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Old December 20th, 2009, 09:20 PM
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bobandbill
Where's that sheep...
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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The Beta Place!
~V2~



Welcome to the Beta Place, the 2nd-version-but-very-much-the-same-as-the-old-one! Here, one can apply to be a beta reader - someone who reads a story before it is submitted to the Internet - or apply to get a beta reader for their fic. This system will hopefully make things easier for people willing to help others with their fic, or people who want help with their fic - whether if it's for another set of eyes to proofread, or major improvements in their fic. And is a shameless copy of purple_drake's one on Serebii with some changes. XD.

With the new thread - only some replied about being a Beta Reader (or a client) still or not, so this list is rather...ahem, limited atm - those who did not are no longer on the list now. So if you were a Beta Reader before and still want in, please re-apply (feel free to tweak your old application), and if you weren't but feel you can be of help to others in improving their stories, catching mistakes, etc, then feel free to apply for the good of the FF&W section! The more the merrier!

The old Beta Place thread


RULES: beyond the standard forum-wide and FF&W rules:
  • All contact between beta readers and their 'clients' should be through PM and/or email, NOT in the thread. Yes, this goes for people asking someone to be their beta reader and vice versa. This is merely a place of reference, and for applying/submitting applications.
  • Emphasis on no spamming. Note from Astinus: This means no "thanking" bobandbill or Astinus when they approve your application. Let's keep this thread neat.
  • Don’t apply unless you’re serious about the story or being a beta-reader. By ‘serious’ I mean you’ve thought about it, you know where it’s going and/or know you’re going to stick with it. Taking breaks from time to time is perfectly fine - but be sure to notify us about that to change your status if so.
  • Astinus and I have the right to refuse your submission to be a beta reader, if we think you may not be up to standard. We want people we are sure will help out others, not people who will do a limited job.
  • If you were waiting for a beta reader and got one, or you want to update your status, tell me and I'll update it here.
  • Beta readers have the right to refuse to beta a story if they have a reason for it. If said reason is they don't have time to take any more stories, they should however tell me or Astinus (preferably me) via PM about it, so we can update your information here.
So, stick to those rules, people, or risk the wrath of those Sentret with flamethrowers by your window.


General advice as well:
  • This thread is about guidance, so if you disagree with your mentor you can bring it up with them. Just be polite about it; remember, they are just trying to help you.
  • It is advisable to read over your work BEFORE you hand it over to the beta reader. Beta readers aren't a spell and grammar check, but real people (gasp!), so keep that in mind. In other words - don't hand in something that hasn't been run through a proof-read by yourself and a simple spell check to pick up on the simple mistakes (after all, that's what a spell check is for anyway) - Beta Readers want to be able to read your work without going mad.
  • Be patient. Beta readers have to take the time to help, so don’t pester them about when they’ll be done with your chapter. That said, if it’s been two weeks or something and you haven’t heard a word, then feel free to give them a poke.
  • On the flip side, if you a beta reader with a piece of writing ready to beta and it’s been a few days, and you KNOW it'll be a while yet in coming, warn your mentoree it might take a while. If you’re going away or you’re losing your Internet access, then let them know.
  • To be clear, you CAN be a beta reader and also apply for one with your story as well. We're not all perfect.
  • Non-Pokemon stories or even original writings are perfectly fine - just be sure to mention that in your submission, is all.
Now that's over with, here we go with the applications. First, to be a beta reader. These are both for people to see your style of beta reading and all that jazz, and Astinus and I to see if you are acceptable or not.



BETA READERS:

Category:
Genre:
Preferred method of contact:
Examples of writing:
Examples of reviews/beta-reports:
Strengths/weaknesses (optional):

Now, for what each one means... PLEASE READ!
Spoiler:



Category - what type of beta reader you are. Here are the list of what you can choose from:
  • Comprehensive - basically, everything and anything on fanfiction
  • Character
  • Plot
  • Language
  • Grammar
  • Proof-reading - just another set of eyes to look over the work.
You can have multiple types for category as well.

Genre - what genre or type of story are you best in? Tragedy? OT fics?

Preferred method of contact - PM or e-mail - if the latter, specify your e-mail too, for obvious reasons.

Examples of writing - here, insert links or quotes of your writing - AT LEAST TWO! You can have more as well. Also, a short paragraph or the such does not count as an example. Show us what you can do, and also the people wanting a beta reader as well. A scene will do, but don't hesitate in linking to an entire story if you choose to. If you haven't actually written anything - no problems there, just say so - we are more concerned over your ability with the next one...

Examples of reviews/beta-reports: - same as before, link (or spoiler-fy) preferable here - but this time AT THE VERY LEAST TWO examples of reviews or beta reports. Here, Astinus and I can see how well you can beta or, if you have no examples handy, review. This will also show those clients how well you can do your job as well. This is a necessary part of your application.

Strengths/weaknesses (optional): optional unlike the others, but here you can add in what your strengths and weaknesses are in writing and/or beta-reading. This is more beneficial for the clients who can see your strengths and weaknesses if they can't decide between two beta readers.



