Resource The Beta Reader Index v4.1 and Concrit Index -- April 2008 Update (New Info + Survey)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by BetaReaderIndex, Nov 14, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Chilla Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Thank you so much for posting this. [:D]

    I always have problems with its and it's. [face_blush]

    But my worst mistake so far was the nice word to creep. Well, I'm not a native English-speaker and I didn't know the past tense....I wrote crepped. [face_blush]
    Okay, still better than crapped.
  2. Mirax_Corran Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2005
    star 4
    Don't feel bad. I am a native english speaker, and both my parents are writers, but last night, while writing a vignette, I had to ask a friend whether to you the past or present tense of a verb. :)
  3. darksideyesplease Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2005
    star 4
  4. divapilot Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    oh, the English teacher in me had to chime in.

    "lay" (verb) means to place something. It takes a direct object.

    Present/future tenses: He went to lay his jacket on the chair. It will lay there until he picks it back up.
    Past tense: He laid the jacket on the desk yesterday. He has laid it there in the past, too.
    With present participle: Now he is laying the jacket on the table, when he knows it belongs in the closet.

    "lie" indicates a state of horizontal recline and does not take a direct object.

    Present/future tenses: He just lies on the beach all day.
    Past tense: He lay on the beach all day. He has lain there for hours.
    With present participle: He is lying on the beach as we speak.

    Tricky, I know.

    As for "affect" vs. "effect," it helps to know what part of speech you want the word to be. "Affect" can only be a verb. Affect is a verb that means "to modify." "Effect" is a verb that means "To cause" AND it can be a noun meaning "accomplishment or appearance."

    Right: (vb) I want to effect a change in that policy.
    Right: (noun) That is a cool special effect. Look at the effect of her hard work on the building.
    Right: (vb)I didn't think that song would affect my mood so much.

    My favorite confused set is "viscous" and "viscious."

    "viscous" = slow and sticky, like motor oil
    "vicious" = ferocious.

    You would probably never be attacked by a viscous dog.[face_dancing]

    Strunk & Whites' The Elements of Grammar is indispensable. You might also want a copy of The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual. Both are very good grammar resources.
  5. Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 1999
    star 6
    My personal pet peeve: then and than

    I?ve seen then used in place of than quite a bit in fanfic.

    Incorrect: ?We?re smarter then this.?
    Correct: ?We?re smarter than this.?


    Great thread!



  6. jaina_clan_solo Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2005
    star 4
    This list is great-- very useful :D

    I do have one to add though. Breath vs. Breathe.

    Breath is a noun which means: an inhalation or exhalation of air from the lungs

    Breathe however is a verb meaning: take air into the lungs and then expel it.

    that one little e makes a huge difference in the meaning of these two words.

    jcs
  7. Princess Cambria Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2006
    star 4
    Will the Beta Academy be starting soon?
  8. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    We're still ironing out a couple details and waiting until everyone goes back to school (since one of us is a teacher and I believe the rest of us are students). Sign-ups will probably start in September.
  9. DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I'm looking for a beta for a story I want to submit to the Archive. This story is completed and came out at 70,000 words. In it, Leia and Han are sent back in time to eliminate Vader on the High Command's orders. Unfortunately, they are sent too far back and arrive during Revenge of the Sith. THe challenge is then to find out who becomes Vader and to decide what to do about it. This is rife with dramatic irony and is an award-winning jaunt through time. Please let me know by PM if you're interested.
  10. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    We actually prefer that you PM the index or potential betas rather than posting requests here.
  11. BetaReaderIndex Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2005
    It?s been awhile, but the Beta Reader Index has been updated once again, complete with a new interview, a new discussion and done in lovely fall colours (AHHH! Mark-up codes! The doom of all indexers!) for your reading pleasure!

    THE BETA READER INDEX ? NOVEMBER UPDATE


    Tip of the Month:

    Be in the right frame of mind when you sit down to look over someone else's work. Don't try to squeeze it in at the last minute or do it when you're otherwise distracted. Imagine if it was someone looking at your work, you'd want their undivided attention. Remember you're doing this because you want to. -- oqidaun


    Interview

    And now an interview with the wonderful beta, VadersMistress!

