Anyone work with betas?
In case you don't know what a beta is (though I imagine that around here everyone knows), it's a person who in effect acts as an editor for you... a person who gets to read your work before you release it to the general public, to give you hints on how to make your fic better (grammatically, story-wise, or whatever).
Was poking around on aff.net today, where I saw a whole category for people either looking for the services of a beta reader or offering themselves as betas for hire. I usually don't use one myself, but I often end up acting as one (anything going up on my page automatically gets the grammar/ awkward wording check, just to make sure it's generally readable).
Anyone around here use one? Do you find it helps you? What does your beta look for---just grammar, or just story holes? And if you don't, why not?
I'm not sure why I've never got into the habit of using them. It certainly seems like a good idea to have another pair of eyes looking at something before you send it out...
I use betas - sometime. Usually, when I'm not sure about a chapter and/or when I'm in a bad vein, spelling-wise, I just grab someone to act as designated beta (I generally consider "Maybe you could get a beta reader" as volunteering for the task;))
Most of the time though, beta slows thing down. A lot. Plus, I generally can survive on my own without making things TOO unreadable.
Sometimes I do, when I'm not sure about something...
I use them sometimes. Usually, though, I am too impatient to wait for one. I find them to be incredibly helpful, but I also am rather sensitive to critisism...like my title says, I'm just a hack...
I have this massive story which I have been working on for 8 years (obviously, it's changed completely since the start), and I haven't written up any of it in anything other than outline form, but I have a friend who I use as a beta of a sort, but just in the ideas sense - he gives me a bit of perspective on the deveopments, helps me make up my ind if I can't decide which path the story should follow, and I would find a beta if when I eventually get around to write this story. However, for most of my other stuff I just write it on my own, but none of it has gotten any further than my desktop so it doesn't really matter anyway.
FFN used to have an entire forum devoted to beta-readers. BenRG is a great beta-reader; he does all of Joshua Falken's work, since Joshua's primary language is Portugese.
I've never used a beta-reader myself, but I probably could use the services of a good editor or reader. I tend to either forget details that would help a scene appear in the mind of the reader or I go overboard with details.^^
I have never had a beta-reader, even though I usually need one. But like other people have said, I don't think I'd be able to stand the wait. As soon as I finish writing a story I like to put it up almost immediately(which leads to many typos, and is definitely not the way to go ^^;;;). But I'm just so impatient. It's such a bad character trait of mine.