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Pyrasaur (Pinkfroggie, you call this an "argument" with people, but all I see is a bratty kid attacking people. It doesn't matter how old you are -- you're ACTING like a child.)

I don't understand the audience research point, either. Targetting a story to specific people in a community? It's one thing if you're writing a giftfic for a friend or something, but writing what you think people want to read doesn't usually work very well. It's like when beginning novelists try to write romance just because they think it's easier than other genres -- the writing often seems stiff and forced. Just focus on telling a great story, whatever it may be, and the story will sell itself.

On the beta reader thing, there's absolutely no shame in having one, it doesn't mean you're a bad writer at all. From spelling to major gaping plot holes, there are things a writer can't always see themselves because they're too wrapped up in their own work. So when picking a beta reader, make sure you get someone honest and thorough. A beta reader who just tells you everything's great is no help, and neither is a beta who says "some places need work" and won't give you details. A nitpicky, brutally honest beta reader is worth their weight in gold.
PikaBot Well, too much nitpicketyness isn't a good thing in a beta.It's an asset up to a certain point, and then it becomes a liability.
Emiya_Shirou (pinkfroggie, you just threatened me, think about it)

I wouldnt care about a beta-reader with a little too much enthousiasm, but I believe it is always a good thing for a beta to point on which things his/hers 'student' has improved on since the last stories etc.
Rous Am I being lectured by a fourteen-year-old? I do not even like my SO lecturing me (and it has been going on for years!). Sounds like someone needs a heavy dose of Concerta, or maybe Ritilin.

Oh, and a beta's job is not to "teach" one how to write; it is to proofread and point out plot errors. From what a certain poster has published, it would not be betaing, but rather collaboration. Maybe even as the primary.

And, just for clarification, by endless revising, I simply meant that a good author is never truly satisfied with every aspect of their story. There will always be something they feel could be improved.

"Thanks for reading. i had alot to say. I wish to write more stories bu since the ass Rous decided to make a fool out of someone wh he was equal to."
What does this mean? Can someone elucidate? I am getting a migraine just trying to finish his thoughts and make sense of them. I feel the need to lie down as I am about to swoon. Not to mention the dizzy spells from his arguing in circles.
hands pinkie a hoola-hoop
xwingace I get the impression that 'think about who you want to read it', and researching it, actually means 'think about where you are going to post it'. Think about what your fic is about, who's likely to like it, and then research which forum/community/archive is best to post it to or advertise it on. That at least would make some sense. But actually tailoring fic to your audience generally doesn't work all that well.

For longer stories, I always look for betas, both to correct my writing, and to check for everything from plot errors to canon mistakes and characterisation. And then I work to fix the things my betas have pointed out. Though I would be remiss in not admitting that having someone who I can send works-in-progress to and have them tell me that there's something good in it is very encouraging with regard to finishing a fic.

For shorter stories (say under 500-800 words) I occasionally forego betas, depending on how much work I've already put into them. The more difficult it was to write a certain vignette, the more likely I am to look for a beta. Even in the cases where I don't take advantage of one, I still reread the story myself, and check whether MS Word spell-check has any strange ideas.

I also beta for other people, on occasion (and I'd like to do it more). I've as yet had no complaints, though some haven't asked me to beta a second time. Like I like my own betas to do, I check for everything, and if I notice something not right, I will say something about it.

Generally, when I post a story, that's it; it's finished. All I'll do to it is correct any spelling or grammar errors that people point out. If there is something else wrong with the story, I will no longer fix it. Of course some of my older stories have their cringeworthy sections when I reread them now, but I do believe they're all still very readable.

Anything I learn from concrit on a published fic, I keep in mind for subsequent stories, to improve on there.

(A very long way of saying, to the OP, yes, I agree with most of your advice...)

XWA

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