Writers! Kind of figured this was probably justify a good read. Ideas?


Greetings Freelancers, this just might be valuable.

The Night Witch by Jenn Stark // VBC Review

The Night Witch (Wilde Justice #6)
Jenn Stark
Published: Aug. 3, 2020 (Elewyn Publishing)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by: Amy

Average Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference events from previous books in the series. If you haven’t yet started check out VBC’s review of Getting Wilde

As Justice of the Arcana
Council, Sara Wilde is starting to feel the pressure. Not only in regards to
figuring out the Shadow Court’s nefarious plans, but also in that she’s been
receiving and inordinately amount of requests for aid from various corners of
the Connected community. She can’t seem to make any headway on the piling up

When one of her nearest and
dearest is targeted by the Shadow Court—which is pretty much an attack on Sara
herself—Sara is enraged when the Council decides to take the road of passivity.

But acting out on her own,
without the Council backing her up, is not how Sara normally operates. Then she
begins to hear the rumblings of The Night Witch—a vigilante who goes where, and
does what, Justice cannot—under the cloak of darkness. Can Sara cross that line
and put aside her convictions if it means saving lives? When a new, mysterious
ally emerges, Sara sees a great opportunity, but their price for help might
lead to more trouble than its worth.

The Night Witch
started out for me a little precariously. I feel like this series has a
tendency to play the long game. Meaning that readers don’t always get the
answers within the pages of one book. Sometimes things can stretch across
multiple books and oftentimes that makes me feel like I’m just standing in one
place, so to speak, while the book slowly progresses around me.

That’s how it felt when I
first started this book. The Shadow Court has been a thorn in the side of this
series for a couple of books now, and we started in pretty much the same place
we left, not knowing much more of anything about them.

Then Jenn Stark just
completely turns things around, and The
Night Witch
ended up having some of the most compelling revelations and
climactic scenes of the series thus far.
Of course talking too much about
this would spoil a lot about the book unfortunately.

Suffice it to say, when I
finished reading and even now as I write this, I have to marvel at the way that
Jenn Stark incorporates the metaphorical (or is it?) idea of the Night Witch
with Sara’s own inner struggle with the authority of the Council and her role as
Justice. For me, this was a very unassuming aspect of the story, but it’s one
that has left the biggest impression on me since finishing. It’s an aspect that
I am greatly looking forward to continuing to explore in future books.

Jenn Stark has been writing the Sara Wilde world for sixteen (!) books now and this is not even including the spin-off Demon Enforcers series (of which there will be a total of six). To continuously add this level of depth, and keep it plausible, is a feat. I enjoyed the surprises, I loved that the above mentioned Demon Enforcers make a significant appearance, and I enjoyed seeing Sara interacting with Councilmembers outside of her normal group (such as Judgement and the High Priestess).

There are interesting setups
in The Night Witch, I cannot wait to
see how they continue to play out.

 Sexual Content: Sex

Was I on the money?
Was I on target?

Freelancers! Kind of thought this could be worth a look see. Any ideas?


Hi-Ya Budding Authors, this has a chance to be decent.

20 Best Drama Script Examples to Download and Read for Free. Writing a drama script is a great way to showcase your character development skills—and, notoriously, practically all Oscar and Nicholl contest winners are drama screenplays. But in order to reach that level, it’s super important to read as many drama scripts as you can. With […]

The post 20 Best Drama Script Examples to Download and Read for Free appeared first on Script Reader Pro.

Was I dead on?
You can thank me later.

Wordsmiths! Kind of thought this might qualify for a read. Ideas?


Welcome Persons of Letters, this is going to be time killing.

Simon Cowell was hospitalized Saturday after breaking his back in an accident at his Malibu home. The America’s Got Talent judge and executive producer was reportedly testing his new electric bike in the courtyard of his home when the mishap occurred. He was taken to the hospital, where he was slated to undergo surgery Saturday evening. […]

Was I correct?
No need to thank me.

Freelancers! Hoping this may justify a gander. Any thoughts?


Welcome Freelancers, this may really be worth checking out.

