Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Consistency, Critique Partners and Betas

Keeping a character consistent during the novel-writing process is a challenge, right? Especially if you take ten months on that first draft like I did. My MC changed in my mind throughout the year, as did my moods, and my inspirations. I had to be careful during revisions to make sure I kept my characters each true to themselves.

I think even if it's not intentional, what you're currently reading helps shape what you're writing. You get influenced by character traits, dialogue, themes, etc. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. Just reminding you not to get offended when your critique partners or betas say, "THIS CHARACTER WOULD NEVER SAY THIS!"

Which brings us to critique partners. They're miracle workers. They have the ability to spot redundancies and stupid phrasing and to tell you you're using laying when it should be lying. They're the ones that pester you every day asking for another chapter ("What do you mean, you don't have anything else written yet? SNAP TO IT!" I owe these ladies my sanity. My story wouldn't be the same without them.

And betas. OH LOVELY BETAS! (The ones that had nothing to do with your writing process and read the whole story when it's "finished") For taking the time to read all forty-one chapters of my little contemporary YA story and loving it to pieces, I will be forever grateful. Your suggestions (and the catching of my inconsistencies!) were taken to heart, and it's because of you my story is that much shinier.

Cupcakes and sparkles to my home team: Kristi, KM, Amy, and Cari.

Do you have an amazing team of critique partners and betas helping you out? How much do you love them?!


10 comments:

  1. The only problem with a CP is if they are reading batches of the ms over a period of time. They won't notice the inconsistencies like a beta reader will. That's why my CP and I decided to do something new for our books. We'll crit chapters in batches like before, but then read the book all the way though like a beta reader (for several reasons I'm not going to go into here).

    Fortunately I also have a list of beta readers, so someone will catch those inconsistencies. :)

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    1. My CP partners and I do that too. We love being able to see how our stories have changed/improved by the time that big draft is finished. And betas are lifesavers, aren't they? Mine helped me so much!

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  2. Stina is right about needing someone to read it all at once, just like a real reader would. Then they'll see inconsistencies better.

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    1. Completely agree. I had two amazing betas for this book. One is a writer and one is a reader/book reviewer. They read so differently from each other and spot different things. Both of them were SO vital to helping make my book sparkle. <3

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  3. I always worry about character consistency, and my CPs and beta readers are so unbelievably helpful with that and with so many other issues! Thank goodness for them. :) Hope everything's going well with the contemporary YA!

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  4. Yes, yes, yes! I never would have grown this much as a writer without my CPs and Betas. I'd still be tossing around adverbs like they were confetti! :) Although...a bad beta reader can really set you back. Choose wisely!!

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  5. My sister is the best CP. She comes fresh eyes and always knows when there's inconsistency or when a character is acting out of character. Ha.
    Catherine Denton

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  6. Well, don't I feel all special. *grins*

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  7. I have betas, and I've recently gotten some CPs. Speaking of which, I have a chapter to read from one of them. They really are life savers!

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  8. I read this yesterday but didn't have time to comment! Must say it again, Kristin -- it was a PLEASURE reading for you. :) I am very grateful to the CPs in my life, too. :)

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