarkable and I can't thank her enough.  It pushed me to actually get off my lazy bum and do something different with my life.  I want to write but I also want to pursue web design and so get out of office administration...it's rather boring.  Where this all came from?  Well, by coming to this forum...Talking with Eowyn and helping me immensely....and LadyYashka...and now a few of you.  But it really started with Always_jbj and actually should be thanking her because I rashly got this story out and now I have to backburn it for awhile. 
I found a few things to do after my chaos called my apartment is done and then I will get moving on perfecting or getting somewhere near better than what I hashed out.  Once I do a refresher run then...I will sit down with this story but until then its learning for me!   Muchas thanks!  LOL Spanlish ughh...Ok long day tomorrow and Sunday...God I hate Spring cleaning and stupid inspections. lol

Apr 19 2008 06:46 am   #62dawnofme
I was going to send this to Spikelissa as a private email, but I thought others might be interested as well.  


I took up writing again after a fifteen-year break.  I realized right away that my grammar and other writing skills were VERY rusty.  

I would not have considered posting a fan fiction story without having a beta or two look it over first.  I spent a lot of time online and reading old textbooks to improve my skills.  

Slaymesoftly's recommendation to get old textbooks is a great idea.  That is what I did.    

I spent a lot of time finding websites that had free advice and lessons.  Below I list my top three sights that I've used.  Two of them have quizzes and you can see the results right away.  I took the quizzes to see where my weaknesses were, and then I concentrated on those areas of the websites and took the quizzes again, until I got high scores.  


1.)  The Little Brown Handbook 9th Ed. is a great textbook.  Many of the exercises can be done online.  If you can find this book somewhere, I recommend it.  You can do the exercises even without the book here:  http://wps.ablongman.com/long_fowler_lbh_9/12/3213/822567.cw/index.html

2.)  Guide to Grammar & Writing site.  They have many quizzes and it's pretty easy to find what you want to study and then take the quizzes.  grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

3.)  The OWL at Purdue website.  I love this one, but I can't remember if there are quizzes or not.  The navigation bar to the right will take you to other areas on the site.
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/539/01/ 


On her LJ community riters_r_us, http://community.livejournal.com/riters_r_us/ , Slaymesoftly recommended a great site that I try to read at least once a week.   After my betas, I have learned more about writing style from this site than from any book I've picked up.  http://edittorrent.blogspot.com/

I hope these sites help you.

Jul 15 2008 01:59 pm   #63slaymesoftly
I'm just bumping this up again. We've had another spate of submissions that we've had to turn down for mechanical issues (Mostly.   We try not to reject fics for lack of artistic merit unless the plots are so full of holes that you can't find your way through them, or the characters are totally unrecognizable, However,  we would appreciate any assistance betas can offer in those areas...).  It occurred to me that referring rejected writers to the beta thread would be easier if it were visible on the forum once in a while.  

Putting on my Wicked Witch of the West hat again, a few of the rejected fics had been beta'd, (according to the authors). If something you've beta'd has then been rejected for mechanical issues, perhaps that's not your forte and you should make your authors aware of that so that they can find someone to help with those aspects of the story.  Having more than one beta can be very helpful to an author, and is not an insult to anyone. Everyone brings something different to the table and the more eyes that go over a story, the better it is likely to be.

Anyway, we haven't had any action on this thread since April, so it was time to bring it up again and maybe rope in a few more volunteers.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Jul 15 2008 08:34 pm   #64EveryLastDrop

I am an aspiring writer eager to volunteer as a beta. I have a good grasp of grammar, sentence structure, and spelling and the technical side of things if an editor is all you want in a beta, but I wouldn’t mind acting as sounding board too. I am more than willing to help someone with ideas and thoughts if they need help organizing details, continuity in the plot, characterization questions, or deciding when to show and when to tell in their writing. I own every Buffy episode on DVD and could help with details of canon or random facts if they’re needed.  I don’t mind spending a lot of time on a long fic or putting a lot of effort into a short fic.

I am not comfortable with male/male slash scenes but other than that, I doubt there is anything I’d shy away from. Depending on what is asked of me, I could respond to e-mails or get back a beta’d chapter in one or two days at most.

I would love to help someone else trying to share their ideas and craft them into a fic!  If you're interested, please E-mail me at
Azami.diva@gmail.com 

EDIT: Sorry, but I am currently unable to beta.

I do remember what I said. The promise. To protect her.  If I had done that... even if I didn't make it... you wouldn't have had to jump. But I want you to know that I did save you. Not when it counted, of course, but after that. Every night after that. I'd see it all again. Do something different. Faster or more clever, you know? Dozens of times, lots of different ways...
   Every night I save you.