1. Not me but a friend used to work as a night custodian for an elementary school, which the building itself was rather old (built in the 40s maybe?). He was the 3rd shift guy so he took over from the 2nd shift guy at like 9 pm. He was basically there to mop the floors and make sure no one broke in. If he got all of his stuff done, he was pretty much free to do whatever he wanted. Often after he finished doing his work, he’d go hang out in an office because there was a small TV to watch.

He said things started off innocently enough. Lights turning on in classrooms where he knew they had been off previously, cabinets and doors opening and closing on their own. He didn’t pay much attention to it at first. He was sort of on the fence as to whether he believed in paranormal activities so he just shrugged it off as coincidences. At first, he would go and check the noises out. Sometimes he’d creep around and try to catch someone in the act, in case there was a way in that he didn’t know about. After a month or so, he gave up looking and just learned to ignore it. He’d ask his boss about it and just get blown off.

Over the coming months, things progressively got worse. Doors no longer closed on their own, they slammed shut. He heard noises like children playing, sometimes screaming. He’d find trash cans turned upside down. He’d have things thrown at him but he would be clearly alone with nowhere for someone to hide and throw things at him.

He’d contemplated quitting but he was making good money for being nearly fresh out of high school and he needed the money for family stuff so he stuck with it. He’d come in, rush through his duties for the night as quickly as he could and then go and sit in the office where he’d turn the TV to where he could sit facing the door and that’s where he’d sit until the morning crew came in at 6 am. He didn’t want to admit that he was scared shitless of being in that school by himself at night so he tried to tough it out and made a lot of excuses to try and explain what was going on.

The last straw for him was the night he was sitting in the office watching TV and felt someone grab the chair from behind and flip him over backward. There was clearly no one in the room and no way for anyone to get into the room without him seeing them. He picked up the office phone and called his boss at home in the middle of the night, said he quit and he’d come back in the morning to turn his keys in.

He was definitely a believer in the paranormal after that experience. He said that it wasn’t until years later that he found out from someone who’d researched the history of the school before it was torn down that there used to be a pool inside the school. A number of kids had drowned in over the early years of the school until the administration decided to finally expand the building so they filled the pool in with concrete and expand over top of it.

2. I worked at a movie store in college. I was closing one night and just kind of doing a final walk through. I kept hearing what sounded like movie cases shuffling. I looked around thinking maybe someone had came in last minute although I didn’t hear the bell ring for when someone enters the store. Didn’t see anyone. Then I hear what sounds like a movie fall off a shelf in the kid’s section. I go over and there’s a movie laying on the ground and I shit you not it was Casper.

3. Worked at a movie theater running the booths upstairs. The projectors are upstairs (obviously) in a long corridor.

At night, after the last showing in each theater, you shut off the lights to that theater and the small one over the projector itself. Then you cover the platters to protect from dust.

It’s not so bad the first few, because at least the lights of nearby projectors are still on for the theaters that are still running.

But…as you shut each one off one by one, the corridor gets darker and darker and that little viewing window into each individual theater is pitch black. That dull, steady whirring noise you’ve toned out all night is gone and is now replaced by absolute silence and there’s hardly any light left anymore. Just the lights at the end of each corridor where you sit in between each start time.

It’s spooky enough is what I’m saying.

But one particular night, I’m throwing the covers over one of the platters and I casually glance up into the viewing theater window across the way.

And there’s a face. It’s a little boy’s face and it’s sheet white.

I know what I saw. I’m sure there’s an explanation for it and there’s nothing supernatural about it, but there WAS a face there and it scared the absolute shit out of me. It made an already unsettling environment that much more terrifying the rest of the time I worked there.

Also for the record, inside the actual theater, these windows are a solid 8-10 feet above the seatbacks in the highest row. So, if someone was playing a prank, they’d need a ladder and even then they’d have nowhere to set it.

4. I worked in a mine in northern Ontario. There was a death on the 4200 level a couple years previous to the incident. It was a normal day underground like any other. 4200 level was big, the drifts were 6×6 feet, but go on for kilometers in every direction. It was about midnight when we saw the mine rescue team with security rushing down the drift. Naturally we dropped what we were doing and followed to see if we could help. We arrived to a guy who was as pale as a ghost, he didn’t look hurt, but he was shaking uncontrollably. Mine Rescue approached him and he wouldn’t have it. He would scream, and not just any scream, it was terrifying hearing the screams, like a person so consumed with fear, it had a tone to it that you wouldn’t imagine could come from a person. Eventually he just stopped screaming and just sat there, awake but non responsive.

