1. SoulGalaxyWolf

    SoulGalaxyWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    North Carolina, United States

    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?
     
    jannert likes this.
  2. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    9,462
    Likes Received:
    9,788
    Those seem like reasonable questions, to me.
     
  3. Lifeline

    Lifeline Into the Cold Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,361
    Likes Received:
    2,659
    Location:
    UK
    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

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    9,106
    Likes Received:
    9,379
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    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
     
    Lifeline and SoulGalaxyWolf like this.
  5. SoulGalaxyWolf

    SoulGalaxyWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    North Carolina, United States
    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?
     
    Lifeline likes this.
  6. big soft moose

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

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    9,106
    Likes Received:
    9,379
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    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 Into the Cold Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,361
    Likes Received:
    2,659
    Location:
    UK
    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
    SoulGalaxyWolf and Laurin Kelly like this.
  8. big soft moose

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

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    9,106
    Likes Received:
    9,379
    Location:
    East devon/somerset border
    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
     
    SoulGalaxyWolf and Lifeline like this.
  9. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    13,179
    Likes Received:
    10,133
    The other way around--Alpha comes before Beta.
     
    SoulGalaxyWolf likes this.
  10. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    904
    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!
     
    SoulGalaxyWolf likes this.
  11. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7,200
    Likes Received:
    9,327
    Location:
    London, UK
    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.
     
  12. Azurisy

    Azurisy Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    28
    Personally I'm afraid to even ask and pester for critique on my recent work posted via Workshop because I've edited and rewritten the same after some time. Not sure if it is appropriate to remind critics to come back and critique... but what do you think I should do - let time pass or urge for it?
     
    jannert likes this.
  13. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    10,581
    Likes Received:
    10,947
    Location:
    Scotland
    I'd ask one of the Mods how to proceed. There is a restriction on bumping threads. However, I think they do allow bumping a thread if you have made major changes to the work. Just ask one of them. If you are allowed to bump the thread, it will appear at the top of the list again, and folks are likely to respond to it.

    Just make sure you don't change the original post, but add in a bit at the start of it (red lettering works well!) telling people that you've made major revisions, and the new version is included further down the page. The last thing you want is to get your original piece critiqued all over again. And I know from experience as a critique-giver, there is nothing more annoying than spending time critiquing an old version which the author has since changed.
     
  14. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    10,581
    Likes Received:
    10,947
    Location:
    Scotland
    I think those are excellent questions. It does help a critique-giver to know what the author specifically worries about. One issue that can accompany questions like these and is probably best avoided, however, is downgrading your work while asking them. "I know this is crap; please tear it to shreds, etc." Then, instead of helping you, we'll be more concerned about being gentle and kind. Or some of us will, anyway! :evilsmile:
     
  15. Azurisy

    Azurisy Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    28
    Oh gosh! I realise that I have made a huge mistake! I actually rewrote OP without adding 'Edit: blah blah...' Now I'm in big trouble big time...
     
    jannert likes this.
  16. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    10,581
    Likes Received:
    10,947
    Location:
    Scotland
    No, you can still put the notice up at the top of your thread! :) You just can't change the title without a Mod's help. Just edit your original post, by adding the notice that a newer version lies at the bottom of the thread.
     

Share This Page