Advice from the Fandom—What’s up about betas?


I do use a beta and she is amazing. We have a great dynamic. She focuses on the structural stuff and makes sure the writing is clean and error free. She points out phrases that are awkward or things I could cut. Betas and pre-readers are really essential for me, not just in turning out a good chapter, but in learning how to be a better writer. This whole fan fiction experience is all about growing and experimenting as a writer for me and I’m so grateful to have their help.


My readers know about my love for my beta. We’re close and I trust her opinions implicitly. She’s a pretty hands-off beta. I usually write my chapter, send it along, she’ll tell me how bad I am at adding hyphens and commas, and then we’ll discuss if the chapter needs anything added to it. She doesn’t rewrite or ever tell me where the plot should go. She’s a strong believer in the idea that the story is mine and I’m telling it my way. She’s there for guidance and support. (My beta rocks. And she makes nutella.)


I don’t think I would publish anything without it going to at least one beta but preferably more. I don’t care how many times I have read the piece over, my eyes seem to just skip over the same mistakes. Betas are absolutely invaluable. If I am feeling unsure of what direction I am going in, a discussion with a trusted beta usually sets me to rights.


I started using a beta about 2/3 of the way through my derivative fiction and I thank God for her. First of all, she came in at about the same time that I was edging out of the “writing frenzy” and my chapters didn’t seem as strong, as a result. I have no doubt that the last part of my story wouldn’t have been nearly as strong without her input.

While my beta does catch the occasional typo or grammatical or sentence structure issue (for which I am eternally grateful–nothing like catching the typo after your chapter has been posted and read by thousands of people), I use her mainly as a pre-reader (in fact, she is one on my original work). She is probably the most insightful reader I have ever come across and she will question my characters, their motives, their dialogue, until she is blue in the face–if she needs to. If I have questions about how to get from point A to point B, she is a great sounding board and brainstorming partner. She is also free with the praise when something works for her, which is not only good for my ego, but immensely helpful.

I won’t say I utilize all of my beta’s advice. Sometimes I don’t agree with her and I stick to my guns. But I will say that hearing an alternate point of view will make me take another look at a given piece and I will make changes probably 2/3 of the time, even if those changes are small. Sometimes, though, I go to her and say, “I don’t know what to do here!” and because she knows my characters almost as well as I do, she can help me work it out.


Definitely. I actually have 2. One mostly focuses on grammar and spelling and the other works with me on the story on top of the spelling/grammar.

xsecretxkeeperx (my story beta) is like my right hand. Even though I ultimately have the say in what goes on with the story, I take her advice very seriously. What’s great about her is that she really gets my story. Even though her own style of writing is completely different than mine, when she adds a line(s) somewhere in my story, she can make it blend perfectly because she understands it and me so well.


I don’t care who you are: you are too close to your own writing and should use a beta. That, of course, means I do. In fact, I almost always use two betas – what one doesn’t catch, the other will. In some cases, I ask betas to come in at the beginning of a story to help me brainstorm ideas. Most often I don’t do this, though. If a beta editor thought I was making a bad character decision, I would at least consider making a change.

Obsessing Over Edward

OMG! Of course I use a beta, and I think anyone who doesn’t is nuts. I write my chapter, send it to my beta and they send it back to me. Pretty cut and dry.

I can tell you that I’ve had some fantastic beta’s and horrible ones over the years. The horrible ones are the ones that try to add their own personality and style into MY story.

I have people that I respect and trust, read over the content and make suggestions on flow and story flaws before I send it to a beta. Once the beta has it, they correct my grammar, spelling, sentence structures and punctuation. As for influence on my writing, they have tons. I take their suggestions on how to write a better sentence or paragraph into account, and occasionally they give me advice on plot, flow and direction of the story.


My beta is the awesome NelsonSmandela, and she is a huge help to me. She edits professionally and I am so lucky to have found her, thanks to our mutual friend Feisty. She’s very sharp, very capable and she always lets me know when I need to clarify. She also writes a gorgeous story called Darkbloom that is actually making me like Renesmee.

rochelle allison

Yes, and she’s incredible. She’s sensitive to my style and takes it into consideration, but she’s not afraid to speak up when things need clarification. We’re very open with each other.


Yes. I want someone more than just a comma-fixer. I am looking for an honest opinion, just like from my pre-readers. I trust my beta implicitly and know that what she tells me is what I need to hear.


Yes, I use a beta now, although I didn’t on my first fic. I send her the chapters, she marks it up, mostly for punctuation errors (commas are my nemesis), and sends it back to me to do the corrections. Sometimes she’ll point out the odd detail that doesn’t ring true or a sentence that she thinks I could do better on. We had a long chat at the beginning of the process, so she knows the general arc of the story, but she doesn’t comment much on content. That’s all me.


It was difficult for me to find a beta, or maybe to trust one. I didn’t have one prior to my latest story–but I think now that I do, my writing is definitely richer…and of course cleaner.

Quothme (Awake in the Infinite Cold/Type O Negative/Glitch) is extremely insightful. She gets every thing, catches all the little things others might skim over–she appreciates thoughtfulness. I’m fortunate, and she was pre-recommended so I was happy that she agreed to help me with Grave Intentions.

I think if you are going to have a beta, there has to be a mutual respect. It’s not a “do this-do that” relationship, neither is it a clean up act.

My beta influences me with her writing. When you see quality, it inspires you.

Tallulah Belle

Yes, I need a beta! My beta is the last stop on the road of notes. They help me with grammar as I am not the best at it. They also read for flow of the story and wording.


Yes, I have a beta. MrsEdwardCullenP/Pen. I have a good relationship with her and regard her as one of my closest friends. Pen has a lot of influence on my story because I trust her judgment. If she thinks something isn’t going to work or will be confusing, then I will change it.


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