Ok, now, to be a client. If you look at the list and already know who you want, and you contact them outside this thread, no worries. However, if you are undecided or want people to know you need a beta reader, use this application which should give the necessary information a beta reader may be interested in.

CLIENTS:

Title of Story:
Fandom:
Plot summary:
Genre:
Rating (PG, R, etc):
Type of mentor needed:
Writing sample of story:
Other: (such as, how long you've been writing for, what you think your strengths and weaknesses in writing are - optional)

Fandom refers to, for example, Pokemon, or others such as, say, Digimon.
Genre - type of story - horror, Original Trainer, etc.
Type of mentor needed - refers to the category section - do you want a Comprehensive beta reader, or a Proofreader, and so forth.
Writing sample - please include at least a few paragraphs of the story you want beta-reading.

So remember, post to apply to be a beta reader, or a client (unless you know who you want to contact here, of course). Communicate between yourselves then via PM or E-mail, and then notify me so I can update your status.

Get posting people! MORE NEW (or old) BETA READERS NEEDED!



CURRENT LIST OF BETA READERS:


Comprehensive Beta Readers:
[Mentors who are pretty good at all aspects of fiction. Best for very new writers or anyone in need of general help.]
  • Azurne (Also a Character Beta Reader) - OPEN

    Genre Specialty: Adventure, Fantasy, Horror
    Preferred method of contact: PM
    Examples of writing:
    (Snippets taken from my story on Serebii and two work-in-progress stories that have never been posted).
    The Golden Dusk and Silver Dawn-
    Spoiler:
    Keera dried her tears quickly, and breathed in deeply. She sat on the edge of the bank, looking across the lake that led to the Indigo Plateau. The night had been crystal clear, almost perfect. The moon was full, and shone brightly over the lake, reflecting brightly in the water. The shadowed trees lined the bank, and the once-brightly colorful flowers now were obscured by the color of night.

    Keera heard a twin snap behind her, and turned to see her mother sitting next to her, surprisingly.

    “Mother? What are you doing here?” she asked dumbly. Her mother flattened out the wrinkles on her dress, and gazed at Keera warmly.

    “Does a mother need a reason to see her daughter?” Keera smiled and shook her head.

    “I guess not.”

    The two sat in silence, with Keera gazing of into the distance, deep in thought.

    That boy, Alek, was leaving on his journey. How he painfully reminded her of herself back when she was a child, receiving her first Pokemon as well. Keera could still remember that amazing moment, all its ecstasy intact. She'd remembered her first Pokemon, as bright as the moon was now, and his hot flames that had scorched her hand when she'd tried to touch him by accident. She remembered his quiet little cries, and his quirky personality that complimented hers to a T.

    She hung her head, and buried her nose in the crook of her arm.

    That was all gone now.

    This was the present.



    “You know... I think you should go.”

    Her mother's voice broke into her thoughts, and Keera turned to look at her, one eyebrow raised.

    “You should follow that boy... Alek, I think was his name... It'll do you some good. You seem so much happier while traveling, and not in one place. Such a nice boy too, he could use some advice.”

    “Mother...” Keera trailed, seeing the tears forming in her mother's eyes. Her mother waved Keera's concerned notion off with her hand.


    “You are still my daughter, no matter what happened out there while you were away on your journey, you know,” she said. Keera's face softened.

    “Thanks mother, but didn't you... didn't you hear anything about me though?” Her mother turned away, faced writhed with pain.

    “I... had heard stories... cruel stories, but I didn't want to believe them. Surely my daughter, my little Keera, would never do such a thing, and for a while I denied them, instead I focused on the daily life here in New Bark. But when I heard... when I heard that you....you...”

    Keera looked down, shamefully.

    “I'm sorry mom.”

    “W-what?”

    “I'm sorry. For putting you through all this. You don't deserve it.”

    “Please, just promise me this time you won't do it again, and you'll help the boy become something great. I don't know what it is, but something tells me he'll need you.”

    “I promise, mother, I promise,” Keera replied. Her mother smiled weakly.

    “What will it take to get you to call me 'mommy' again like you use to, huh? No more of this formal 'mother' stuff, got it?” Keera laughed.

    “How about 'mom', and we leave it at that?” Her mother smiled, and put an arm around Keera in agreement. The two gazed silently across the moonlit lake, with Keera's mind made up.

    She'll follow Alek.


    ... If only to make sure he didn't repeat the same mistakes she made.

    Grounded-
    Spoiler:
    “I’m sorry, it could be any day now,” Nurse Joy said, eyes downcast to the invisible ground in front of her, not visible on the tiny square box of a screen the old and frail lady was watching. “His heart is barely holding up, and I’m afraid his lungs will collapse at a moment’s notice. I’ve done everything I can to prevent him from getting sicker, but he’s just not holding up as he should.”

    The old lady nodded silently, still holding the cold plastic phone to her ear.

    “The infection shows no sign of slowing down either, does it?” She asked, croaking the words out as best she could. Nurse Joy shook her head.

