Last week in Beta Readers – How to Critique, we discussed what authors are looking for in a beta reader, along with some things to consider when critiquing an author’s work.
This week, we provide more detailed tips for beta readers, specific dos and don’ts to make beta reading a breeze, allowing you to be honest and give the writer what he/she wants.
– Give examples of ways to improve the piece, if you feel there is a need.
– Praise the writer for the parts that are well-written and/or well-researched.
– Give the same sort of critique that you would like to receive if you had written the piece.
– Ask questions if you don’t understand something. The answers to your questions will determine whether the part in question is confusing or you missed/misinterpreted something.
– Be specific in your critique. Vague comments like ‘this isn’t right’ are not helpful.
– Don’t be sarcastic in your comments. It’s rude and upsetting.
– Don’t just say that something ‘doesn’t work’… explain why you think it doesn’t work.
– If you are confused by something, suggest ways in which to make that part less confusing.
– Never insult the author personally.
– Never flame the writer just because you may not agree with certain viewpoints that he or she has brought into the writing.
We hope you’ve found our tips helpful. If you have any critiquing tips not mentioned here, we’d love to hear them!