BETA REPORT

Some of you may know that I'm the beta for MisJak's story, "Once Upon a Nightmare". That is extremely close to being finished, and she's unavailable for the nonce – so I have some free time on my hands again. I'm opening myself up as a beta once more.

A review for those who haven't seen my beta profile.

I love proofreading other writers' work. I look at grammar, flow, the poetic sound of words and phrases (yes, even in prose), and technical things like that. I won't tell you to change the topic of your piece, and I won't reject something based on topic.

I like a lot of back and forth between writer and beta; it is NOT the job of the beta to make the story over in his or her own style. If the writer has a reason for writing it a certain way, then go for it.

I sometimes have trouble stepping back and looking at the story as a whole, since I get caught up in looking at the details. Something along the lines of "Can't see the forest for the trees." If you feel that your work needs a bit of general overhauling, let me know right at the beginning, and I'll make a conscious effort to keep it in mind. Otherwise, I'm liable to not see plot problems at all.

I'm not looking for things of more than a few chapters, since I can't promise I'll be able to stick with something for a really long time. This is more for your benefit than mine; you want your story posted as soon as possible and I can't promise that will happen with me.

I do NOT want to see racism, anti-Semitism, or bashing of any sort except in the following situations: A) it's a plot point meant to make people aware of the issue, or if it's an INTEGRAL PART of a character's personality without which the story will fall apart, B) the issue in question will be resolved at the end of the story, and C) IF THE GENERAL TONE OF THE PIECE IS DISAPPROVAL FOR SUCH AN ATTITUDE. Case A is the only one in which I'd be willing to let the issue remain unresolved. In my personal opinion, it's wrong to judge others in such a way, and I will not give my stamp of approval to it. If there's nothing of the sort in your piece - great! We have nothing to fight over.

I would prefer not to see a lot of swearing. If one of your characters does do this, I'm likely to offer 'alternate expletives', but if there's a lot going for the story in other areas, I might be willing to overlook it.

As I said, I'm much better at fine editing and detail work, so if you feel your story needs some chopping and hacking, or if I feel your story needs chopping and hacking, my suggestion is to look elsewhere. Come back to me when you think your story is basically done, and doesn't need a lot of major changes, when you're ready for polishing.

That's it, folks! The lines are now open!