The Beta Hole

Better Writing Through Teh Funneh

Beta Reading Yay!
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
This community was developed by some random sleep-deprived people who like to beta-read fiction and fanfiction. It's a place to come to get writing honestly critiqued, MST3K style. We prefer this kind of critique because not only does it deliver feedback on specific story elements, it also gives the author a sense of how a reader responds to the story ... and provides for some much-needed levity, 'cause the editing/rewriting process is much more fun when we don't take ourselves so seriously all the time.

We will endeavor to be good-natured and good-humored. We’re not here to tear you or your story to shreds. The point of this community is to help one another strengthen our writing, polish our stories and generally have fun together. However, we also want this to be a place for frank and useful feedback. As such, don’t be surprised when we don’t like absolutely everything about your stories. Just remember, it’s not anything personal, and we’ll try our best to give you helpful advice and suggestions.

Any advice we give should be taken with a grain of salt unless it's about punctuation about which some of us can get scarily strident. Remember, we're here to be useful and fun at the same time but our opinions and reactions are only that. Suggestions may be disregarded as you choose. You’re the author, and when all is said and done, it’s your story.

Want us to beta-read for you? No problem! Hey, that's why we're here! We're crazy liking to beta people. Go ahead and join the community. You can either post your fiction publicly to the community, for it to be publicly beta'd by as many of us as can get our grubby little hands on it, or you can post a request for us to take a look at your story privately. Just give us your contact information so we can give you our email address.

We'll take any original fiction you want to throw at us, any genre, whatever!

As for specific fandoms, unless you just want a content beta, we have to get a little more specific. We'll take gen, het, slash, whatever you want to give us (although if you give us mpreg, we reserve the right to mock, wince and groan loudly). At present we have betas who are qualified to read for the following fandoms:

Star Trek (in all its permutations; that means TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT)
Star Wars (original and prequels)
Lord of the Rings (movie and books)
Harry Potter (movie and books)
Stargate: SG1
Stargate: Atlantis
Battlestar Galactica (only the new one, however)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Blake's 7
Red Dwarf
Babylon 5
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (movie and books)
Quantum Leap
Due South
The West Wing
Good Omens
Vorkosigan Series
Aubrey/Maturin Series

Remember, we welcome original fiction in any genre!

We will certainly beta crossovers if you would like us to do so.

If you have fic in a fandom you don't see on this list, you can always ask if we can take it ... there's a possibility that we just haven't thought to put it on the list. Because the list is long and there's a lot of fandoms out there.

If you have a time limit on getting the fiction beta'd and back to you, let us know when you give it to us. If we aren't going to be able to make your deadline, we'll let you know, but in general even if there's no specific deadline we will do our earnest best to get your fic beta'd and back in a timely fashion. (If you post your fic publicly, you’ll have more potential betas and therefore a better chance of getting it back quickly.)

Guidelines for Public Submissions:
1. Post your entire fic behind an lj-cut.
2. List any time constraints or deadlines you’re under. We’ll try our best to honor your requests.
3. Feel free to list any disclaimers (i.e. "I know my characterization is a little weak. Be gentle!" "Im actually a reeses monkey and feril dictionaries killed my muther! Don’t correct my splling!!!!")
4. If you have any questions, or want to talk to your beta(s) about a remark or criticism, post a comment in their beta posts. But play nice and stay civil.

Guidelines for Betas of Public Submissions:
1. Be honest. Tell them what worked, tell them what didn’t.
2. Be frank but kind. Feedback is most helpful when the recipient doesn’t feel totally discouraged. Not that we’re here to tiptoe around each others feeling's, but avoid being needlessly harsh.
3. Copy and paste the original text, along with inserted comments in bold or italics, into the body of a new post. Feel free to link to this new post in a comment thread from the original post. Put everything behind an lj-cut. Put either the story title or original author’s name in the title or the cut.
4. When possible, be funny. Remember, we’re here to help, but not to be overly serious. Besides, everyone loves a good dick joke.