    Elizabeth Bennet sighed, and looked out the window of her quiet cottage home in Cianwood city. The summer house had belonged to her deceased husband’s family for generations, and was the chosen vacation spot for her Granddaughter’s going away party. Peaceful and scenic, the little cottage sat alone on the barren beach overlooking the treacherous sea. The waves could be heard roughly colliding on the rocks dotting the shore, and then receding back into the deep blue with the sizzling of salt water. Salted air wafted in and out of the cottage; the open windows inviting the gentle breeze and an expansive look at the hazy blue horizon.

    Somewhere over that horizon, she knew her partner was dying.

    She turned back to Nurse Joy with shallow blue eyes. “I shall make my return swiftly then. Please make him as comfortable as possible. Oh, and thank you, Joy. You’ve done everything you can.”

    Nurse Joy, still looking distressed, nodded in understanding. “I-I’m sorry I couldn’t do more to help him-“

    “Joy,” Elizabeth smiled, “You did what you could. Your mother would be proud.”

    Joy smiled sadly in return. “Thank you, I’m sure my mother would have helped if she could have, like the last time. I’ll make sure he has everything he needs.”

    With that, the two of them said their good-byes, and with her one flesh and blood arm, Elizabeth set the phone back on the cradle. Her prosthetic lingered idly by her side, awaiting use as it had the day she lost her real arm, but admittedly Elizabeth didn’t like to use it much. At the time, she had needed it to continue her work, but now it just became a symbol of how old and fragile she was becoming. She found herself constantly needing it, as her muscles deteriorated with her pale wrinkled skin. Aging was indeed a curse, she thought. Sadly, it was one they all had to take, human or Pokémon.

    “Mom?”

    Elizabeth turned to the familiar voice of her daughter Emma, fire-y orange hair the same identical shade as Elizabeth’s once was, holding a pile of dirty dishes from the cake and ice cream they had earlier. Outside, Elizabeth could hear the cries and laughter of her two grandchildren playing in the dark sand from the beach. Elizabeth smiled and shook her head slowly.

    “I must return quickly, by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. Yaksha’s condition has worsened. You stay here with the children and let them finish their last real vacation together. I’ll return by myself.”

    Emma cast a worried glance at Elizabeth before setting the dishes into the kitchen sink.

    “Jake and Natalie loved Yaksha too though mom. They should know, and I’m sure they’ll want to see him before he goes. Plus, air fares these days are outrageous, and it’ll be cheaper if we fly back to New Bark together.”

    Elizabeth frowned as she made her way across the kitchen to the glass sliding door. Off into the distance, she could see grey rain clouds moving in from the east, doomed to reach the shores of the cottage by nightfall, and pour through the day tomorrow.

    “You don’t think Natalie will be disappointed if we leave so soon? She loves this place.”

    Emma laughed her sugary laugh and continued to wash the dishes. “Mom, she’s going on her first journey. She can visit whenever she likes, and Jake will leave if she decides to go as well.”

    Elizabeth smiled, wondering how Emma actually intended to separate the two siblings in time for Natalie’s departure. Six year old Jake was nearly physically attached to his older sister, albeit he slowly understood it was time for her to leave, like all children once they had reached the age of 10.

    Like all children…

    Elizabeth turned to the table next to her, where her old-fashioned purse sat overflowing with randomosities and nonessential things that had been stuck in it. She reached a thin arm in and withdrew an old black and white photo from her wallet. It was frayed around the edges, but it was still clear and whole, though maybe a bit bent and worn. In it depicted a very familiar shadow of herself, young and spry, wild hair held back in a low ponytail, crimson scarf wrapped around her neck and goggles sitting atop her head as always when they weren’t in use. Standing next to her, holding himself high with pride and nearly doubling her size was a Pidgeot, her first ever partner and prized friend.

    Yaksha…


    A Child in the Ice-
    Spoiler:
    I smiled from behind my waxing eyes, watching her tiny bundled form shifting in and out of focus, being carried off by police and handed to a doctor. I knew now she’d be okay.

    And I couldn’t help but feel glad, even though I could feel life slowly inking its way out of me. I was glad that I had accomplished something, and saved her, against all the odds. And in the process, I overcame some of my own hardships. I proved I could handle this wretched frozen hell, and take whatever Mother Nature threw at me. I was strong, and I didn’t need a trainer to tell me. My heart, once a wasteland of indifference and apathy, was now warm with compassion and sympathy for others. No moment in my life had ever felt so great as this. Yet here it was, at my death bed.

    More shouting was heard, and this time I knew they were for me, as they suddenly got urgent and started shouting in my direction. Many footsteps were heard flying against the packed snow, and the voices grew steadily louder, but then waned again, cutting in and out. Someone called for a Nurse Joy, and another called for bandages and another, a blanket.


    But, you know, for all the things I’ve been through, I suddenly found myself not caring whether or not they made it to me. Life is one big system after all, and when one life dies, another is born.


    The voices were very close, and I could hear them slowing down as they neared the lakeside edge.



