May 9th, 2010

Good Day for Writing

Dept. of FFS

Wai I Liek Betas Editors*
This was prompted by a rant I saw the other day over on fanficrants. (It's here, should you desire to read it.)  If you'd rather not do the clicky-linky thing, here's the gist; a young fanfic writer was (rightly) upset by a beta reader who repeatedly missed self-imposed deadlines, and decided, as a result, not to use a beta again.

I am a criminally-slow editor/beta/proofreader myself, and I immediately winced in guilt at the story. I totally agree that slow mooks like me need slapping upside the haid for doing that to writers. Fair enough.

But ... that wasn't the major lesson this young writer seemed to have taken away from the incident. Instead, she said:
  • that she no longer wanted to use a beta-reader, because she wanted to enjoy the immediate emotional gratification of posting the story;
  • that having to wait for editing/proof-reading services took too long;
  • and that writing as an amateur required fewer quality guidelines than writing as a professional.

By the time I read half-way through the rant, I was pressing my lips together like an angry mother, or an exasperated English teacher, but I said not a thing in the response thread, possibly because so many people agreed with the young person. If I had said something, however, I think it would have been something like this.

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*I prefer the term editor, because I'm old-fashioned. "Beta" has to do with code, while "Editor" has to do with words, and you will pardon me if I stick with that.
** Also, I posted this without the benefit of an editor. And I had to go back at least twice to fix things an editor would have caught. See what I mean?