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17 May 2008 @ 01:25 pm

One of the most frustrating and overlooked problems that I see in fanfic (or original fiction) is poor placement. There are a few  guidelines about this that I feel should be noted.

As in all cases, these are merely suggestions. There are no real hard and fast rules to what is “right” or “wrong” in literature. Any rule that has been made has also been broken with fantastic flair by someone, so use your best judgment.

03 May 2008 @ 10:55 am

Arguably one of the most important parts of editing is tact. Friendships and partnerships are made and broken, not by what is said, but HOW. As a beta, it is necessary to remember that we should critique, rather than criticize. What’s the difference? A critique is constructive, while criticism tends to be vague, insulting opinion.


Why is tact important?

Tact is important to master for two main reasons. The first and probably most substantial is that tact allows you to give comments in such a way that the author is likely to hear them. Comments that are rough or insulting generally are written off by the author as a personal attack, rather than a true statement about their work. They will then assume that whatever you have to say is worthless and untrue because you are just being mean. If your author does not hear your words, then why go through the trouble of editing in the first place?


 I hope that these help you improve your etiting style in a way that benefits you and the people you edit for. Again, if you have any other ideas, please comment.


General Rules – Part II: Setting up a “contract”


Before You Say Yes!!!
Once you’ve introduced yourself to the editing world, the next step is setting up an agreement with an author. Whether they contact you, or you are answering an ad for them, the very first thing to do (this is very important in my book) is to take a look at the piece you will be working on. You can do this by simply contacting them and saying that you are interested in viewing their work. Most authors are more than happy to either send it to you via email, or direct you to where it is posted, if it has already been archived somewhere. This is important for two reasons.



I think that sums up most of the main points in what to discuss with your author before you begin your work. The key to working cohesively with your author is communication. Don’t be afraid to spend a week discussing your expectations before you begin. It will save you trouble in the long run, and can often create a good long-term working relationship. If I have forgotten anything you feel is important, please let me know and I’ll add it in. Happy editing, everyone!

22 April 2008 @ 07:55 pm

If you are interested in being a beta, there is no shortage of work. There are a large number of stories out there which need a lot some editing, especially if you work in the fanfiction genres. Getting into the gig is pretty easy, and there are always authors on the lookout for help.

Part II coming soon....

22 April 2008 @ 06:28 pm

This is a community for beta readers and writers. The goal for this community is to help those who are just starting out, or for those who want a second opinion, or for betas who want some extra tips and tricks to expand their skills.

Just as a preview,  I thought I'd let you know some of the topics coming up. This is not an extensive list, nor are the topics in the order they will be given. If there is something you would like me to rant on, please don't be shy about letting me know.

  1. Common grammar mistakes
  2. Common punctuation mistakes
  3. Homonyms
  4. Placement of people, places, and things
  5. Show vs. tell
  6. Tact-how to say what you mean without being mean
  7. General rules-striking a deal
  8. Dialogue
  9. Comma usage
  10. Semicolon usage
  11. The importance of attitude
  12. Canon vs. Fanon
  13. Tenses and timeline consistency
  14. The dialogue tag
  15. General rules - know your limits
  16. A critical eye - catching the hidden stuff
  17. What to do when you're in over your head

Again, this is a working list. It is not complete without your input. If there is anything you would like to see, or would like me to write about first, let me know.