Have a Question About Being a Beta? Ask it Here!
Are you having trouble figuring out how to insert a comment using track changes? Doing your first beta job, and not sure how much to edit? Doing your ten millionth beta job and running into something you need help with?
Ask your beta-ing questions here!
Swallowing the Golden Snitch
I am new to this forum and would like to become a beta. Could you tell me exactly what a beta is supposed to help with? Is iy anything that can be improved in a story, or grammar/characterization only?
What a beta is responsible for depends on what kind of assistance the author asks for. In general, a beta looks at grammar, plot, characterization, and how all these pieces fit together to form a coherent and interesting story.
a story that I betaed for one time they didnít want me to change the plot and not even the grammar they just wanted to know if I liked it was easy you know just reading it but I thought that you at least changed something not just read it and tell them how munch you liked it
Like I said, it's between the beta and the author. If that's all the author wants, that's really all you can give them. You can gently suggest things that might be improved...but you can't force someone to accept your criticism.
Beset by Owls
I'm actually new to Track Changes, and I have a query.
For example, if a word needs a comma, do you delete the whole word and write it again with a comma, delete the last letter and write it again with a comma, or simply add a comma? That's had me confused for a while, and I suppose it can be done either way, but I'm not sure if there is a certain, proper way to do it or not.
I've usually deleted the word and reinserted it with the new punctuation because it's easier for me to see it on the computer screen that way. But that's a personal choice - there's no "correct" way to indicate it on Track Changes.
I am slightly confused about all things concerning betas. For example:
Do you have to be accredited to beta a fic?
What are track changes?
What do you do with an uncooperative writer?
I would love to be able to edit fics and help out authors whenever I can, but it seems there are very formal rules that I must follow.
No, you do not have to be Accredited to be a beta. If you aren't, you can advertise your beta services in the "Beta Services for Sale or Rent" forum.
Track changes is a program on Microsoft Word that allows a beta to make corrections and add comments to a story. The corrections/comments are shown in colour and when you send the file back to the author, they can go through and either accept or delete your changes. It's usually found under 'Tools' on the toolbar. If you want to learn how to use it, PM me and I could probably walk you through it.
As for uncooperative writers... Well, some people you just aren't meant to work with. If an author decides not to use your correction or to ignore your comment, you have to let them have creative freedom, because it is their story, after all. If the author is just being unjustly uncooperative or rude, just respectfully inform them that you are no longer offering your services to them.
I hope I helped!
Ryan The Wizard: Since you're new to the world of beta-ing, I'd recommend applying to the Beta Mentor Program. New betas are paired with experienced betas who help you develop and perfect your skills.