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Getting Feedback – The Importance of Having your Work Read

The process of writing can be a wonderful experience, it can come very easily and words just flow onto the page. It can just as equally be challenging, gruelling and oftentimes a real hard slog when you’re faced with something like writers block. Whatever the case may be, we manage to work through it and hope that, in the end, we have something to be proud of. And we should be proud of the end result. We have worked hard and pushed our minds to the limit to create something that can be informative, or entertaining, or both. But how do we gauge whether our hard work has paid off?

Enter the Beta Reader. The importance of having your work read is paramount. I cannot stress this highly enough. A Beta Readers role is to read your work and assess it on several levels. They will let you know whether or not the story is engaging and flows evenly, if there are any issues with the narrative or plot holes or contradictions within the story. They may also pick up on other issues such as spelling and grammar and the pace and timing of certain events within the tale.

No doubt getting this kind of feedback is daunting to say the least, but it is also extremely valuable. This constructive criticism gives you the opportunity to look at your work with a more objective eye, to scrutinise your own creation from a different perspective and make decisions about your handiwork that can improve its quality. I’m not saying that in every instance the reader is right, but it’s a good idea to take their suggestions into consideration, considering they are your audience. After all, you don’t want your readers to feel confused about elements of your story because you ignored a small piece of advice given by a Beta Reader.

And to be honest, most of the suggestions you will get from your Beta Readers will be small stuff. If you’ve done your job properly (and hopefully you have) there will be little for them to pick up on. Unless you have overlooked some pretty major plot themes in your story, the feedback you get should be mostly positive and everything else will be constructive. So don’t be afraid. It’s important to have your work read, and not just by you! The benefits of having a Beta Reader far outweigh the negatives, and trust me, you are far too close to the story to view it objectively. You will appreciate another set of eyes on your manuscript, it will help you to tighten things up, improve the narrative and you might even pick up on plot themes you didn’t realise you wrote into it. Trust me, its all good.

Don’t be afraid. Be brave and let go of your work for just a little while, and when you get it back you’ll be astounded by the response.

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