    *applause*

    Please tell us a bit about yourself.

    I guess klutz describes me best. I am a fledgling writer who has ideas but never gets them written down. I am a full time college student working two jobs and a soon-to-be animal shelter volunteer. Free time is really not available in copious amounts for me. :p I am also the daughter of VaderLVR64. Umm? Yay me? :p

    How did you become a beta? Did someone tell you that you?d be good at it? Did you feel like it?

    It all really started when my mom started writing. She forced---ow!?encouraged me to beta her stuff to make sure she wasn?t embarrassing herself. :D After that, I slowly started to do some friend?s works and then it just sort of snowballed from there. It?s amazing how that can happen.

    Why did you decide to become a beta?

    My mom made me.

    Kidding.

    I like to criticize and laugh while doing it. I also like to kick puppies.

    Kidding again.

    No, I really did it because I really like to help. Is that cheesy enough for you? Is it Swiss or mozzarella? The thing is, I really do like to help. I like to show people a few tips to turn their art into a masterpiece. Not that I am that brilliant, of course. (Well, I am, but we all know that. :p) I just know a few things and usually they figure other things out for themselves. I?m just the middleman.

    How long have you been a beta?

    Since 2002. Weird, eh? I?ve been that big of a dork for 4 years? AHHHH!!!

    What was the first story you betaed?

    Oh golly on a stick. I have no idea. It was something of my mom?s. Probably her first story, whatever that is. :D

    Do you beta a lot?

    I beta a fair few pieces a week. It?s relaxing so I like to do it. It also helps me keep up with my grammar skills.

    Do you beta in other fandoms, or just Star Wars? Do you beta original fic as well?

    I?ve done stuff for Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean and more. I?ve also done some original work and that?s been the most interesting because I meet new characters. Characters in fandoms (even new ones) tend to be pretty much interchangeable if the author is not careful, so original work is always fun.

    If you write fan fic, do you use a beta for your own stories? Do you beta your own stories?

    I use my mom the most. Hehehe. She?s a good beta. When I got something into the archives, I used several beta and they did more for that piece than I can ever thank them for. They are the reason it was allowed into the archives, not me.

    Why do you feel it is important for people to use betas?

    It?s always good to a have a fresh pair of eyes (how gruesome) look at it to catch the things the author didn?t. People have an emotional attachment to their work so they inevitably miss stuff or want to include stuff that may not really work for the pie/>/>
  12. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Great interview, Meg!! And I [face_love] the colors, Idri :)
  13. VadersMistress Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 6
    Jade, as for nauseous v. nauseated, did you get that from Never Been Kissed? Or at least, is that what reminded you of it. Because I love that movie and the fact that you brought it up made my hysterical with the giggles. :D

    Thanks for interviewing me! :D [:D]
  14. DARTH_MU Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    Please don't make requests in the thread; PM the betas or the index sock.
  15. BetaReaderIndex Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Welcome to the April edition of the Beta Readers' Index update! It's been a long time, so we have a lot of news and announcements.

    • Due to the much-hated DRL, we've lost over half of our indexing team. Those of us remaining have decided that if we can buckle down and get this running again, we won't be requesting more indexers.


    • We have decided that, for the time being, our updates will be every other month instead of every month. Our track record isn't amazing, but we're really going to try to revive this.


    • We don't have an interview with a beta this month, but we'll be sending out a bunch so that we can have some saved up. We also are still hoping to get a good "Tips for Betas" section up with each new update, so if you have any tips, please PM them to this sock.


    • We have a pretty intense outline for the Beta Academy, thanks to ophelia. We're going to work out all of the kinks and get it up and running in June, after school lets out.


    • If you are interested in helping with the Beta Academy, PM us! We need both people who are willing to teach individual lectures and full-time staffers (just for the Academy). We'd really love some help.



