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View Full Version : Beta Volunteers (Read the First Post Before You Post!)


Jae Onasi
01-23-2007, 12:42 PM
OK, you might be asking "What's a Beta Volunteer?"

Betas are people who will evaluate your story, generally before you post it in CEC (though sometimes after if you're doing a revision), and then make comments on it. Once they return those comments to you, you then revise your story with that critique in mind, and it helps to make your story better. Sometimes your beta reader can see problems and mistakes you can't see because you're too 'close' to the story. I've found having a beta reader (or two or three :) ) has made a big difference in the quality of my stories.

Now how does this thread work?

People who want to offer services as a beta will post here with their particular interests and areas of expertise. If you need a beta reader, look down the list and find someone with compatible interests. Read over their works in CEC and the Archives to see if their style meshes with yours. Then PM that person to ask him or her if s/he can beta your story for you.

This is for people offering to beta read, not for you to ask for someone to beta-read. I'll delete any posts other than those volunteering to be beta-readers.

Beta volunteers are just that--volunteers. Just because their name is on the list doesn't mean they are required to beta for you if they're not interested in your particular kind of story. Please don't give a beta volunteer a hard time if they decline to beta your story. There may be a lot of reasons for that. The chief reason is lack of time, and another big reason is lack of expertise in the area about which you are writing. For example, I don't know anything about the Jedi Academy series, so I wouldn't feel qualified to beta those stories. It won't be cool if I learn a reader is harassing a beta volunteer for not taking on the reader's project. Also, if a post says the beta volunteer is no longer available to help, don't PM that person to ask him to beta.

For beta readers--you should have some experience with writing. You don't have to be an expert (I'm certainly not one) to give a good critique, but you do have to know a little bit about writing. :) Please see the Padawan's Guide to Providing Good Critiques (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=174471) for some good tips on constructive criticism. This is a place for people to come for help. If you can't provide constructive help, then you might not want to volunteer here. I don't want to hear complaints about vicious attacks on someone's writing, since that doesn't help anyone. If for some reason you post as a volunteer and then later are too busy to beta read, please edit your post to say you're no longer able to accept fics for a beta read. It's fine if you want to beta only specific things instead of entire stories. If you feel like you're an expert on ships, for example, and you want to beta only chapters that write about things specific to ships or the Navy, but not the entire fic, that's fine. Just make sure to say so in your volunteer post.

Volunteers, it'll be very helpful to writers if you can put the following information in your post:
Your interests and specialties
Types of fics you're willing to beta
Types of fics you aren't willing to beta
Link to your best fic(s), so people can see your particular writing style
Anything else you might find helpful for a writer to know.

Writers: When you send something to a beta reader, make it easy on them. Double check your work first to make sure the obvious mistakes are taken care of. Your beta reader is there to help you, not be your English teacher. Fix all your spelling and punctuation errors before you send it off. Their job is to find the issues that need to be fixed. It's not their job to fix them, that's yours--it's your story, after all.
Sending a copy of your story to them in Word is usually very helpful--ask them what format they would like the story in and then put it in that format for them. They're doing you a favor. Please make sure to credit them in the chapters that they help beta for you.

Have fun, and I look forward to seeing even better stories develop.

JediMaster12
01-23-2007, 01:16 PM
Awesome thread Jae!

I would be happy to beta for people, particularly those who are taking their 'first steps into a larger world' in the world of fiction. My personal preference and area of expertise exists mainly with KOTOR, TSL and the Star Wars movies. Outside of that, I hav a working knowledge of things like criminal justice and customs. In the expert thread I have listed expertise in the realm of magic and religion. I can correct grammar issues and help with sentencing for non English writers or people where English is not their first language. Examples of my writing can be found in the links in my sig and reviews for some can be found under the Critic's Two Cents thread. I offer my services whenever I can.

Diego Varen
01-23-2007, 03:25 PM
I agree with JediMaster12. Great Thread Jae. Anyway, I'm offering to help those out who struggle writing English and correct any errors. If you want ideas of my works, as JM12 said, click the links in my Sig.

Edit: Just to update this post.

