Beta Reader Problems

Beta Reader Problems

I lack confidence in my editorial abilities.

When people give me their writing, I blanch. I get all nervous about how to create my response.

I hate line editing.

I hate marking all over the paper. It reminds me of a plastic surgeon using a Sharpie all over a naked body.

Especially with kids. Because they might not read all those comments. Or they might read every one and lose their minds.

Adult writers read every comment. So I’m especially afraid to make comments on their stuff.

How do you say,“Hey, here’s my take, but maybe I’m wrong? Why did you even ask me to do this? What do I know, really? Have you noticed what I like to read? I don’t even know what ‘subtext’ really means! Also, this is ultimately your problem, right? I’m sure you’ll solve it. Because no one but you CAN solve it. Best of luck!”

How do you tell them to ‘solve it’ without breaking their spirits and what not?

Are some people’s spirits meant to be broken when it comes to their writing? Some people would say yes. Kill that crazy dream and head straight to a career in over-the-road transportation.

I would not say yes. I think that’s dickish. Writing is not like professional hockey or ballet. You can keep doing it until you tip over or your mind goes. Maybe not even if your mind goes.

Also, I think of all the crappy drafts I’ve done and the patience others’ showed with me and I want to emulate that but it seems so DIFFICULT and MASTERFUL and is there is a Subtlety For Dummies book I could check out from the library?

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