    I didn’t manage to open my eyes enough to see, but I heard the roar of a truck with chains on its tires, hauling off away into the distance. Inside it, my heart told me the little girl had made it. She would be in front of a heater soon, hospitalized and receiving lots of human treatment. She would get all the cookies and hot cocoa she could ever want, and she would go home with relatives. She would get another chance at life, for better or for worse.

    One man stopped and leaned over me, and reached out his hand tentatively, before a startling snap! And simultaneous crack! Were heard on the ice.

    In a moment of bliss and climatic hysteria, the ice on the lake shattered into a thousand pieces, and with it, dumped my limp body into the water. I slid off of it like a soap bar would on a wet surface, and I plummeted into the freezing sub-zero water.

    Finally, after one last good try, I managed to open my eyes.

    I saw the shape of the man who had leaned over to rescue me, his shadow dancing and rippling in the water, looking down on me. Bubbles from the escaping air in my fur and my lungs popped up all around me, and I could see him moving far, far away as I sunk deep to the depths of the lake bed.

    The man was joined briefly by two others, who tried to stick their hands in the water to see if they could save me.

    But there was no need for them to worry, or try to save me. The light from the surface blurred with the water’s murkiness, and soon I could not distinguish shadow from light. The pain had subsided, and I felt at peace. I closed my eyes, and let the icy water fill my lungs, my ears, and claim my body.


    Yes, no need to worry.

    I sank deeper and deeper, back legs first into the darkness, smiling. For I knew that no matter what happened now, I could die knowing I did a good deed. One was all I needed to feel truly happy.

    A Gyarados then splashed into the water with a bright light, swimming with all his might to me, desperate.

    But, I knew there was no need or reason for him to try, as the darkness had completely embraced me and engulfed me in its melancholy solitude. It was comforting, and yet a tiny bit sad all at the same time. I had wanted to live like anyone else, but circumstances called for my death.

    I sank deeper and deeper, legs and paws numb, face now completely frozen, shivering spasms in my body now slowing.

    Yes, deeper, deeper, and deeper, as the shadows shifted all around me, calling me to dance with them one final time.

    My mind gave way to random and insane thoughts. Thoughts about nothing, thoughts about everything, and thoughts about sleep. I'd been wanting much of it during this journey, and now I can get as much as I want...


    Finally, in the midst of my sweet insanity, the bottom.


    Gyarados had thrown himself into the deep depths of which I had sunk, determination in his eyes worthy of many legends and fables.


    But, determination and all, by the time he reached me and pulled me to the glorious surface…






    I was dead.


    Examples of reviews/beta-reports: (See attached documents)
    Attachment 53307
    Attachment 53308

    I also have reviews on Serebii, but apparently I'm not allowed to link anything until I get off my lazy butt and post more. My user name is . IC Ghost . should you really like to go looking for them, however.
    Strengths/weaknesses (optional): I am a person, and I am not perfect. I do miss things occasionally, so no promises of epic flawlessness. I am always honest about what I am doing, and if I think you're story is going to be a bore, I'll probably tell you. I am as prompt and quick as I can be, so the wait time to get a chapter back (assuming it was ten pages or less) is a week at maximum. Usually I'll have it back to you within three days however.


  • Delusions of Originality - OPEN

    Genre: Pretty much anything that's not straight-up romance or sex; I don't know that I'm the right person to ask about tragedy or angst, either, but you can try me. Sci-fi confuses the tar out of me but I'm still willing to try and help with it anyway.
    Preferred method of contact: PM for initial contact/general discussion; I'll work something out with you when it's time to start sharing the to-beta stuff.
    Examples of writing: ...do I have to? ): buuuhh I have no self-confidence and also haven't finished anything in years. The best complete work I've got on hand is a one-shot I wrote a few years ago that is a crappy failattempt at failangst (I told you I'm bad with angst; I don't even know why I wrote this), but I am proud of it purely because it is actually done. And it doesn't make me want to gouge my eyes out.

    What Would You Do, Luther Sellig?

    I can dig out some bits and pieces of incomplete stuff if you really need to see more, but yeah.

    Examples of reviews/beta-reports: Lesseehere. This is a recent review of Negrek's Clouded Sky on FF.net, chapter 41...

    Spoiler:

    Omai, so Accemenla's come back. I know it hasn't actually been that many chapters since we've seen her, but it feels like it's been forever. (Maybe if you actually updated "on Tuesday" like you said...) At first I thought she was wandering around the Saltmarsh area and just thinking about Tobias, but no, looks like she's followed him... or followed Chevron, anyway. Also good to see Chevron moving a little ways up in actual plottiness, even if it is indirectly.

    It'd be nice if there were some sort of visual separation between the part about Accemenla and the jump to Tobias, though, the way you usually do it.

    ""Oh, he's over there somewhere, up to something, probably." Tobias didn't have to look to point to where he knew Jinx must be. It he stopped and thought for a moment,"

    If, not it.

    "With the silence stretching on and the prospects on his plate unappetizing, Tobias blurted something he wouldn't ordinarily have said."