Specialties: Spelling/Vocabulary/Continuity/Format of Fic
Best Work: The Sera Tana Saga (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=174590)
Fan Fictions Willing to Beta: Any Fanfiction/Short Fanfiction/Poetry involving the KOTOR, Jedi Knight and Battlefront series. Although I mainly don't mind, as long as it is Star Wars, but I do excel in the areas already mentioned.
Unwilling to Beta: Any Non-Star Wars Fic, although I may make exception if I like what you're writing.

Additional Information:

As I said earlier in this Thread, great Thread Jae. I'm willing to test my skills as a Beta and would be happy to do it for anyone, but I mainly excel in the areas shown above. I don't mean to be rude, but I would like to be credited as Beta reader by the writer, unless if I say not to.

My Fan Fiction aren't the best on LF (That goes to Jae), but in my opinion, which might be bragging, they aren't the worst. They are understandable, but even I, who has known English all their life, still makes mistakes. I'm a good speller, but Word can pick up somethings that I can't, so if I'm sent something to Beta read, I'll type it on Word, before PM-ing it back. I can try to find alternative words to repeated words, if you keep using the same word.

It is polite for writers to give credit for the help in their chapters and stories. Also--the reader should be typing it into Word for you if you prefer to beta the chapter that way. Thanks for the compliment, too. --Jae

If you want to read more of my works, click the above link and PM me if you're interested in having me as your Beta reader.

Dark_Lady
01-23-2007, 03:57 PM
Specialities: Grammar, punctuation, spelling, formatting, continuity within the story
Willing to beta: Pretty much anything, although I prefer action
Unwilling to beta: Poetry
Link to my best fic: The Lost of the Jedi (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=173822)

HK-42
01-23-2007, 05:55 PM
Specialities: mostly Grammar, mostly punctuation, mostly spelling, mostly formatting, mostly continuity within the story(Im not going to say im 100% because nobody can be)
Willing to beta: Pretty much anything
Unwilling to beta: Poetry or non-starwars
Link to my best fic: [FIC][AU]Star Wars: The Jedi Purge's Failure (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=174837)

Emperor Devon
01-23-2007, 06:03 PM
Heh heh, you've been talking about this for a while. Now you've finally posted something. :p

Let's see, where to begin...

I'd be happy to beta for some people. I've loved reading as far back as I can remember, and with my obsession of Star Wars, I shouldn't be entirely useless. Currently I'm beta-reading Jae's Adventures of Jolee Bindo chapters, but I have enough time to do more.

In terms of expertise, I have an unhealthy amount of EU knowledge. (Jae can vouch for that :xp: ) I know a good deal of history back here on Earth (can't say that would be too helpful). I can also help in things related to politics, economics, military-related things, grammar, spelling, the writing, itself, psychology, in other words, the sort of stuff all fics include. I don't go easy or try to make people feel good, by the way - I'll point out any errors I come across, and make comments on something I think could use changing. I'll do it politely and never bluntly, but don't expect any 'this is so good there's nothing to change' readings. I've run into a fair share of things that could use changing in published SW material. :)

I'm willing to beta anything at all, as long as you'll post and finish it it (I don't want to spend my time reading and giving feedback on something that won't even be complete). Unless there's something I really don't like about the story, I'll be willing to. Getting credit is also nice (ie "kudos to Emperor Devon for the beta" somewhere in the fic).

I have some experience in writing fics myself. I've written some entries for Javyar's Cantina and they didn't get a terrible amount of votes or reception or any public boos, so I'll presume I'm not a bad writer in case that was of any concern/importance.

I usually give somewhat long amounts of feedback. Here's an an example of how a fairly typical (though they can be longer) beta-reading of mine goes:

Let's start us off...

The first sentence sounds awkward. Although technically it has no grammatical errors, I'd still change it. The use of too many or too few commas and periods can give the reader a bad impression. A book I started today used too many periods in the first few chapters, making it seem far too abrupt and short (though it otherwise had a great writing style) and this is something similar. With too many periods, the reader absorbs less information in a sense - with too few, they'll get an overload. If you've noticed it, you usually pause for a microsecond after seeing a period. Not doing that very much can seem awkward. Since it mentions several subjects all at once, you might want to break it down. Or you could snip some of it - the fact that they'd arrived several days ago on Coruscant isn't very relevant. (Unless you never mentioned it before, though I don't recall if you did)

How Supat said "I know he may have valuable information about the Sith Lord," needs changing. It seems odd he'd be so certain of the fact of the matter, when he's not even sure if Dycen'a knows anything about the matter itself.

