the delphic expanse

This ain't your momma's beta reader!

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This ain't your momma's beta reader!

Postby Aquarius » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:57 pm

I have a proposal, for any of you who would be willing to try something a little experimental in terms of fanfic writing and beta reading. It's actually an extension of a Peer Tutoring class I'm taking at school.

Most of us have been through a beta reading process, and it's usually a "red pen" type of experience. While -- at least speaking for the beta readers here at the expanse -- we try to explain things instead of just edit, it is, admittedly, an editorial process.

As an employee of the university's writing center, my job will be to help people with their writing, but in a much different capacity than, say, a professor or an editor. It will still involve working with the writer on a piece of writing, but I"ll be more like a guide than someone who wields the red pen.

I have to put in 20 hours of tutoring experience for my class, and my professor has given me approval to spend five of them applying this approach to beta reading here. It might be a pretty good alternative for those of you who are a little intimidated, as you will be in control of your piece at all times.

But it's not just for those who are beginners or intimidated. The writing center at school is dedicated to helping any writer, on any piece of writing, at any phase of development. That means you can come in with an assignment when you're at the "I hate writing and I have no clue how to begin" phase, or when you're an experienced, competent writer who has a finished piece and just wants another pair of eyes. And any skill/experience level or phase of development in between.

I need to work out some details yet, but I'll most likely be conducting beta sessions over Skype or Yahoo Instant Messenger. This won't be like a traditional beta where you drop it off and someone tells you how to fix it. You are going to do all the work. That means that you'll have to commit about an hour of time to working with me on your piece if you volunteer to try this. My professor is pretty excited about this, because the writing center is looking at adding online support to its services, so I'm sort of pioneering something on both ends.

So, if you have a piece of writing you'd like to beta, and you're willing to give something new a try, please PM me and we can see if our schedules coordinate somewhere. I'm looking at starting this sometime in the next week.

You can post questions here or PM those to me as well.

Thanks! 8-)
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Re: This ain't your momma's beta reader!

Postby EntAllat » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:16 pm

It sounds kinda cool! I'm willing to be a guinea pig. :)
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Re: This ain't your momma's beta reader!

Postby Aquarius » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:41 pm

Cool, thanks!

It will probably be helpful if I post hours that I'm available to do this, so people can decide ahead of time if this would work for them.

Availability is subject to change, natch, depending on things like other people making appointments, getting called in to work, or special plans.

All times are EDT.

Sunday: 6-8 pm (later is negotiable)
Monday: 10 pm
Tuesday: 6:30 pm
Wednesday: none
Thursday: 7-9 pm
Friday: 10 pm
Saturday: 7 -9 pm (later negotiable)

If these times don't work for you, I may be open to negotiation for Friday morning, but I prefer to keep that block of time for errands and/or other homework as much as possible.

Thanks!
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Re: This ain't your momma's beta reader!

Postby EntAllat » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:37 pm

Cool. I'd like to take that Monday at 10pm slot.
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Re: This ain't your momma's beta reader!

Postby Aquarius » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:51 pm

Sweet. Send me a draft of what we'll be working on sometime earlier in the day, so I can print it off and follow along as we work. I also recommend that you print off a copy for yourself, as we sometimes engage things differently on physical paper than we do on a screen.

Other than that, I'd say make sure that you've got a space where you can work undisturbed, and also where we won't disturb anyone else, as talking aloud will be involved.
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Re: This ain't your momma's beta reader!

Postby paulinem » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:30 pm

Oh.My.Lord! I've been looking for something like this for ages. Can I take your Thursday timeslot? And, I'm good to go on Skype.
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Re: This ain't your momma's beta reader!

Postby Aquarius » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:30 pm

pauline, did you want 7pm or 8pm?

Okay, so I have Entallat and pauline for next week. Two will probably be the max I can handle that week--I do have to get my regular homework done, too. ;)

But remember this will be available to you for several weeks. I don't have to get all five hours in right away.
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Re: This ain't your momma's beta reader!

Postby paulinem » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:20 pm

Aquarius wrote:pauline, did you want 7pm or 8pm?


If you're still on daylight savings, then the 8pm slot would be good, that makes it 10am for me.
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Re: This ain't your momma's beta reader!

Postby Aquarius » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:44 pm

okay, cool.
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Re: This ain't your momma's beta reader!

Postby EntAllat » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:32 pm

Aigh. I'm sorry to do this Aquarius, but would it be alright if we moved my Monday night to Friday night? I've had not one, but two things come up for that evening that I'd like to attend and one of them might overlap with this.
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