By now it was 3:30 am and our shift was over. We couldn’t leave him down there. We managed to get him on a stretcher that we could carry out. On our way out he kept saying, “The devil is on 42.” Over and over again.

About two years later, another incident report was read to us, the exact same thing, exactly the same spot, but a different person.

I don’t believe they saw the devil, but it is always in the back of my mind when I’m on 42.

5. A lab building where I once worked was the site of a murder-suicide (which happened while I was there! Awful and sad). We didn’t have “shifts” per se, but I had to work late one night autoclaving equipment for the next day’s experiment. The autoclave room is right next to the lab where the event took place. I hadn’t seen anyone else in the building. After I started the load, I was about to leave the room when I heard a crash outside. I immediately opened the door and saw that all the contents of a table in the hallway had been pushed to the floor. Water bottles, a packet of papers, pens, etc. Since I was right by the door at the time, I would have seen and/or heard someone running away. It was against protocol to leave things in the autoclave overnight, so I had to stay an hour and a half to get them out, but nothing else happened. I left the stuff on the floor, though. Didn’t want a repeat of that!

6. I was working at a gas station at like 3 AM one night. A car pulled in to the pump, guy got out and started pumping, and then the car and dude just…vanished. I was looking right at it, and it just popped out of existence. I told my boss the next day and she turned white as a sheet. She’d seen the same thing, same exact description, same car, same pump, same guy.

7. While working at a psych ward, every morning at about 2am there would be the sound of someone running down the main service hallway, followed by the same door at the end slamming. One time I kept a close eye on the area but when I was distracted for a few seconds the footsteps began but when I got to the area there was nothing. According to one of the managers that had happened for several years, always at the same time every morning, and most believed it was a ghost of one of the deceased clients.

Another time, all the battery powered wall clocks in the unit spun around a few times simultaneously. That was freaky and everyone in the area screamed.

8. I work the night shift in a hotel, it’s a pretty old building so lots of weird stuff happens. What stands out in particular is that there is a very creepy statue, which one night was gone. I asked the morning receptionist why they had removed it, she seemed confused. We checked and it was there again, I swear it was gone during the night.

9. A patient in one of our hospital rooms kept talking about spirits and demons. She was discharged a week later. The next guy who was admitted to that bed told me he sees spirits, and a big black Lab was lying next to the bed (my black Lab died a couple years ago). Then he said he’s very in touch with the spirit world and laughed, “I see dead people.”

10. Repossessing cars. It’s about 2:30am. Me and a buddy in the same car. Corner of route 70 and 571 in Lakewood NJ. A 97-98 Honda CRV Pulls up in the left turn lane. She had no face. Like “No Face” from that bad 90’s Dick Tracy movie.

11. I worked night shift at a hotel. I also had a day job and the manager was cool and said I could sleep as long as I woke up if someone needed something.

One night, I woke up and saw a guy… Well, more of a silhouette of a guy… Staring at me through the windows of the Dutch door to the courtyard. He was really tall (6.5 ft?) And had a black duster/trench coat and hat.

I jumped up from the couch, put down the remote I had fallen asleep with in my hand and rushed to the door to see what he needed.

He was gone. And no sign of him anywhere in the courtyard and there were only two long, straight paths. He couldn’t even have ran that fast.

I forget about it and continue my night.

Fast forward about three weeks and my coworker is telling me about an “evil spirit” that lives in one of the rooms (all the employees knew there were at least 4 haunted rooms there, as well as the elevator. No, seriously). He started describing a tall shadowy guy. I cut him off and say, “Like 6 or 7 feet? Black coat and hat?” He turns white and stares at me. “You’ve seen it too?!”

I tell him what happened. And that innocent incident that night all of a sudden got super creepy.

12. When a patient buzzed and asked me to “ask the person behind the curtain to go away.” Fyi it was dark and everyone was in their beds.

