The Black Bag

Finding Beta-Readers

UnicornAre beta-readers like unicorns – can’t find any? Perhaps my writing circle at a local level is narrow but folks with both willingness and insight are hard to find in some areas. Here are a few ways to recruit readers.

Not familiar with beta-reading? Simply put, these are people who are willing to read your work and provide feedback – they are testing your story for all the problems it has. They are useful to engage when you are a little further along than just a rough draft but maybe not ready for professional, detailed editing. Beta-readers let you know many things about your work that you miss in some way be it slow action, confusion about details or ideas that improve your concept. These readers are like a focus group and they are even more helpful in genre reading. This article provides sensible questions you can use with your beta-readers which can provide you valuable feedback.

Reading GroupBut how do you find these unicorns? Here are several ways to find them:

  • Querying for them: check out #betareaders on Twitter – just post your needs and genre on Twitter with this hashtag and you will likely receive replies. Regular scans of this hashtag may reveal several possible beta-readers.
  • Hire a unicorn tracker! Just kidding
  • Ask for volunteers from your website
  • Read this post from Belinda Pollard with a variety of suggestions.
  • Also, here’s another article from Writing by the Seat of My Pants with another good list at the end.
Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Have ever used beta-readers? Do you have suggestions for finding beta-readers? Ever caught a unicorn? I’d love to hear from you so won’t you leave a question, idea or strategy in the comment section? I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Thanks for reading!

PHS

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Clip art license via Microsoft Office

Cover art for The Black Bag licensed from iStockPhoto.com

Announcement: Blog Digest

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Archer’s Aim has been growing recently and with that in mind I have begun plans to offer a digest at least every two weeks. My intent is to  re-cap recent blogs via email as well as add few tidbits of information about me as an author and where my writing is going. I’m also planning to make special offers on the digest to my readers as well as sneak-peeks to my upcoming novel, The Bow of Destiny. If you are interested there are two ways to receive the digest:

1. Sign-up to follow by email from this site

2. Sign-up to follow by email from my Facebook page on the tab.

This will contain links to my top posts so you can easily access what interests you. Check back for news on when I will begin this endeavor – thought it will likely be next month. Show your interest and subscribe today!

I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Thanks for visiting!

PHS

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Cover-art for The Black Bag licensed through iStockPhoto

Photos licensed through iStockPhoto.

Deep POV Tips Pt. 5: Eliminate Narrative Distance

Editing for Deep POV

Editing for Deep POV

This writing tips series began after I attended a webinar in late July the subject of which was deep third person POV . Part 1 , Part 2Part 3 & Part 4 of this series are available if you want to catch-up on the topic. As promised, here are more tips gleaned from the presentation that you may find helpful as I know they will be for me.

One characteristic of deep POV is the elimination of narrative distance. What does this mean? Simply put, the reader lives with the POV character as the events happen instead of being informed or directed by a narrator. In other words, instead of using a narrative voice with tags that cue the reader on activity and dialogue by the main POVC, the deep POV style lets the reader experience the action with the main POVC.  For example:

Narratvie usage: When the door opened, Martha turned with surprise and said, “Who’s there?”

Deep POV: The door banged open. Martha whirled. “Who’s there?”

Notice the difference? There’s not a tag for Martha’s question. Also the action is ongoing in the second example which is accomplished by the verb usage and dropping unnecessary conditions and descriptions. In so doing, the narrative excess is removed along with the telling and passivity.

In my next post, I’ll focus on another characteristic of deep POV and how it is applied.

Want more pointers? Try these resources for deep POV:

Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Writer’s Guide to Emotion: Fiction Writing Tools by Sherry Soule

Check out Janice Hardy’s Fiction University.

Do you use deep POV? Why or why not? How do you utilize these and other aspects of this technique. I love receiving comments so feel free to leave one via the form. Also, you can receive notifications about this blog by email and even receive coupon to download my award-winning short story for free. Sign-up and download today!

Thanks for stopping by and reading.

P. H. Solomon