    Blurted out?

    "Two days later, in the still darkness of the early hours, he slung his heavy pack onto his back and crept from his room, out onto the open plains and away. By the time the sun rose he was nearly fifty miles out, making good time through the snow."

    That threw me off for a sec-I was about to ask how on earth Tobias could walk fifty miles in the snow in a few hours, but then I remembered faint attack... eh, maybe I'm just distracted by the movie I should be finishing, but perhaps a mention of him calling out Jinx as he slips out might make it less mentally jarring and remind forgetful folk like me about the move.

    "If it weren't for the knowledge that his supplies were limited and that the cold, already more than a little of an obstacle,"

    I dunno, but that last bit about the obstacle seems awkward. "More than a bit", maybe? "A little of an" just doesn't flow well, imo.

    "Since when did Accemenla know hypnosis!"

    Question mark, maybe?

    "but Tobias noticed it for no more than a fleeting moment before the Tarsix”

    Didn’t mean to capitalize tarsix there, I think.

    The whole Accemenla scene was pretty intense; there’s always been a part of me, ever since her desertion the last time we saw her, that thinks there’s a little bit of... eh, not *compassion*, per se, but pity for Tobias somewhere deep down. Seeing as how she just tried to drowninate him that’s seeming less and less likely, although I know with you it’s never so cut and dry. I guess I’ll just have to see. Igneous to the rescue at the end there was a nice touch, though how he’s going to get Tobias out of the river... you wouldn’t be so dastardly as to go so long between updates if you’re stopping on a cliffhanger, would you? D:


    Oh oh oh and I just did one here! Review of the first two chapters of Captain Fabio's Through the Lens: tadaaa.

    Strengths/weaknesses (optional): Say it with me, kids: procrastinaaaaaa-tion. I am the Queen Procrastinatrix, although part of the reason I'm applying to be a beta is because I'm trying to break that habit (at least when it comes to fic reading and commenting). I also never shut up; if I start to ramble and you lose my point in a Wall of Text, please do smack me and tell me to be more concise.

    That said, though, when I do buckle down and git 'er done, I'm very thorough and don't miss much. My grasp of English is pretty strong, helped along by the fact that I was very nearly an English major of some sort or another. I like to think I know what I'm talking about, anyway, so you should be in good hands with me. If, you know, I ever actually read what you send me. (I'll try to be punctual, I promise!)


Character Beta Readers:
[Mentors skilled in character portrayal and development.]
  • Azurne (Also a Comprehensive Beta Reader) - OPEN


Plot Beta Readers:
[Mentors who can help with the development of plot twists, the story climax, and other problems with the storyline.]

None at the moment.


Grammar Beta Readers:
[Mentors who can help with ironing out those pesky grammatical errors.]
  • Mira (Also a Proofreader) - CLOSED

    Genre Specialty: I specialize in fantasy, though I will pretty much work on anything.
    Preferred Method of Contact: PM
    Examples of writing:
    http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpos...0&postcount=67
    Examples of reviews/beta-reports: Third review down by LydiaB:
    http://www.youngwriterssociety.com/topic43545.html
    Seventh review down by LydiaB
    http://www.youngwriterssociety.com/topic42028.html
    Strengths/weaknesses: I sometimes have trouble drilling into the core of the story to critique (especially when it's the first part), though that typically gets better as I am more exposed to the story line. I also tend to be random, which can be either good or bad.

  • Mizan de la Plume Kuro (Also a Language Beta Reader/Proofreader) - Open

    Genre Specialty: I can do almost any genre asides from Romance in which I’ll just do a commentary on grammar and possibly human characteristics, but certainly nothing to do with Thing A x Thing B relationships. Genres I work best with are Science-Fiction, Military, Psychological, Gore, and Action.
    Preferred method of contact: Private Message on PC (PM). However, once I’ve requested your request or you’ve accepted my offer, then actual beta-reading can be done through E-Mail if convenient for either party.
    Examples of writing: NG-137 Synthetic Integration, and Reflection in the Storm.
    Examples of reviews/beta-reports:
    Strengths/Weaknesses: I’m well versed with physics and human psychology, plus I know a fair bit when it comes to adding long, detailed descriptions. Sci-Fi is my forte and I know how to make scientific arguments sound authentic to laymen. I usually work well when I try not to disappoint so clients can expect beta-reports from one to two weeks after submission. It might take longer due to real-life, but I’m fairly confident I can manage. Grammar is also one other thing that I can help with apart from helping clients with making their sentence structure flow better (most of the times at least).

    My weaknesses on the other hand, revolve around procrastination, work, and study, but I’ll limit it in this case so don’t worry. Apart from that, I’m human and tend to make the occasional mistake.

