WHY YOU NEED BETA READERS: PART THREE
Posted on April 19, 2013
And another round of some edits from my beta readers. These are from Ned Firebreak. Three beta readers down, the big kahuna of beta readers to go. I'm talking about you, Keith Robinson.
1. Changed centuries to decades because I was getting too grandiose with my time durations. I have a habit of that.
2. Here's something funny. One of my beta readers thought I meant a bird in the bold section below.
Sir Franklin forcefully swung the wooden door down toward Ned, Before it closed completely Ned snatched a peek at something flying toward them from upstream. Backlit by the stars, its immense wingspan and long slender body broadcasted its reptilian identity. Not only were they about to go over a waterfall, but a dragon dove, looking quite ready to sink its claws into them.
I changed it to dived to avoid any reader thinking a dragon and a dove had offspring. Ug!
3. A reader said this: Readers needed to be reminded of his memory loss and how specific it was.
From what he could recall of his studies of the Eight Kingdoms, Skallarg was the most removed. Their citizens preferred to stay closed off and traded with the surrounding kingdoms of Kroothaven and Ligglespog for necessity's sake only. This probably suited the underground creatures who claimed Kroothaven home just fine. Short on hair, social graces, and any interest in seeing the light of day, the Kroothavians were also social recluses. The Ligglespoggians, amphibians who adored the magical mud of their swamp with squishy devotion, didn't make many forays into Skallarg either. Their whole inability to regulate their body temperature sort of prevented them from heading to the heart of the neighboring frigid kingdom. Their interactions were kept to the border to insure that none of their emissaries and trade ambassadors became web-toed icicles.
I added this:
Ned frowned. It was so unfair. He could rattle off an endless litany of facts about each of the Eight Kingdoms, but was still drew such a blank about what he and his father had been up to before his deep sleep.
4. Here's another scene where Ned and Sir Franklin are being controlled by Stacia:
Stacia waved dismissively at him. "Anyway, time to enter Skallarg. Please step lively through the front gates."
Ned and Sir Franklin moved forward.
A reader said they should literally obey her and I changed the last paragraph to this:
Ned and Sir Franklin moved forward, their steps indeed imbued with vitality.
5. A reader reminded me that I needed to reference the tree's injury: Good. Also, don't forget to refer to his burnt limb when appropriate.
I added the italicized statement in the paragraph below:
They walked up a wide set of steps and through a doorway that had no problem fitting Sir Franklin's extreme size. His canopy cleared the door frame with at least another twenty feet to spare. The tree's burnt limb worried Ned. Would Sir Franklin be okay? To the tree's credit, he did not blather on about his injury. Ned wondered how the two open doors were ever closed. They were both a foot thick and heavy. It would take a dozen men to close those doors if no magic was used.
6. Here's what I wrote originally:
No sooner had Stacia left, then Lil struggled free of her ropes . She rubbed at her wrists as she bounded over to Ned.
A reader felt it was too easy. I changed it to this:
No sooner had Stacia left, then Lil struggled free of her ropes as if she had worked them loose earlier and been biding her time to break completely free. She rubbed at her wrists as she bounded over to Ned.
7. Sometimes it's as simple as the wrong use of a word. I used sequestered when I should've said situated.
Yet again, the power of beta readers shines through. I am so indebted to their sincere scrutiny of my work.