Admit it: when you send your work to your beta readers, all you really want to hear is, “This is the best thing I’ve ever read!”
What you actually hear is a litany of what you did wrong. The whole process can crush your soul and put a muzzle on your production.
My advice is to get over it. You are too close to your work to see your mistakes, and it’s much better for your friends to point it out than for random strangers to tear you to pieces in Amazon reviews.
These are some of the things a beta reader can find for you:
- Confusing passages – Of course it made sense when you wrote it; you know exactly what you meant to say. Your beta reader only has to go by what you actually wrote.
- Inconsistencies – From characters who don’t behave as expected to huge plot holes, a good beta reader is going to spot these for you.
- Wording and phrasing – Probably realized you didn’t how worded weirdly a sentence that was.
- Overused words – Sometimes we use words overmuch when we don’t even realize we used that word when another word could have been substituted for that word.
- Pacing – It’s hard to determine for yourself where the work drags.
If you go into the process with the expectation that it’s going to suck but it’s going to make your writing better, you’ll be much better off.