I was looking for a beta reader for some time so I was really excited to see Lizonka’s post! I’m not a fan of the editing process when it comes to my own work and I feel unhappy posting works which I know will have stupid spelling mistakes and consistency errors, because those are the things that readers will notice even when you’ve read over your work 5 or 6 times and still somehow gloss ever those glaring faults.
Having a beta gives that sense (sanity!) check that the work you are putting out there is the best it can be. This is the case for fanfiction as with any other piece of writing. Readers who are passionate about a fandom will disappointed with something that comes across as rushed even when you as the writer may have poured your soul into it and didn’t intend it to come across that way. And wow, what a difference it makes having someone with professional experience who clearly knows what they are doing beta your work!
I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this service and I felt a bit nervous wondering what the feedback would be like. I was worried that she might not understand the tone or the feel I was going for, it’s quite exposing having someone cast a critical eye over your work! I am so pleased to report that this wasn’t the case at all. I was actually quite surprised that I ended up following every suggestion she made. Her comments were clear and concise, sometimes amusing too and it actually made the editing process a lot of fun!
Every critical comment had a clear reasoning as to why a certain wording or expression might not work from a reader’s point of view, and she made sure to include positive and encouraging comments too when she thought a certain sentence or paragraph was really well written. The layout of the comments was ultra professional looking and super easy to follow and action. By using google docs to clearly track all changes, so you can choose to accept or reject a suggestion line by line.
Lizonka didn’t just re-write all sections that she thought didn’t work as well either, instead giving direction on how something could be re-written, putting the onus back into the writer’s hands to rethink or rework a section using the feedback given as a guideline. Lizonka offers far more than just good English language and grammatical skills.
For full disclosure I should say that I have no affiliation with Lizonka! I was just super impressed with her work and the detail and depth she goes into, all tailored for the person she is working with and I want to recommend her to others. I wish she could beta read everything I write from now on. Saying that, her aim is to help writers improve and I will definitely take her advice onboard so there may come a day when I don’t need a beta! But I think it will always be helpful to have a second opinion as a sounding board for work before it goes live for the world to see. Be sure to ask for the extra dedication option too as Lizonka will provide extras resources and helpful advice to help you with your craft.