  • bobandbill (Also a Language/Proofreader Beta Reader - BACK-UP BETA READER) - 'CLOSED' (I contact clients) - approved by Astinus

    Genre specialty: Any, but have mostly have done OT fics. Also do comedy.
    Preferred method of contact: PM for initial contact, send documents via e-mail though. Can also go google docs
    Examples of writing: Check my sig - two banners link to my two stories.
    Examples of reviews/beta-reports: All three of these are reviews:
    Their Villainy Must Go On'
    An Everlasting Love'
    Stars' (link to another forum - sppf O_O)
    Strengths/weaknesses (optional):
    Spoiler:
    I consider myself good at finding mistakes in betaing. I tend to go over each line/paragaph one by one after reading, and adding my findings or comments underneath each one, explaining why the mistake is a mistake as well, or simply offering suggestions or commenting. In beta reading, I'm good at focusing on finding grammatical/spelling errors, dialogue, pacing and description. I'm not so good a judge on plot and characters, although I feel I know how to offer advice on improving one, or commenting on whether one needs work or not. And I tend to find plotholes.

    I'm not quite the quickest Beta Reader at times, but I do try to get my job done within the week for each chapter. I also will comment on anything that comes to mind upon reading the chapter, no matter what aspect. However that also mean I may harp on a bit, or over-analyse things.

  • Post Office Buddy (Also a Language Beta Reader/Proofreader) - OPEN

    Genre: A majority of the fics I have reviewed have been OT fics, but I can beta just about every genre except for shipping.
    Preferred method of contact: Through PM.
    Examples of writing: Affliction and My Endless Loneliness
    Examples of reviews/beta-reports: This and that.
    Strengths/weaknesses (optional): My largest weakness is that every once in a while, I get busy with work stuff, which may limit my ability to beta something quickly.
  • Yusshin (Also a Language Beta Reader/Proofreader) - OPEN

    Genre Specialty: Original Trainer; Adventure; Fantasy
    Preferred Method of Contact: VM
    Examples of Writing: The examples I'm going to provide that are from when I was twelve are not proof-read and up-to-date, thus there may be some mistakes in grammar and spelling due to my inexperience at the time. My true skill should be based on my most recent fanfic, "The Thieves of Time", and not the older ones. The older ones are provided to show my writing style and my progress / improvement over the years.
    Spoiler:

    Here's an example from a Legend of Zelda fanfic I wrote when I was eleven (approximately seven years ago; I abandoned it):

    Spoiler:
    In a small tree house in the middle of a forest lived a boy named Link. Link was the New Forest Child in Kokiri Forest; an out-cast among practically all the other elves living in the Village. He often felt lonely and unwanted in the Forest but his friend, Saria, cheered him up whenever he felt like this and now, on a fine Spring day in the Kokiri Forest, he felt absolutely wonderful, even as he slept. But this feeling was suddenly destroyed as he began having confusing and horrifying nightmares, all about a girl, a woman and a dark man on horseback. Like now.

    Link shifted around nervously as he slept, dreaming of being outside Kokiri Forest and next to a tall, white-marble wall surrounded by an eerie moat. He was armed with an unknown sword and a Kokiri Wooden Shield, he was still wearing the Kokiri Garments that were given to him by the Great Deku Tree. The green cloth was a little dirty in his dream, his hat was long and fell to his waist although slanted on his light blonde hair, and his blue eyes were flashing from left to right quickly, as if expecting something to happen. His green shirt was tucked into his green kilt roughly, not at all carefully, his dark, brown leather belt with it’s brass buckle hung loose from his waist, across his chest and connected to the front and back of his belt was a brown, leather sash. His worn, brown leather boots were covered in mud and dirt and his sheath, which he didn’t know where it came from either, was tied onto his belt, it’s gold leather stuck out like a sore thumb on his green and brown clothing. Floating around his head was a Fairy flashing blue, light sparkles fell from her body and disappeared into thin air.

    Suddenly the drawbridge fell from the wall. Link watched curiously as a white mare wearing a dark blue saddle with the Royal Crest of Hyrule stitched into it raced towards him. He darted out of its way quickly, the horse’s silver hooves just missing his waist. He looked at the horse when he rose from the damp ground and astounded himself at the next sight.

    On the horse was a girl, no older then himself, and a woman. The girl had her light blonde hair up in a white a light purple bandanna, her sky-blue eyes were mysterious pools of incredible depth. Her clothes amazed him as he noticed her long, white-silk gown that reached all the way to her ankles. She wore white, silk shoes on her feet but they were almost invisible under her dress as it flew behind her. Below her neck was a gold, elaborately designed necklace that was attached directly to the gown, a large ruby was in its center. The top of her gown was a light purple, short-sleeved shirt with white sleeves rimmed with light purple. Attached to the short-sleeved shirt was wrist-length, light blue sleeves that were puffy just below the short-sleeved shirt's sleeves. A gold belt surrounded her waist, a long, purple pentagon wrapped around the belt connected the pentagon that fell to nearly the end of her gown; it bore the Royal Crest of Hyrule as well. Her bandanna had a mysterious pin on it’s front: a golden, equilateral triangle that was split evenly into three. Link stared in wonder as she sped by, not noticing him at all.

