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Fanfic Writing Meme #24

In the home stretch! 7 more entries until the end of this meme.

24. Betaing – How many betas do you like to use to make sure there aren't any major flaws in your fic? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?

This is a little embarrassing to admit: I don't use betas. I think the main reason for that is I don't really consider myself a serious writer, and I just write what I want. Hm, I'm not sure that makes sense, and it's hard to explain. I'm writing just to write for myself, so I don't feel that consistency is so important that I need someone to read what I write and find problems in it. I would rather just write what I want to write, and if it turns out that people find problems with it, that's fine.

My husband sort of serves as a beta reader, as he reads almost everything that I write before I post it. So far, though, he hasn't pointed out any major errors. Of course, that might be because he often points things out while I'm writing, when I talk to him and ask him for opinions or suggestions. By the time he reads the final draft, he's already helped me work out the kinks.

I'm also personally obsessed with consistency and cause-and-effect, so I spend a lot of time making sure there are no logical holes in what I write. (I'm making no claims on the quality of the writing itself.) I will often write a scene, then read it while moving around in the room, imitating what the characters are doing, to make sure I don't have someone getting up from a chair when he's already standing, and things like that. During The Actor, I drew the schematic of the slave ship so that I knew where all the characters were and what directions they had to turn to get to different parts of the ship. And the ending of that... I diagrammed the temporal path the Doctor took in that story, then researched the show to make sure that I could support the paradoxes with in-canon explanations of them (the Google doc has a comment on it that says, "This is ridiculous, but if Moffat can do it, so can I!"). It's fun, though, to figure all that stuff out.

Meme Master Post



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 20th, 2014 07:15 pm (UTC)
That's quite interesting :)

I don't use betas, either—I guess I consider beta-reading to be mostly about grammar, and I just reread my stories carefully to make sure there's no mistake (and trust my readers to let me know if I overlook a gross mistake—which doesn't always happen, mind…). I'm a bit like you in the fact that I don't consider that fics need super careful proofreading on the story itself (also, my fics are insight-focused more than plot-driven so the coherence problem is less there). Original work is different…
Jul. 21st, 2014 03:22 am (UTC)
I've never done an original fiction. I'm definitely inspired directly by DW, and haven't had the bug to write something original. Maybe someday? No idea. I'm enjoying DW way too much to worry about that.

Edited at 2014-07-21 03:28 am (UTC)
Jul. 21st, 2014 06:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm a bit similar—I only write original for NaNoWriMo… always find it tough to find ideas, lol. I just prefer fanfiction on the whole =P I never care as much about my very own characters! lol.
Jul. 21st, 2014 07:47 am (UTC)
For me, it's really about not having to build a whole new world and set of characters. So much work! Well, that and just loving the DW universe, of course.

Hm, NaNoWriMo. I've never even thought about doing that. Maybe I might this year. I don't know if I could write a whole novel in a month, though. The Actor is the longest thing I've ever done, and it took two months and doesn't have enough words to qualify as a novel.
Jul. 21st, 2014 12:53 pm (UTC)
Makes sense :) I lack the imagination for world-building, personally… =P

Yeah, it's rather hard, but a pretty fulfilling experience. How long is The Actor? :)
Jul. 21st, 2014 03:58 pm (UTC)
The Actor is around 36,500 words. I was hoping it would hit 40k,but not quite. Maybe I'll try a novel-length fanfic for NaNoWriMo. I have some ideas that have been sitting on the side waiting. Are fanfics allowed for NaNoWriMo?
Jul. 21st, 2014 05:04 pm (UTC)
Yes, they are! It would be pretty great if you could try :) Even if you don't end up hitting the 50K, it's a great experience anyway, and you could surprise yourself. Some people set their own goals besides, be it lower or actually higher (people never cease to make my jaw hit the floor).
Jul. 21st, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
I probably will try it out. :)
Jul. 21st, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC)
Cheers! I'll likely be trying again this year, too (I hope!) so maybe we can cheer each other on by this time :)
Jul. 21st, 2014 09:10 pm (UTC)
You're on! :)
Jul. 21st, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC)
Jul. 20th, 2014 09:38 pm (UTC)
Technically, you beta your work yourself (as you go and after) with hubby as a beta-reader to help find flaws. In a way, you DO have a beta. Two. Yourself and hubby.

As for a serious writer...really, who is in the end? We all do if for the love of it. And if a beta isn't needed -

Fantastic answer. Highly interesting and just wonderful on so many levels!!

Jul. 21st, 2014 03:27 am (UTC)
Well, I come from a background in software development, where one of my jobs was testing, and there's a rule: a developer cannot test her own code. She cannot see the bigger picture, how the thing she just wrote interacts with the rest of the software, or even be able to think beyond the requirements of the app to see where things could go wrong. (An example is, if she makes an app that adds two numbers and it does, she won't think of how to break it, such as typing in two letters and seeing how the app handles it.)

I think it works very similarly in beta reading. The beta reader looks at the story from a very different angle and can recognize problems that the author will never see. Given that, though, I still don't use them. My husband is definitely a beta reader for me, and I so appreciate it.

Edited at 2014-07-21 03:29 am (UTC)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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