When Talin mentioned "He can’t help you properly if you don’t give him the right information," it sounded out of character. He normally speaks with a slight amount of slang, and that sounded too analytical, so to speak. Or this is just nitpicking on my part.

Funny Jolee dialogue, btw. Somehow I think RJM was your inspiration for it - I can hear the same things being said about him. :D

It's funny, though you should change what brought it up. The idea that his pupils could understate their activities is on odd thing to poke fun of in that manner.

The idea that Jae would get would feel like that after Talin showed his gratitude is sensible, though it needs more of a buildup. Getting lost in someone's eyes doesn't happen instantly. :)

The next part, sorry, needs a nuking. Force bonds are strong, but for them to go the level were they can affect someone's life is completely unprecedented - an unnatural. The only case in the EU where it went to that was with the Exile, and even then her bond with Kreia was created by special teachings. That kind of link seems to be regarded as the norm since TSL came out, for some reason.

You might want to change the part about him being important to the Order. Even during Episode I, the Jedi were 10,000 strong - they would have had far greater numbers back then. Even so, few people are indispensable - in most modern governments whenever an important figure dies, there's usually another guy just as qualified to take his place. The same thing goes (and has gone) with the Jedi.

They also seem to be taking the link to rationally - with their present feelings towards each other and just the Force bond itself, they probably couldn't discuss it so neutrally. :)

Since Supat is already addressing Jae, btw, he doesn't need to say her name halfway through what he's saying.

'Jedi Temple' should have both letters capitalized.

The part about Jae sensing their attacker needs reworking. Again, they were acting a bit calm about it, and any sensible Jedi would report sensing a darksider on Coruscant immedietly.

Jae being transfixed - more of a buildup would be nice. Apart from that, the romance scene is looking better. Jae definitely seems more remorseful and cautious about the matter. Just a little more polishing should do it.

I like the instance with the flower. I'd change the part about Talin calling himself family, though. It sounds a bit presumptuous on his part.

About when she says the flower was (or is) a favorite, most people would instinctively look at it while saying that.

Jae getting ready to cry is to be expected, though the timing was odd - what Talin had previously been saying probably would have triggered that, or at least have made her want to. I'd add that, and and also change the amount of time it took her to get over it. Most people don't go from the verge of tears to fairly normal. :)

'“He tightened his arm around my shoulders to draw me in closer' needs to have the " removed.

About the 'kiss me' line - that was a bit sudden of Jae, and I'd try and word it something beyond two words.

That, the line made me picture than in a wild Western setting with the sun going down... It all got cheesier from there. :D

Oh, how is it that Talin has a naturally spicy scent? Most people don't. :)

For the Dark Jedi, it has to be in capitals. Next, if he's a member of the Sith, then don't call him one, darn it!! :p

It also sounds repetitive how the word 'lightsaber' is used twice fairly close together. Substituting it with 'his' would be still be fine to use.

Also, why would Miraxton want Dycen'a back dead? A corpse wouldn't do him much good, and it's not very Sith-ish to back respects to dead subordinates.

And lastly, the Dark Jedi (or Sith) doesn't have to tell Jae Miraxton wants her severed head - just saying the later without mentioning a body implies that.

I'd like to see your next revision of this chapter, btw - the 'kiss me' part could be hard to phrase. :)

For how Supat said Dycen'a would have permanent damage, saying "but it shouldn’t be too debilitating," could sound better. If damage is permanent, that's a bit of a debilitation itself.

Like what you've been doing with the bond, but Jae wouln't have been lost at all if Talin died. If (a male) Revan could kill Bastila after falling in love and suffer no debilitations in the slightest, I'd venture the same theory could apply to Jae. Links that affect life and death are one in a bliion chances, anyway.

