Best of the Betas

A manuscript goes through many, many stages before being released to the big, wide world in all its (hopefully) polished perfection. One of the most important steps along the way is the Beta Read. Most would be books see one or more rounds of Beta reads before final editing. The invaluable task of Beta reading is done by a volunteer force of — you guessed it — Beta Readers. Every one of them is a precious gem to be coddled, applauded, and honored at every opportunity. (Also, on occasion, paid back by becoming their Beta Reader. Mwahahahahahaha!)


In all seriousness, I love my Beta Readers. Truly. I adore them, value them, and appreciate them to the ends of the earth and back. For the most part they are just as I like them; brutally honest shredders of the written word, not afraid to tell it like it is. No sugar coating. No pulling punches. What I really appreciate about the majority of my Betas is their exquisite sense of humor. You have to have that if you’re going to work with me.


Since Bound in Shadow ~ The Coinblade Chronicles (otherwise known as Driev’s tale) is firmly back in the center of my plate, I took some time to read through my first round of Beta comments. I laughed, cried, swore, grinned like an idiot, scowled, argued my decisions as though my Beta’s were in the room, then decided I couldn’t possibly keep all the fun for myself. So, for the sheer entertainment of it, as well as a look at the life of a writer, I decided to share some comments.

I received this one from one of my most priceless BRs: “There are about eight million semi-colon/comma errors, but I marked ’em all for you, just ’cause I like you. It has nothing to do with me being OCD about ’em.”

Obviously he’s not OCD, and not the least bit over-dramatic either. Eight million? Really? Who can even count that high? But, just to drive his point home there were these in-line comments: JL1

Until finally!


Followed in short order by:


Yes, yes I can. And guess what? I DO IT ON PURPOSE! *sobs* He’s so mean. And yet…


Hurray for me! 😀

Outside of nit-picking the daylights out of my creative use of punctuation (aren’t the rules more like guidelines anyhow?), my Betas also alert me to typos, misused words, repetition, things that make no sense, and the obvious faux pas which I’ve obviously missed the first ten times around.


“A murmur of descent” — should this be “dissent”?
Maybe. But it’s spelled correctly, so points for that, right?

“pinching something from Runoff’s bizarre” should be “Runoff’s bazaar” unless it’s just a really weird place. 🙂
Hey, it very well could be a weird place. Don’t judge.

 “thru” throws me off (“Do you think you can follow thru now?”). I think it should be “through” unless there’s a specific reason for the drive-thru spelling.  
Drive-thru spelling. *snork* No, that’s shorthand typing when the brain is moving too fast for the fingers.

I’m sorry… the twelve year old boy in me giggles every time I read the word “taint” He needs to quit it. Not your fault. Mine. 
*face palm*

 On the street with Dolph: Did Driev tap his blade against his teeth when there’s dirt and blood on it? Ick.
Yeah. I know. But he later washes it down with alcohol so it’s all good, yes?

“She hurtled her fallen comrade” should be “hurdled” if I’m reading it correctly (hurtle = move quickly, hurdle = jump over) 
Ta-mato, ta-mahto. “She hurtley hurdled.” There. Solved that problem.

-“flat, only slightly angled roof” It can’t be both flat and angled unless by “flat” you mean “untiled” or “smooth.” 
Smooth! I meant smoooooove. Yeah. That’s it. Uh-huh. That’s what I meant alright.

-“I’ll hold you personably responsible.”
Just about everyone decided to pounce on that one. Geez. Make one little typo…

 -“I traced a random pattern…” Patterns can’t be random
Are you sure about that? I mean, it’s random but it forms a sort of pattern. Randomly. In a patternly kind of way.

“A monstrosity of wood and iron, the original architect…”  That’s a pretty unusual architect.
And he made some pretty unusual things to. Mostly out of paper mache and duct tape. Occasionally popsicle sticks. *looks around innocently* What?

“there were getting to be more players in this game than I could keep track of.” Yeah, me too at times … *g* 
Things may have been a bit unclear in the preceding passage. In my head it all made perfect sense.

-“All of them, including the few women I saw as I followed my new friends across the vast foyer, were clean-shaven” Um, clean-shaven women? Maybe reformulate?
Um, well, maybe they were dwarves. I believe Gimli described dwarven females as ‘hairy little women’. So. Yeah. Maybe they were dwarves.
Clean-shaven, dwarven women.


Thank you, Superheroes!


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  1. Hahaha amazing post – thank you so much for sharing!!!! Sometimes it’s hard to laugh at nitpicky comments, but you have a perfect attitude. Can’t wait to read some new Schwengel 😀 Love Driev.

    • Are you back from your trip?

      Ya know, if I didn’t laugh at most of them, I might cry. But that would entail tears and I save those for when Evil Authors kill my favorite characters. Not mentioning any names.

      • I am back! Canada is rejoicing at my return. Okay, not really, but it’s nice to dream.
        *shifty eyes* I don’t know what you mean….

        • Glad you’re safely back home but hope you had a blast. Didn’t Canada totally shut down just to celebrate your return? I thought I saw something about that on the news.

          Of course, you would have absolutely no clue what I’m talking about. You would never kill off a beloved character, rip out your reader’s heart, trample it under the feet of a thousand mooses… er… a thousand mooseses?

  2. In graf two your semi-colon should probably be a colon. Consistency is a nasty bittle lastard; ain’t it? Loved the post, btw.

  3. Is it something how our fingers decide on a spelling though we fully know the correct one, and then don’t see it on the page because we have the story words etched in our brains?

    Thanks for sharing. Wonderful you have terrific beta readers. 🙂

  4. With distance, anything can be endured, even the comments of beta readers. 😀

  5. Bwhahaha, these are great!

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