    The Beta Academy

    As stated above, we want to get the Beta Academy up and running in June. The academy will be a four-week training course where you will read lectures, discuss techniques with teachers and fellow students, and practice proof-reading on a piece of work that someone else wrote. At the end, you will take a final exam that we make up. For students who want or need it, there will also be one-on-one individual training with a beta master.

    The academy will be held off-site at a private board. We will PM links to those who sign up for the class.

    If you are interested in being a teacher or writing a lesson, please contact us either by PMing BetaReaderIndex, NYCitygurl, or Idrelle_Miocovani. If you want more information about doing that, you can send a PM as well.

    For those of you who are experienced betas, we have a test that we can give via PM. You don't have to take it by any means, but those who do will have a note in the index by their names that they passed it, and will be our recommended betas. If you are interested in taking it, please PM us.



    This month's article is Lisa Vogel's Rules for Writers. It's a really excellent article for writers, and for betas, these are good things to watch out for. They don't all necessarily apply to writing fan fiction. As always, a couple of these rules can be bent depending on the style of the story.

    Rules for Writers

    1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects

    2. And don?t start a sentence with a conjugation.

    3. Avoid clichés like the plague.

    4. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration,

    5. Be more or less specific.

    6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

    7. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

    8. No sentence fragments.

    9. Contractions aren?t necessary and shouldn?t be used.

    10. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

    11. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it?s highly superfluous.

    12. One should NEVER generalize.

    13. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

    14. Don?t use no double negatives.

    15. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

    16. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

    17. The passive voice is to be ignored.

    18. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however
    />/>
  16. CrazyAni Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2006
    star 4
    Wow, amazing update! As for rules for writers, you have me a little bit worried here:



    8. No sentence fragments.

    13. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

    16. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

    17. The passive voice is to be ignored.

    26. Who needs rhetorical questions?

    27. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.


    And what are, people, allowed to use?! :p

  17. MsLanna Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2005
    star 6
    Those rules[face_laugh]

    But some do have me worried. She seems to exlude everything I everl learned as stylistic devices. Except the more difficult ones with long greek names.


    2. And don?t start a sentence with a conjugation. I never would. And I never have.[face_not_talking]


    8. No sentence fragments. [face_worried] [face_worried] :_| My secret indulgence...

    15. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. :confused: Could somebody please explain that one to me? I didn't undestand it at all.[face_blush]

    18. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed
    in commas.

    *gets out Destruct-comma-o-matic*:D
    I hate those buggers, anyway. Never seem to get them right.

    19. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice. Often I don't know the small words, that's university education for me. *sigh*

    24. Puns are for children, not groan readers. You're trying to tell a fan of Terry Pratchet....? o_O

    26. Who needs rhetorical questions? I?



    She should have added, what I think is one of the most annoying things in fiction, or non-fiction, I think it happens everywhere, especially in German, we're prone to it, when people just absolutely forget, and don't even notice, to use a full stop for ages.
    *wehatesit*
  18. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    For those that are a little confused: note the disclaimer ;) I was given the article when I was writing a term paper, and there all of those had to be followed. Like we said, some of them can be bent or broken when you're writing fiction as stylistic devices. For instance, the rhetorical questions one can be used when you're having characters speak, or when you've got a first-person POV narration. However, if you're in third person and speaking as the narrator instead of as a character, rhetorical questions are to be avoided.

    Basically, don't use symbols like & for and when you're writing.
  19. Persephone_Kore Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2006
    star 4
    The one about abbreviations is an odd thing to require following in a term paper. Certainly you shouldn't be sprinkling your term paper or most stories with "v." for "very," no. If you're writing "very" so often that you want to abbreviate it, perhaps you should consider Mark Twain's advice, which was to use a curse word every time you were tempted to say "very," and then edit out all the profanity. ;)

    On the other hand, abbreviations such as i.e., e.g., ibid., and et al. are all entirely legitimate in academic writing. They would be stranger in fictional narrative!
  20. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Guess my teacher wasn't a big fan ;) And many of them do apply to writing fiction, which is why we used them here :)
  21. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 4
    Those rules were classic!

