betas

Mar. 31st, 2010 04:21 pm
[personal profile] leavethesky
I know it's been said a million times (and many of those by [livejournal.com profile] ralst), but please, please, please consider using a beta before you post. Case in point:

Her purse hit the ground, the box of business cards tumbling out as _____'s body quacked with the power of her loosed emotion.

I added the bold just in case you missed it (I'm not sure how you could) and blocked out the name to protect the innocent. This just completely knocked me out of what might have been a decent story. This is one of those problems that spellcheck just can't help you with because 'quacking' is just as much a word as 'quaking' so it sails through without so much as a little red line underneath. Only another human, looking over your story before you post it, can spot such a thing. I just...I can't. I'm quacking in fear of the betalessness (spellcheck is h8ing that non-word but didn't even whimper at 'quacking'). We all make mistakes, but a beta can help you at least minimize the most glaring. Your readers will and can overlook a lot (I know I do), but you owe them the courtesy of fixing the worst of them and you get the bonus of saving yourself the embarrassment and the lost readers as a result. It's a win-win.

This has been a public service announcement from someone who reads WAY too much fic. Thank you and good night.

eta: And where is [livejournal.com profile] sr_m_grammatica when you need her? She really should swoop in with her wimple and black cloak to handle this shit. I mean... stuff.

Date: 2010-03-31 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sravenk.livejournal.com
Oh, my emotion is loosed! QUACK! Oops, did I do that out loud? *blush*

Date: 2010-04-01 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leavethesky.livejournal.com
Yeah, I don't even know... *shaking head* I wish I wasn't one of those people who gets embarrassed for others. Life would be so much less stressful.

Date: 2010-04-01 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sravenk.livejournal.com
I was too busy laughing quite literally out loud to have such a sympathetic response. Michelle thought I was going to choke. Quack is a really funny word. And "loosed" emotion? Art thou reading Elizabethan fanfic now? With business cards? Woman, thou art loosed!

Date: 2010-04-01 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mantaraggio.livejournal.com
Randomly, I once did the exact opposite of this - I was using whiteout to graffiti a poem onto my high school locker door, and instead of writing "quack," I wrote "quake." It really ruined the flow of the funny limerick I was trying to inscribe. So I am this moron in reverse. To defend myself - I was fifteen at the time.

Date: 2010-04-01 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leavethesky.livejournal.com
There is no defense!!! Scratch that. 15 is a defense for pretty much ANYTHING. I cringe every time I think of my poor 15 year-old self. that poor, poor girl. And my 15 was too uncool to do grafitti.

Now I HAVE to know the limerick!

Date: 2010-04-01 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mantaraggio.livejournal.com
Hahah, well, I know no longer remember the limerick. It wasn't really a limerick, it was a poem... I feel like quack had to rhyme with cackle somehow...

Date: 2010-04-01 01:43 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-04-01 01:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leavethesky.livejournal.com
I know. I laughed. Then cried. The horror. The horror...

I WISH it was Elizabethan fanfic. That could be interesting...

Date: 2010-04-01 01:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leavethesky.livejournal.com
also, now you've done it. The OM has gotten into the act and is spouting Shakespearean quacktasticness!

Now she's inserting it into monologues from The French Lieutenant's Woman.

Date: 2010-04-01 11:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sravenk.livejournal.com
::chokes on breakfast::

That's the best thing I have heard all month.

Date: 2010-04-01 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ein-myria.livejournal.com
We'll be doing duck jokes, from now. :)

Date: 2010-04-01 01:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leavethesky.livejournal.com
It's not all it's quacked up to be.

I can't believe I just wrote that!

Maybe I should change 'antirec' to 'quacked'.

Edited Date: 2010-04-01 03:00 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-04-01 02:13 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-04-01 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leavethesky.livejournal.com
I know, right? A big sigh is really the only possible reaction to that. It HURTS me.

Date: 2010-04-01 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mindwalker78.livejournal.com
many times i stop reading a fic for that reason ::sigh:: i still remember times when you couldn't just post on the web because it wasn't as easy as it is now. and a webmaster wouldn't put up with you if your story wasn't edited.

Date: 2010-04-03 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leavethesky.livejournal.com
That's we need. More gods webmasters for the internets.Where are the editors when you need them?!

Date: 2010-04-01 09:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lysachan.livejournal.com
Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish people were meaner online, or at least kindly pointed out these things to the writers. That seems to be the only way to get the point across, unfortunately.

Date: 2010-04-03 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leavethesky.livejournal.com
I know. Sometimes I wish I was meaner then I would email the author instead of posting it here where it does no good. Dammit! Or maybe that just makes me a coward? *g*

Date: 2010-04-01 12:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] femme-slash-fan.livejournal.com
Yeah, if anyone needs beta work... I'm free??

and I try to beta mine lots so... yeah.

Date: 2010-04-01 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theholyinnocent.livejournal.com
Ack. You know, I was just thinking about all this recently. In general I can be forgiving of some typos--no matter how good a writer you are, no matter how many times it gets read (by you and other people), something usually slips in. Hell, the Good Sister found a typo in my latest fic, bless her.

But when there's a lot of them, and if they are quackingly obvious...it's bad. Over the weekend I read a fic that had a pretty intense, compelling storyline, but after so many common errors that I tried to forgive (your for you're) I hit the spelling of "Oozo" for "ouzo" and I just wanted to throw in the towel. I mean, there are dictionaries ONLINE now, for fuck's sake, it's not that hard to check the spelling of something!

Date: 2010-04-03 05:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leavethesky.livejournal.com
I know. It kills me and I see so much of it. I'm a bit of a textaholic (obviously), so I'll read pretty much anything (obviously), but...is it just laziness? My (college!) students do the same thing, so I don't know why I'm surprised at all.

Latest fic? Where? Apparently I've been living under a rock.

Date: 2010-04-03 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theholyinnocent.livejournal.com
Sorry, it's not "new" fic, just the latest bit of "Infamia."

I think with fic writers, it's the instant gratification thing. They're in such a hurry to post, they don't want to do research, they don't want to check their spelling and grammar, nor do they want to wait for anyone else to do it.

And when it comes to college students, you may be right. I get all cranky thinking about the young people!

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