Beta Reading

Guild Of Dreams

by A.M. Justice

Njal's sagaI’ve been beta reading lately. It’s a new experience for me—while the concept has probably been around since the penning of Njal’s Saga in the 13th Century—I never heard the term until a year ago, when I plunged into the indie author world. In times past, friends, agents, and editors might read a manuscript and provide feedback, but there was no formal name for the process. Beta reading is a beautiful term, describing exactly what it is: like a software beta tester, the beta reader is privileged to see a novel at its newly hatched stage. The code is finished but not tested, and it’s the beta reader’s job to find and flag the bugs in the novel. In fantasy and science fiction, the beta reader looks not only for plot holes and gaps in character development, but problems with the world building. Is it internally consistent?…

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