    Since I tend to use parenthesis (alot).:p

    ~MJ@};-
  22. BetaReaderIndex Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Just a reminder that we really need help with the Beta Academy. With school out we'd like to get started, but two of us can't run it on our own. Just PM either BetaReaderIndex or NYCitygurl (which is faster :p ) if you would like to help.
  23. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    The above is still necessary, especially as we've gotten almost nothing. Please, please help!!
  24. BetaReaderIndex Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2005
    BETA INDEX UPDATE ? JULY 2007

    Tip of the Month

    ??Good writing comes through hard work and revision. Nobody?s experience is more important in and of itself, not in writing. The experience only becomes interesting because the writing is interesting. Robert Graves always said that the writer?s best friend was the waste-paper basket?? ? Alan Wall, HarperCollinsPublishers, Need to know? Writing Fiction.

    You could also say that the
    fan fic writer?s best friend is a beta reader?? ? Idrelle_Miocovani?s random tip for the month (you can tell she?s struggling to find tips)


    Interview of the Month

    And now, this month, we have an interview with the wonderful beta, Jturtle!

    Please tell us a bit about yourself.

    I live in the in a small city near the Rocky Mountains where I attend high school. I?m an only child and I?m on the school swim team and Spelling Team. I?m interested in individual sports for competition. I was introduced to the world of fanfiction in 2004 and I?ve been hooked ever since.

    How did you become a beta? Did someone tell you that you?d be good at it? Did you feel like it?

    I became a ?beta? when my friends from school asked me to proofread their papers. Apparently they liked all the red marks I made on their papers because they said I was very good at it. Beta-ing fiction seemed like a good thing to do after I?d been reading for a while.

    Why did you decide to become a beta?

    I decided to become a beta almost on impulse. I figured it couldn?t hurt to try and if it didn?t work out I could always stop. It turned out to work very well for me and I?m certainly glad I did it.

    How long have you been a beta?

    I have been a beta since Sept. 2006 online. I joined TF.N?s fanfic archive beta mailing list a few months later. I?ve been working with my friends in RL since Jr. High.

    What was the first story you beta-ed?

    I was a temporary beta for CrazyAni?s fic Change of Fate. I must say that was a huge learning experience and I tremendously enjoyed working with her.

    Do you beta a lot?

    I beta regularly but I wouldn?t consider it a lot. I try not to take on so many pieces that my ?turnover rate? is slowed. The most stories I take on at one time is about three.

    Do you beta in other fandoms, or just Star Wars? Do you beta original fic as well?

    I?ve done some beta-ing for a friend who is beginning to write in the Naruto fandom. I?ve also considered beta-ing a little in the Harry Potter fandom but I?ve not done anything much yet.

    If you write fan fic, do you use a beta for your own stories? Do you beta your own stories?

    I use a beta for everything except challenge responses. It helps give me a different perspective on my own fic. This is also why I don?t beta my own fiction. It ends up frustrating me and I get very little done except for correcting the grammatical errors that I can catch. Often times I just skim over it before I send it off to be beta-ed.

    Why do you feel it is important for people to use betas?

    It often makes a better fanfic if there aren?t errors in spelling or grammar. Spell/grammar check is great but it certainly doesn?t catch everything. Even a beta doesn?t catch everything but they do find things and it makes it a more enjoyable read without the little errors.

    A beta also looks for things like plot, continuity, and characterization. The beta is the only help the author has before posting aside from rereading. These mistakes are often a lot more detrimental to the story and a beta?s help here is even better.

    Do you feel that it is important for a healthy beta/writer relationship? Why?

    It?s almost always best to have a healthy relationship with those you work with but I think a healthy beta/writer relationship is especially important. It?s important for the beta because this is for fun. No one?s getting paid. There?s no reason to hang around if it?s no fun at all.

    For the author, />
  25. MirandaFair Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2005
    star 4
    Wow, great interview with Jturtle, Idrelle_Miocovani. Always love to read about the many talented betas out there. I also enjoyed the ABC's article to betaing. Very helpful!

    :)
Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.