Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Great day with my betas!

Today I got up the courage to ask my betas the hard questions.  First, to give some background...because my manuscript is Young Adult, I wanted target audience betas.  These young adults come from totally different backgrounds, cliques, and socioeconomic groups.  I wanted a fair look at how my "readers" will connect with the manuscript.  One beta, I will refer to her as Beta A, has finished the book.  I gave her about a week before I asked the normal, what should I change? what did you like? what didn't you like?  Beta A's main comments were that she would want to read it again, at least once, and she "loved it."  She said that it really sounded like real high school relationships, which of course is what I was going for.

Beta B is just about done, but we chat everyday.  She told me today that she feels like she is reading her life story having gone through practically the same situation as the main.  I assured her that this was written two years before I met her, and she laughed. 

Beta C is just about done as well, so I have another day or two before I will be able to really sit down and hash it all out with her, but so far so good.  The one comment she said that stuck with me is, "Lucas is a really good liar.  He's so manipulative."  I couldn't say it better.  I can remember reworking him a while ago and getting so angry at him.  He's such a jerk, but he needs to be that way or there wouldn't be a story. 

I feel so good about this manuscript and hope an agent feels the same.  Enough said. :)


  1. Sounds promising! How do you go about choosing betas? I'm always nervous to ask people to read and also tell me what they think!

  2. I teach at a high school, so I know A LOT of teenagers. I chose ones I can count on being honest. I also have an adult beta currently reading, and I'm a little nervous about that one since I only know her through twitter. I trust her opinion, but still it's scary. When I wrote this two years ago (first draft), though, I also had quite a few adults read it, but they were family so I don't really count them. :) They have to like it...right?

  3. That's my biggest thing! Of course you will think family HAS to like it, b/c they're family. But then trusting someone else is so scary! Double edge sword if you ask me!

  4. I love and value my beta readers opinions, but nothing makes me happier than getting actual teenagers to read my stuff. It's so cool that you have such a large 'supply' of teens to use! :)

    Good luck with your agent search!