I would like to take this time to discuss the emotional trauma of being a beta reader.
Drama queen? Yeah...maybe.
I love to beta read. Let me get that out of the way. I love jotting down my thoughts as I read, even if no one listens.
I love the
OMG, no she didn't...moments
Or the I'm totally rolling my eyes here...moment
Or the I hate her...moment.
Or the I love this setting...moment.
Or the Really? Let me hit her upside the head...moment
Then, there's the huh? ...moments.
And questions...always questions
Moments that require clarity
Moments that leave me scratching my head.
I like to think there's a balance.
Beta reading allows me to love and hate the story. To love and hate the characters. To love and hate the setting. on and on. I get to be animated and feel and write it as I go. Then, I get to give my overall thoughts. It's how I beta. I put my heart into it first.
This can be good or bad, as you can imagine. Because then I go back and reread what I wrote initially to make sure I'm not being mean, or condescending. Then I strip away my initial thoughts to soften things that I think may be misconstrued, and there goes my insecurities, on high alert.
I don't know the best way around this. I've been on the receiving end of crits as well, so I know how it goes. I just feel blah...sometimes.
So...as a beta, I always add a disclaimer--take what works and trash the rest. This business is so subjective that I can't say what works and what doesn't. Only what works for me. That's it. I'd like to think that I'm an expert at what I like to read.