    The woman, however did notice him and he noticed how much mascara she had put on when she did. The woman had dark brown eyes and white hair, her face was grim as she looked back into the forward direction. Link shivered, remembering a little of how much mascara some of the Kokiri Children put on, but nothing could match the woman’s amount. She wore black, knee-high boots, neatly polished and practically new, dark purple shoulder pads, a white, short-sleeved shirt, a dark gray belt was around her waist, dark gray gloves covered her hands, dark purple pants and a dark gray neck-warmer around her pale neck.

    Link decided that he would check out the town rumored to be inside the wall but a loud snort behind him made him stop. Hesitantly he turned around and stared into the fiery eyes of a black steed. On it was a shadow – the shadow – from all the rest of his nightmares. Link screamed as the man laughed evilly and conjured up a black and purple ball of Dark Magic to toss at Link to destroy him.

    Then he woke up.

    Another excerpt from a novel I was planning to write when I was twelve (abandoned):
    Spoiler:
    “Are you sure there’s no wretched humans aloft?” The older man asked in a demanding tone of the driver.

    “’Aye, not one be in sight. I can guarantee it.”

    “Good. We don’t need anyone witnessing this, or else we’ll be in trouble and placed on posters.” The man glanced at the younger one, probably in his early twenties, and scowled. “Perry! What the hell do you think you’re doing?!”

    The young man, Perry, glanced over from where he was behind a bush. “Ah, just watering the trees, Sir!” He replied nervously, becoming hasty in his actions.

    “Well, hurry up! The night waits for no man,” and then with a scornful, bitter intention, he added, “or amateur.”

    “Shall I be on me ways?” The driver asked of the older man hopefully, becoming quite edgy due to his fear of the dark.

    “No, you’ll stay put until I say move,” he spat crossly. “I’m not paying you for slacking off and scaring away the wolves! I’m paying you to attract the damn things! Now get the bait out and do your job!”

    The driver was terrified and appalled of the man now, and jumped off his perch before rushing around into the coach. I watched him pull out the meaty corpse of a hare, some ground beef, a bit of pork and chicken drumsticks, before heading over and spreading it all over the area. Perry had returned by then, and the older man smacked him a good one up the side of his head.

    “Damn it Perry! Get your tranquilizer out and hide behind that bush!”

    “But Sir! I just wizzed in that bush!”

    “I don’t give a damn! Just do what I ask and I won’t start aiming my gun at your head! Do you have that soldier?”

    Perry saluted and cried, “Yes Sir! Ready for combat and armed like hell.”


    Another from when I was twelve (abandoned):

    Spoiler:
    Out in the land of Petragon was a mountain range overwhelmed in a forest so vast, it would seem only to be a hill of trees. Due to this unusual growth in the woodland in the area, the mountain range was therefore named ‘the Hills of Trees’, reflecting the surroundings entirely. The Hills of Trees were tall and young, jagged at the top and absorbing the sky in the distance. The woodland, seemingly growing over the mountains, consisted of fir, elm, spruce and oak trees, with a maple tree here or there. There were clearings, but they weren’t visible by air. They were hidden beneath the canopies of the trees. The sun still shone through somehow, though, and created a beautiful woodland floor of trilliums, grass, dandelions, poison ivy, poison oak, daffodils and tulips. Sometimes a geranium could be seen, but those were rare. A stream trickled through the middle of the woodland from down above the mountain range. The water was clear and bold, shining marvelously even at night as if by magic. Travelers called it the Fountain of Youth, but a dweller of the Hills of Trees knew differently.

    Thomas Tam, also known as Tom, lived in a small cabin in the center of the woods, just next to the stream. He was only seventeen, but he was independent, strong and an infamous mage. He was a tall boy, easily 5’10”, with short blond hair and the most startling grey eyes anyone would’ve seen in their life. They were huge of depth, mesmerizing and flashy. One glance and you would have trouble looking away, especially if Tom placed a spell on his eyes. His clothes were like those that a regular mage would wear. He wore a long, black robe – black like the middle of a night but bright like the lightning – and a pair of black leather hunter’s gloves and chestnut-brown, leather sandals. In his hands he loved to grip firm a wooden staff nearly as tall as he was with strange markings in its sides. The markings, which looked like nothing to some inexperienced individual, was actual the language of the Ancient Tongue of Mythrador, the first kingdom before King Petragon dominated it near three hundred years earlier. Mythrador was home to the Night Elves, a race of Night Mages who caused pain to others and showed no sympathy. Tom gripped this staff with the black diamond at its top in honour. He was the last of the Night Elves – last of the race of Mythrador and the only person on Earth to comprehend and write the Ancient Tongue of Mythrador. His status as a Night Elf was not welcome anywhere in Petragon, and just for his race, he was hunted and shoved into isolation in the Hills of Trees.

    That day was a cold one, but Tom liked the cold. He gripped his staff firm as he left his house and stepped into the damp mist. The ground was soggy beneath his feet as he approached the Fountain of Youth known to people but unseen to anyone without a touch of Elf blood in them. Fools, Tom thought stubbornly, staring at the water sharply. This is no Fountain of Youth. This is something much more.

