I have the pleasure of hosting author Michael Mandrake today to the Reading Nook and I got to admit, I am fangirling this like mad. *laughs* Just a note, remember to enter the giveaway at the end of the post. The author is giving away 3 Ebook copies of Reconnection & $5 Amazon GC
'The Importance of a Great Beta'
Today, I’d like to share with you how important it is to have a critique partner or beta. Now, some of you say, what’s a beta? Well, it’s a person who critiques and or edits your work before you submit or publish it. In many instances this person will call you to the carpet, hopefully nicely and respectful, and spot when your plot is off or wrote something entirely silly. Some like to help with your punctuation and or spelling as well. Even though all are important, the one that sticks out most is your plot. Does it make sense? Are you wandering aimlessly in storyland and boring the hell out of your reader? If this is the case, the beta tells you this and puts you back on the right path.
Even after four plus years, I’ll admit, I’m still a newbie and have made some mistakes. In the beginning, there seemed to be a lot more than there is now. Why? Because I didn’t have a beta and in a couple of situations, the proofer or editor didn’t catch the error and it was published. *bangs head on desk* We’re all human so this will happen but having more eyes on your stories will limit the amount of errors and or plot holes in your story.
These days, I’m very blessed to have a few betas. Some I’ve asked more than most. In the most respectful and kind way, all have told me what I needed to work on and what worked in terms of plot. I’ve also had a few other authors and friends who’ve read my stories. Whoever has done it, I’ve definitely appreciated the feedback regardless of the tone. Some of them have been tough which is cool because you really don’t want your beta to stroke you too much. Find the faults, celebrate the good stuff and give pointers. The key, again, is doing it respectfully.
So now you know what it is and how important it is to have one. Authors, tell me what you think? Do you send your stories to a beta(s)? Readers? Do you read for an author? Let me know some positive experiences. And thanks to all my betas as well as my brilliant editor, Elicia for correcting my errors. *smile*
Blurb: Every once in a while, the average looking guy scores!
Robert McIntyre is a closeted, average looking sports columnist for the Daily Read. Unfortunately, his desire to stay in has cost him the chance at love more than once. However, now it seems his luck will change since his editor has asked him to interview, Jake Valenta. Jake and Robert knew one another in college and when he heard from a mutual friend that Jake might be bisexual, Robert didn’t believe him.
Before Robert’s trip, they discover a mutual affection for one another. Jake shares his desire to stay behind closed doors because he can’t stand being called a fag, but desperately wants Robert to be his man.
Robert and Jake want a chance to reconnect on a more personal level, but will this budding relationship ruin their careers?
Later on that evening, Jake and I finished our meal and we returned to the couch with wine and beers in hand. Jake is a masterful griller, cooking steaks with side salads and corn on the cob. It had been a while since I had such a filling and well cooked dinner. Most of the time in Chicago, my nights were Chinese takeout or fast food burgers.
“Ah, now this is nice. You and me, on the sofa, drinking liquor with sports on the TV. Can’t get any better than this.” Jake popped the cap on his beer open.
“Yeah, well, the NBA isn’t one of my favorite sports, but I guess it will have to do. It’s either that or hockey.” I cracked open the Merlot and poured myself a glass.
“You’re not into either one?
“Nope. Baseball’s my first love. Football is second for me. I love college and pro.”
“See I hate college football. I think it stems from our alma mater’s pigskin team getting more recognition than we did.”
“Yeah, and they got all the funding too,” I added with a laugh. “The NCAA knows college football can command more money than baseball, so they give them more attention.”
“And they didn’t even deserve it. They went 7-4 last year, for fucking last in the conference. We went to the playoffs and beat the number one seeded team.”
“But no one likes college baseball.”
Jake waved his hand and took another swig of beer. “Ah, whatever. I’m gone anyways, but it still sticks in my craw how they considered as unimportant.”
“You weren’t irrelevant, just the team. What happened when you got to single A, by the way? You weren’t seeing the ball, or…”
“I thought we were forgetting about the interview, Rob. Let’s save that for when we talk on the record.”
“I am. I’m just curious, that’s all.”
“I haven’t got a clue, Rob. I just wasn’t picking up the pitches like I should’ve.”
“Hm, well I’m glad everything’s going well now. The general manager was wondering if he’d made the right choice with the pick. I knew you’d get it together sooner or later.”
“You had faith in me?” Jake caressed my leg through my jeans and flashed me a wry grin.
Feeling his hands on me again caused the adrenaline to rush through my veins. I desired nothing more than to attack him on this couch and forget all about the game on television. “I’ve always had faith in you.”
Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Thorough these, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media.
To find out more please visit Michael Mandrake at Wordpress
Author Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have
3 4 different muses running around in her
head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex
In addition to being a computer geek and a metalhead, Sharita loves live music, reading, and perusing the net for sexy men to be her muses. She’s also a founding member and contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.
For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com as well as her Facebook fanpage, The Literary Triad.