1. SoulGalaxyWolf

    SoulGalaxyWolf Member

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    Am I asking too much?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by SoulGalaxyWolf, Dec 30, 2017.

    I wrote a short story (1,165 words) and I've been editing the crap out of it. I haven't edited so much before and I'm still revising it. I'm thinking of posting it on the writing workshop forum, but I feel like I'm asking too much.
    I know I have to read more for some things like reference, but I'm going to research some books on the narration I used(3rd person omniscient). I would like to see how well I did it without for right now. I feel like I'm asking Beta reader questions, or something a editor will look for. Also, do I even need to ask these questions? I know people go critique and maybe look over these sort of things, but since I'm looking for something specific, is it okay?

    • How is the narration? Is there anyway for it to improve while still keeping the narrator's "presence"?
    • Am I showing too much? Are there some things I should tell? How is my way of "showing?"
    • Can you tell the character's personality? Can you feel their emotions?
    • Is this story immersive?
    • Is it choppy? Is there any way to make it less choppy?
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    Those seem like reasonable questions, to me.
     
  3. Lifeline

    Lifeline Out of the Night Supporter Contributor

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    These are just questions that every Alpha reader worth his/her salt should provide answers for in my opinion. They concern style, POV breaks, characterisation, the story arch, and pacing, and these should legitimately be your main concerns at this stage. Before you give it to an editor you want to make sure that the story is as strong as it possibly can be, and Alpha readers are there to help you smooth these kind of things over.
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I'd be fine with that as an alpha reader - but I probably wouldn't stick to just that if i picked yup other issues and errors
     
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  5. SoulGalaxyWolf

    SoulGalaxyWolf Member

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    Thanks. You guys' comments helped a ton. I overthink things a lot so, yeah. :D
    What I didn't expect was learning about Alpha readers. I knew of Beta readers, but not Alpha. I would guess they're for the final revised version?
     
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  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    In general alpha readers read while you are working say a chapter at a time .... beta readers read the whole book when you've finished first draft.

    I alpha read for Caden and Betad for zoup. Caden and Milly Alpha for me (although Ive treated them as Beta readers for honest intent because its only 20k odd words )
     
  7. Lifeline

    Lifeline Out of the Night Supporter Contributor

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    There are a ton of differing opinions here regarding what 'Alpha' and 'Beta' readers are :D

    My own take: Alpha is a term for one who gives feedback regarding what you asked for. Storyline, characterisation, pacing, plot-holes, things like that. Beta in contrast is for when all these things have been taken care of, when things go to the nitpicking stage. SPaGs, specific word choices, etc.

    So first I give my stuff to Alphas, take care of their admonishments, and when all of that is finished and I'm ready to fine-tune, I search for Beta-readers (hasn't happened yet, still in the Alpha stage of my story) ;)

    ETA: See that even @big soft moose and I don't agree what Alpha/Betas are? :D but yeah, I Alpha/Beta for him and zoup (and a few others), and give my stuff out to... probably not enough people. But hey, I've time here!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Yeah we do - I'd add my answer and yours together ;) - except that i'm not looking for Betas to pick up spag, that's what proofreads are for.

    I tend to find that a lot of my Alpha reading centres on factual stuff, what its like to be a soldier, what different weapons do, the difference between a carbine and an SMG, the lift capacity of a blackhawk - that kind of thing ie stuff which more properly belongs in research but which i'm equiped to answer
     
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  9. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    The other way around--Alpha comes before Beta.
     
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  10. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Contributor Contributor

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    I think of beta readers as being for novels. For a story that's barely above flash length, I'd just call them critiquers.

    I think you should just post it for critique in the workshop here. Don't try to direct what you're told, just let the critters give you their impressions. Let them say whatever they have to say with no prompting from you. The problem areas might not be anything you'd even think to ask. Also, some of us find the questions (trying to direct the critique) annoying and will skip over your story because of them.

    You're not asking too much. You just need to be sure to critique a couple of other pieces there and then it's even-steven. Good luck!
     
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  11. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    That's a great length for a workshop piece, and I like having a few specific questions to answer for short pieces. I think you'll be fine.
     

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