I think a line like 'I wasn't sure what to think', 'everything felt so different' or some other line would've been better than showing Jae's thought directly. Since you never did that much before, it seemed out of place.

I like what you're doing about the Dark Jedi attack, (having it get toned down more) but most people would probably do something about it. I'd make them more certain it was really nothing.

The romance scene - congrats! Nothing to criticize! (In my current state, at least :D)

For the Dark Jedi - I'd call him a Sith. For Miraxton to be one (especially at that time period), he would need some minions. If all he did was arrange his master's death and inherit no Force-sensitive acolytes/fleets, (though didn't you decide something about that?) his claim that he's a Sith Lord would be fairly illegitimate.

Having Dark Jedi during KotOR's time period would be impossible, anyway - unless he could use the dark side and was never part of the Sith, (there was only one case where that happened) calling him a Dark Jedi is inaccurate. Plus, Miraxton could better solidify his position as a respectable bad guy if real Sith were his servants over Dark Jedi (who are regarded as inferior). Not to mention he probably gave him some form of training, since you never mentioned Miraxton as having a cadre of Force-sensitive servants (giving him time to do so, and it's generally good for minions to be well-trained). Since that guy served under a Sith Lord who had every reason to make him an official Sith, I'd change that. :)

And lastly, the line "My master wants Dycen’a back. He also wants your head," hasn't quite clicked with me. I couldn't really picture a person who wants to kill someone speaking in a manner like that.

Aurora Starfire
01-23-2007, 08:20 PM
I'd be happy to beta-read for someone.
I'd probably be most helpful if you're having trouble with grammar/spelling/punctuation.
I have extensive knowledge of Middle-earth and Star Wars, and I'm pretty good at researching stuff.
I'd beta just about anything, but I prefer fics about Jedi, and ones that have a happy ending for the good guys ;)
I don't care too much for dark side fics, or fics where the bad guys win, or fics with unhappy endings :(
I haven't actually written or posted a fic yet. I do write poetry and music occasionally, and I have a story based off of the Silmarillion that I'm writing off and on, but I haven't posted any of these here.
I do have experience reviewing stories, though. I edit my sister's book she's writing, and here's an example of a review I've written:

Good chapter, CSI. Just a couple things I wanted to point out:
Nauk was amazed that there are two Bounty Hunter armors which looks awfully similar to Jango Fett’s armor. CSI took one out of the closet and tossed to Nauk: “Put this on, and…catch!” Nauk’s eyes widened when he saw a heavy blaster and various weapons to him, and he masterfully used Force to catch them. should probably be Nauk was amazed that there were two sets of Bounty Hunter armor which looked awfully similar to Jango Fett’s armor. CSI took one out of the closet and tossed it to Nauk: “Put this on, and…catch!” Nauk’s eyes widened when he saw a heavy blaster and various weapons tossed to him, and he masterfully used Force to catch them.

I think that's it. But the chapters great, overall. Keep it up, CSI!
Like I said before, I'm especially useful for weeding out grammar/spelling errors.

KotO[REvan]
01-23-2007, 11:49 PM
Sweet thread Jae! :bounce1:

Specialties: Spelling, Vocabulary
Best Work: Ace of Spades (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=174921) (currently best fiction - 1/23/07)
Fictions Willing to Bta: Any fan fiction types. Short, long, poems, concepts, you name it!

Additional Information:
Fan fictions are pretty fun to create, and they can get you 'into it' at some times. Though, as Jae said above, sometimes when you're so focused on your fiction, you don't even realize the mistakes you make. Even if you re-read your fiction there's bound to be at least one or two mistakes made. That is why it's good to have 1+ beta reader(s) to read your fiction before officially posted on CEC.

My fictions don't have the best grammar in them, but they don't have the worst either, they do make sense, and I can try to help you in any way I can. Though spelling is something I'm good with, my text hoster has a spell checker that I use very often to edit my mis-spelled words. I'm also good in the area with vocabulary (which helps for when you use the same words over and over again, that makes your fiction less enjoyable).

So these are the areas I'm good at. If you want to see an example of what I can do, see above.

