One of the problems with writing is that you get so immersed in the text that you can no longer tell whether it is saying what you think it is. You redraft, you rewrite, you close edit. You move a paragraph, move it back, delete it, you rewrite it only to think the first version was better. Or was it? You add it back. There are green wellies. You know the green wellies signify something but does the reader? How can you tell? Are those wellies signifying what you want them to? Should they actually be black wellies? Oh, why did you even add wellies!
Writing is a lonely and solitary business, demoralising and full of crippling self-doubt and self -criticism. Completing the manuscript is perhaps the easiest part. Now comes the time to let it out into the world. Hang on. Stop! Like the famous beer commercial – that novel is not ready. Is it?
This is where beta readers come in. I can give you constructive and honest feedback before you release your manuscript to the general public and risk soul destroying criticism which could crush your dreams. I will tell you what those green wellies mean to me.
Report will include overview of characters, plot, pacing, description, point of view, language, analysis of genre features.
Chapter by chapter review showing what am I thinking as I go along (what questions I ask, what I suspect is going to happen).
Annotated manuscript to show my 'live' reading experience (such as where I get surprised, where I am disengaged). Also marked up: places where point of view slips, jarring sentences, repeated words or phrases, spelling errors, weak verbs, cliches, where writing veers into telling.
You can see here the questions I ask myself as I read.
My beta reads
£0.001 per word
Volunteer reader with small romance publisher
Designed and delivered Creative Writing courses,
one-off sessions, and Novel in a Year programme for colleges, schools and charities
MA in Teaching Creative Writing
MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development
BA Honours in Creative Writing and English Literature
29 years writing experience
(1500 words) £38
First Three Chapters
(5000 words) £15
If you are on benefits or welfare, please do contact me at email@example.com as it may be possible to offer reduced fees
If you’d like to use me, please email me at WaltersWritingEmporium@gmail.com . Let me know a bit about your manuscript such as genre, blurb, word count. Let me know which service you would like – first chapter, first three chapters or a full beta read.
I will let you know whether I can help and let you know when I can book you in.
If you are happy to go ahead, then you'll email me your manuscript as either a PDF or a Word attachment. If you have any questions or areas of concern you would like me to focus on, feel free to let me know
I will send you an email the day I start reading and confirm when you should expect to receive my report. Typically, it takes me three days from that date to provide a full beta read
I will email you my report, provide details for payment and delete my copy of your manuscript
Payment should be made within 14 days by either bank transfer or Paypal
1. Grammarly is a great add-on for Word. It's free and can help you check your spellings
2. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Reni Browne & Dave King.
3. The Weekend Novelist Redrafts the Novel by Robert J Ray.
4. Please feel free to use my beta read document as a checklist for self editing. It's here.
5. Goodread's Beta Reading group is a great place to find other beta readers. I'd recommend hiring several beta readers in order to get a balanced view