Jul 15 2008 11:32 pm   #65slaymesoftly
Woot! Thank you and welcome, ELD.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Jan 16 2009 11:51 am   #66Spikez_tart
bump
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 11 2009 01:10 pm   #67Spikez_tart

Since Alexannah asked - here's some fine volunteers. 

Writers - one of the best ways to improve your writing is to beta for someone else.  It's incredibly easy to see the mistakes other people make.    and it gives you a new perspective on your own writing. 

Readers - here's your chance to help out your favorite writers or somebody new. 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Mar 02 2009 03:55 pm   #68slaymesoftly
Bump!

While I'm bumping, I may as well remind both authors and betas of a few things.

Authors - when your hard-working beta has flagged or corrected mechanical errors for you, those are NOT suggestions. They are instructions. Question them, if you don't understand why the changes were made, but ignore them at your own peril.  And just so we're clear, the mechanics of writing include things like typos, spelling errors, incorrect word usage, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure.  Nuff said?

Betas - I know it's difficult and uncomfortable to intrude into someone's story telling; however, please remember that we have criteria that include recognizable characterizations as well as plot logic and flow.  Any time you can gently point out that a character is not speaking or behaving in a recognizable manner, or that a plot is making no sense whatsoever, your mods would greatly appreciate it.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 17 2009 01:11 am   #69slaymesoftly
Bumpty bump bump
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Jun 02 2009 03:17 am   #70Spikez_tart

Betas that go bump in the night.  If you love Spike, be a Beta!

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Jun 02 2009 05:06 am   #71LisFayte
Me! Me! I love Spike, and the Spikebot.
Seriously, I love to beta, I have done it a couple of times (I even find myself betaing fics I am reading )
I do well with spelling, grammer, sentance structure, and for non-Americans, the slang. I also do well with plot holes.
Lis
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.--- e e cummings

Come to challengespuffy  post Spuffy fic challenges or find something to write about
Jun 03 2009 02:00 am   #72Spikez_tart
Heh heh - I'm going to remember that.  Bloody Hell can use some help. 
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Jun 03 2009 02:27 am   #73LisFayte
She sent me the first chapter a few days ago, it's gonna be a good fic, she is a wonderful writer.
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.--- e e cummings

Come to challengespuffy  post Spuffy fic challenges or find something to write about
Jun 03 2009 12:19 pm   #74BloodyHell
She sent me the first chapter a few days ago, it's gonna be a good fic, she is a wonderful writer.

Aw, you make me blush! I've always considered myself a poor writer, nothing,  compared to some other talented writers...Thank  you very much
P.S. I'm already writing chapter two
Out. For. A. Walk...Bitch.

Icon by  xheartrockx
Jun 09 2009 03:04 am   #75slaymesoftly
Bump up!
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Jun 11 2009 07:19 am   #76LisFayte
Forgot to say, if you need a beta, contact me at LisFayte@aol.com
My account here is tied to my g-mail account, but I hardly ever check it.
Lis
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.--- e e cummings

Come to challengespuffy  post Spuffy fic challenges or find something to write about
Jun 14 2009 08:57 pm   #77Spikez_tart

Bump for those who aren't rock solid on that a/an thing. 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Jun 17 2009 03:46 am   #78slaymesoftly
bumpity, bump, bump
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Jun 17 2009 08:18 am   #79Sotia
Bump for those who aren't rock solid on that a/an thing.

Hee. Thanks Spikez_tart.
What can I tell you, baby? I've always been bad...
Jul 02 2009 02:09 pm   #80slaymesoftly
Just bumping it up again.  Maybe it's become so long that we should start a new thread?  It's pretty hard to wade through all the bumps on this one to find the names of the actual betas! LOL
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Jul 02 2009 03:32 pm   #81goldenusagi
Also, most of the names on this list are over a year old...  Things change over that long.
Jul 02 2009 11:31 pm   #82slaymesoftly
They do. I think I'll begin a new thread and we'll let this one retire.  Maybe a once-a-year update is the way to go...
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Nov 28 2009 04:44 pm   #83slaymesoftly
Just a reminder that the new beta list is up and active and can be found in the links to the left on the home page. I notice that there are not many names on it yet, including many people who were on this list.  I suggest that new authors looking for betas and having trouble finding one might go to the link to "Old Beta List" that is at the top of the new list.  I suspect that many of the people on that old list are still willing and able to help, they just haven't put themselves on the new list yet. 

And, if you were on that former updated list, but haven't gone to your account to get yourself on the latest one, please do so.  It won't take long, and it will put your name out where authors can find it easily.

Thanks!
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.