Kas'!m
01-24-2007, 05:27 PM
interests and specialties: SW, spelling, details, grammar, word choice (at least I think so)

Types of fics you're willing to beta:
science fiction with lots of action and Jedi, some romance, KOTOR 3 stories, lightsaber duels, KOTOR/PT/NJO/DN/LOTF era stories

Types of fics you aren't willing to beta:
non-SW, stories without fights

Link to your best fic(s), so people can see your particular writing style:
check the sig

Hallucination
01-24-2007, 07:44 PM
I'm willing to beta anyone's fiction, especially in the editing area, where I have a fair deal experience, having corrected work by several authors in the CEC and a few of my friends (with or without their request :p).

Interests and specialties: Grammar and anything related to the fine language called 'English'. I also speak French fairly well, and I am learning Spanish (a language which everyone in my immediate family speaks to some degree, so I have a few resources on the subject).

Types of fics I'm willing to beta: Anything that shows the author put some effort into it. I'm not the best around poetry, but I'll still help if I can.

Types of fics I am not willing to beta: Anything with 1337sp33k or other butchery of English.

Please note that I am willing to correct anyone's work, as long as I am not expected to correct every other word.

Jae Onasi
01-25-2007, 09:48 AM
Folks, just a note--being a beta reader is not supposed to be a notch on the belt or another 'thing' to add to your sig. Doing a good, solid beta-reading for someone is work. It's going to take time to read and make the appropriate comments, and it's not a job you should take on lightly. Don't volunteer to be a beta reader unless you plan on making a committment to that person to help them with mechanics of writing such as voice, grammar, characterization, plot, story ideas, and so on. The goal here is to improve writing, not just give or receive 'attaboys'.

If you're signing up here to help others, great! That's the goal of this thread.

Grey Master
01-25-2007, 09:51 PM
Good thread Jae!

Specialties: Punctuation, Spelling, Vocabulary.
Best Work: Lessons of War (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=173737)(work in progress)
Willing to beta: Everything
Not willing to beta: None

Well, Im not the sort of guy who takes over and writes the fic all by himself if its wrong, I'll tell you what you need to make it better, or how to make it more appealing, depending in the kind of work you are doing, I'll do my best to help.

Andurilblade
09-13-2008, 01:09 AM
Hey guys! New person here! I'm interested in Beta reading for anybody who'll have me. I'm pretty familiar with stuff from the Star Wars movies and the KOTOR games. I haven't read any of the Star Wars novels, but I know a fair amount about EU because I read Wookieepedia too much. :lol: I'm not so good with poetry, and I'm definitely not good with NSW stuff.

I'm pretty adept with grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Endorrena told me to put this part here :). This is a link to her story, which I Beta for her. Seriously, despite what she said, I only made minor corrections to the story. She's an awesome writer! :xp: Read it for yourself.

A Soul Adrift (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=192049)

EDIT: I'm off to college, peoples! No more LF for me for awhile. :( Wish me luck and have fun!

machievelli
09-17-2008, 11:11 PM
well you all know me, so what can I say? Specialize in all things military from unit size to weapons to tactics to strategy to the military mindset. knowledgeable in intelligence operations from the level of a spy up to Deputy director for operations or analysis.

And a whole lot more. Look at my work both in the Genre and outside.

I can beta one a day approximately, and if you do not want one your English teacher might have done, don't send it to me.

One thing however, if it is not an existing work already reviewed in my column I will refuse to review it later. Ask Jae JM12 and others if you think that is hyperbole.

CommanderQ
10-20-2008, 04:23 PM
Hi, I am Clone Commander Q and I offer my services to anyone who needs it. I'm relatively new here and may not have the experience that others may have, but I will try my best. My strengths are mostly in military material involving anything from the Mandalorian Wars to the Clone Wars. If you have questions on military tactics and uniforms, {etc. etc.}. I also can help you with Sith stuff as well. I'll definately be able to help you in those areas.

Anything within those boundaries, I can take, I also prefer fanfics and stories similar to that. Poems and songs are hard, so I prefer not doing them. Whelp, if you have you have a story you need me to beta, PM away, if you have questions, ask them at my profile I'll try my best to answer.