    Tom watched the water for a moment before moving upstream. He wasn’t expecting anyone to come along. No, not at all, for this woodland was dangerous, for it was home to wolves, bears and large rodents. Tom needn’t worry though – his magic could ensure his safety if he used it appropriately, and if any Dark Creatures came along, he could easily destroy or befriend them. Yet, as he walked along the stream, unaware of the world through his closed eyes and guided steps, he felt the presence of something eerie. When he opened his eyes, his gaze caught that of a pair of travelers, one male and one female, examining the water.


    A more recent one, here's an excerpt from my Pokemon fanfiction "The Thieves of Time"; I'm a bit rusty, but I've improved since the LoZ fanfic (you can find the topic itself here):

    Spoiler:
    As we approached, the form of a small rowboat became more and more recognizable. I looked at Rinslet with a startled expression before saying:

    “Where did you get this?”

    “A while ago, I found it drifting at sea,” she explained excitedly. “There was no one in it; I just assumed that it got detached from the mainland harbour and floated over here.” She was grinning like a child who had just received an unexpected gift from someone.

    “That seems highly unlikely.”

    “Who cares? We have it, don't we?”

    I frowned. Technically she was right, but I still wasn't too convinced on the matter.

    Rinslet, however, was more than reassured. She was confident. Before I could object, she had already climbed into the boat and was seated in it with skitty. Skitty began to meow in fear; the girl quickly silenced it, though, with pets that stroked from her nose to her back.

    “See? It's stable, too. I'm sure you can use it, Shin.”

    I frowned before reluctantly placing Khail into the boat. It sat up on one of the benches and stared into the water. It then whimpered, as if its own reflection had frightened it, and began to cower beneath the bench. I hoisted myself up, drenched from waist down, into the boat and sat on the bench opposite Rinslet, almost capsizing the boat in the process. As I looked around and tested the boat's buoyancy, Rinslet addressed me.

    “Well?” was the impatient word that followed.

    “It seems stable,” I admitted, fiddling with one of the paddles, “but I don't know. I'd love to be able to row to shore and escape this heathen place, but the onshore surveillance is hefty during this time. If we ever were to have any chance whatsoever of escaping successfully, we would have to...” I paused and shook my head, my black hair glistening from the collection of moisture due to fog. “We'd have to depart at night, and that's too dangerous. I wouldn't make it to shore.”

    “I have faith in you, Shin.”

    “Sometimes faith isn't enough.”

    Examples of Reviews/Beta-Reports:
    Spoiler:
    Silawen's "Caught in the Moment"

    Nick815's "Shadows of Johto"
    Spoiler:

    darkpokeball's "The Return"
    Spoiler:


    A lot of reviews are also updated and listed here for further reference: http://yusshin.livejournal.com/333.html

    Background: I'm a perfectionist; I wrote two complete novels before the age of thirteen, one which spanned 150 pages (normal margins; Times New Romans; Font Size 12). I won the Royal Canadian Legion English Proficiency Award of 2006 when I graduated from elementary school; I also won the Oustanding Achievement in English Excellence Award. As for grades, I'm a gifted student in languages who acts like a sponge with literature information. My marks in every subject, other than mathematics and physical education, average 80-95% without studying. Languages and writing is my passion, and I plan to make a career out of it.
    Strengths&Weaknesses (Optional): Grammar, spelling, and context are big things for me. I can spot fragments and the misuse of a semi-colon instantly. I'm also a walking dictionary so generally, the misuse or the uncommon use of a word will be caught immediately, as in the example of "appreciate" in Silawen's fanfic. I'm a pretty rounded individual; when it comes to literature, I have reached a level where faults are rare and are committed 99% of the time by inattention. As well, I understand the concept of personal style in writing and I try not to impede on another's creativity.
Language Beta Readers:
[Mentors who can help with the fine-tuning of language, including things such as description and dialogue.]

  • bobandbill (Also a Grammar/Proofreader Beta Reader - see Grammar list for further details - BACK-UP BETA READER) - 'CLOSED' (I contact clients)
  • Post Office Buddy (Also a Grammar Beta Reader/Proofreader) - OPEN
  • Mizan de la Plume Kuro (Also a Grammar Beta Reader/Proofreader) - Open
  • Yusshin (Also a Grammar Beta Reader/Proofreader) - OPEN
Proofreaders:
[For the more experienced writers who need a second set of eyes and to offer a second opinion - usually aim to give a general overview of a work, but may focus on aspects the author particularly wants an opinion on or which they specialise in.]

  • bobandbill (Also a Grammar/Language Beta Reader - see Grammar list for further details - BACK-UP BETA READER) - OPEN
  • Mira (Also a Grammar Beta Reader - Check that list for more info) - CLOSED
  • Post Office Buddy (Also a Grammar/Language Beta Reader) - OPEN
  • Mizan de la Plume Kuro (Also a Grammar/Language Beta Reader) - Open
  • Yusshin (Also a Grammar/Language Beta Reader) - OPEN

Last edited by bobandbill; January 17th, 2012 at 04:13 PM.