Writer's Road Recap: Finding Betas and Crit Groups

Here is an abbreviated recap of last Monday's chat on finding the right beta readers or critique group:

Heather McCorkle  Finding beta readers or critique groups can be the easy part. Finding GOOD ones, and keeping them, is much harder. #WritersRoad

Yelena Casale  to @HeatherMcCorkle There has to be a good balance betw a constructive critique and encouragement #writersroad

Heather McCorkle  The key is to know what you're looking for in betas or crit partners, and be ready to reciprocate. #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  It's important to know what you're looking for: Do you want structure, grammar, character development? Helps to know first. #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  For instance, I'm not much into grammar and misspellings. I like having CPs who can do structure/plot/character stuff. #WritersRoad

Melinda Primrose  to @Yelena_Casale and you have to be willing to take the constructive criticism #writersroad

Fifi  to .@HeatherMcCorkle yes. I think before agreeing with being partners we should not just share samples but talk schedules. #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  CPs don't necessarily need to tell you how to fix your novel problems, but they can let you know what's not working. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  to @mmpmuskie So very true. And you have to be willing to give it, constructive being the key element. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  to @Fida_Islaih Great idea! Sharing samples and testing styles is the way to start. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee) The SINGLE most important thing to look for in a beat or CP is honesty. Blowing smoke will NEVER help you. #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  Do you guys tend to have CPs & beta readers who are in the same genre? I've have mixed experiences. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee)  Don't be afraid to ask for what you want from your beta. Be specific. Never vague. #WritersRoad

JR Holmes  Depending on how confident I am with my genre, I would look more for general plot, character, pacing advice #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee)  A good beta will point out areas that will improve ur ms.A poor one will make you feel bad abt your talent.Walk away from those #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  to @JRHolmes Yeah beta readers are great for pacing. They can tell you when things feel "slow" or "too fast". #WritersRoad

Melinda Primrose  do you like when your br/cp offers a way to fix a problem or not? #writersroad

Heather McCorkle  Constructive criticism, but honesty, is the key to being a good beta/crit partner. #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  What format do most of you get and/or receive critiques? Tracked changes? Notes? Summary? I usually do a chapter spreadsheet. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee)  CP rule of thumb: Always mention what u love first, THEN critique. It's just good manners. :) #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  to @KarenMusings I LOVE track changes in word. If not that, then printed out and written in red, or separate doc. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  Side note: Track changes in word are something you need to get used to cause editors use them. #WritersRoad

DahliaAdler  The big 3 I look for in a beta/CP are reliability, honesty, and editorial skill. Flaking & rewriting voice = biggest red flags. #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  Do you do critiques by chapters or do you do whole novels? Which do you find is better? Advantages/Disadvantages? #WritersRoad

DahliaAdler  To me, a CP is a real partner. Someone who doesn't stick with you when one gets an agent or deal is not a partner. It happens. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  You need a tough skin for betas and crit partners but you never have to take abuse. Big difference. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  Be careful when critiquing for others. Snark/sarcasm don't come across well in correspondences. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  And they can boarder on bullying. #WritersRoad

DahliaAdler  If a beta makes you feel bad about yourself, all the good notes in the world won't bring you back from that. Break up. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee)  Your relationship w/ ur CP shld be a partnership. Don't demand & not return. Don't give & never take. #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  How did most of you find your CPs? Most of mine I've found through writing classes. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  to @KarenMusings I foudn mine at writer's retreats. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee)  to @KarenMusings School, Workshops, this chat, actually. I've gotten to wrk w/ some great writers bc of #WritersRoad

Patricia Lynne  to @KarenMusings The2 reliable Cps I have, I found on Twitter. Also have a friend who reads all my stuff & gives her thoughts #WritersRoad

Kristie Cook  Have we differentiated between CPs & betas? My CPs are authors or editors. Betas can be writers, but also readers/bloggers. #writersroad

Karen Strong @KarenMusings Know your limits. If you really don't have the time to be a CP, you shouldn't overextend yourself. It's a LOT of work. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  to @kristiecookauth For me, my betas read the entire novel, crits might just read chapters here and there. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  World Literary Cafe is one great resource to find betas/crit partners: tinyurl.com/ofvna98 #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee)  The best CPs will help you grow as a writer. Be open & willing to learn from them & to teach when necessary. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  Absolute Write is another great resource for finding beta/crits: tinyurl.com/ovrjcgn #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  Most of my beta readers are just readers and not writers. But they tend to read in my genre. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  Absolute Write is another great resource for finding beta/crits: tinyurl.com/ovrjcgn #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  I need to troll my public library and get a teen beta reader. They have monthly book clubs that I sometimes eavesdrop on. LOL #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  There is even a Goodreads group for betas/crits that could use more exposure: tinyurl.com/o8ohezf #WritersRoad

Melinda Primrose  do you think it's easier to be honest with someone you're well acquainted with or a stranger? #writersroad

Heather McCorkle  to @mmpmuskie It's easier for me if I know them, then I know how they like their feedback. #WritersRoad

Karen Strong  Have any of you ever had to break up with a beta or a CP? How did that go? #WritersRoad

Ebony McKenna author  My rrit group recently showed me my latest WIP began at chapter 2. It hurt my brain, but they were right. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  to @EbonyMcKenna That's what I love about them, honest and helpful even when it hurts. #WritersRoad

atricia Lynne  to @mmpmuskie I'd think it'd be easier to be honest with a stranger because friends I worry more about hurting their feelings. #WritersRoad

Ebony McKenna author  Sometimes honesty hurts, but it means I can trust them not to fob me off with 'it's lovely, don't change a thing' #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  to @plynne_writes But feelings should always be important because writing is personal. Still, we must be honest. #WritersRoad

Chelsea Pitcher  The thing about CPs is, you need to trust they have your best interest in mind. That said, you don't have to agree w/ them 100% #WritersRoad

DahliaAdler  Also I have a blog mini-series on Writing Relationships, because of course I do: dailydahlia.wordpress.com/tag/writing-re… #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  Critique Circle is another great resource for finding betas/crits: tinyurl.com/qyfq7o #WritersRoad

Elaine Calloway  to @KarenMusings Not everyone needs 2write same genre, but everyone needs same work ethic. Hobbyist & career author = bad. #writersroad

DahliaAdler If you're on the receiving end, *always* acknowledge the reader's time and effort, no matter what you think of the notes. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  I haven't used them, but Scribophile looks promising for betas/crit finding: tinyurl.com/oow29p4 #WritersRoad

DahliaAdler  CPseek.com and HowAboutWeCP.tumblr.com are both great sites for finding CPs, run by awesome people :) #WritersRoad

Ebony McKenna author  I try for the sandwich approach, something positive either side of 'bad' news. And then offer ways to fix it. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  Use those resources, don't be afraid to ask their style, and let them know yours. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle  Test out each others critiquing style before committing to big projects. Make sure it's a good fit. #WritersRoad


  1. Thanks for sharing. So agree that you need to share samples and be sure the schedules match before committing to a partner.


Post a Comment

Comments are like good friends, the more the merrier!

Popular posts from this blog

Twitter Tuesday~Writer Contest & Agent Advice

Banned Books Week Hop And Giveaway

Movie Review: 47 Ronin