13. I was on CQ (charge of quarters) while stationed in Germany. At about 2am, a dachshund came in the building (summer, so doors were open). I followed him down the hall to get him out and he just vanished when I was about 6 feet away. It’s was unbelievably real.

14. Used to work at IHOP. A cook before my time got shot and died during robbery. I would always hear someone in the kitchen such as the spatulas clanking but nobody would be in the kitchen. Once I saw black figure in the back figured it was the cook, when I went outside to the front of the restaurant, the cook was sitting outside smoking. There was no current orders either. Other coworkers experienced some stories. One of them said she felt pushed but I can’t speak on what I didn’t see.

15. I work the front gate at a military installation. The night shift is super dull and quiet where I am at. For awhile I noticed this dark green old Ford Bronco that would roll up. When I would stand out the gate shack, the car would do a 180 and leave. This happened about 2-3 times until I finally caught the license plate before it turned. I ran the numbers to my supervisor. He asked me if I was sure. I said I’m 100% certain.

He tells me it couldn’t be because the numbers led to a vehicle crash report that involved THE EXACT SAME VEHICLE and plate number to which the driver had died and the vehicle and the vehicle was totaled. That shit made me want to switch to days.

16. I worked at a 7/11. One night I kept hearing what sounded like a little girl crying, but the store was completely empty. Whenever I’d go the the area where I thought it was coming from, I’d hear it from somewhere else. I hope somebody was messing with me but I’m not sure.

17. Night watch in the barracks at Ft Gordon. That’s a night shift, right? Anyway, so many things happened in 3 different rooms that I could write a book. It completely changed my believe in paranormal activity. This one took place in the middle of the night so this is the one I’ll tell.

I’m sitting by the stairwell on the 2nd floor and hear someone shouting in a room down a hallway. I’m on duty so I run to the room and swing open the door expecting to see some fighting. There are several people in this room pointing up to the ceiling next to a wall and telling me, “They’re doing it again!” I ask them to explain and they tell me that ever since they moved into that room someone lifts up the ceiling tiles and makes funny faces at them at night. The latrine is on the other side of the wall so I go over to see if anyone is there and there isn’t. So I climb onto a desk in the room to lift up the ceiling tiles to see if they’re still up there. When I lift up the ceiling tiles all I see is a cinder block wall that goes all the way to the floor above. There’s only about an inch between the back of the ceiling tile and the wall. No way a face was there. 2 of the soldiers freaked out and ran out of the room and slept in the hallway. This was only the first of many incidents.

18. I don’t inherently believe in ghosts but if I had a paranormal story it will be this one. I work in one of the major ERs in my city as a HCA, one of my many tasks is postmortem care on patients who die in our care. One night at around 0200 I was called to the room of an older patient who was palliative had passed and the family had finished their goodbyes. So I went in to start providing care, this usually means removing any tubes, wires, and monitors from the patient, giving them a bed bath, removing any valuables from the body to give to the family, putting them in a gown and shroud. I like to talk to my patients even if they have passed as it puts me at ease, and shows respect to them. I explain my actions and talk them through what I’m doing because even though they have passed they are still my patient. While I was proceeding with the bed bath of the patient out of nowhere I felt like I was being watched and then I felt a hand on my shoulder and a mans voice tell me, “Thank you.” The hand remained for a moment while I stood there frozen then all the feelings stopped and the room felt empty. There were no other nurses or staff in the area at the time, just me. I like to believe that the patient I was providing care for was thankful for my explanations and me continuing to talk to them through their care.

19. I used to work at a 24hr Subway. (I know, great start to a paranormal experience story, huh?). Well one day I was doing the dishes, and my coworker was cleaning the toaster oven and bread oven. Out of nowhere, around 3:30am, I heard our door chime go off. Out of habit I say, “Welcome to Subway,” as I turn the corner. Nobody there. Coworker gone.

I thought, “Okay, maybe he hopped the counter and went for a cigarette outside,” as he did from time to time. Heading back to the sink to finish the dishes, I hear the door chime again. Nobody. Checked the bathrooms. Nobody. “What…the…hell.” I ignore the dishes, and stand at the front counter, eyeing the doors. Couple minutes later, my coworker comes through the back door where we get our deliveries.

“Where’d you go?” I asked him, turning towards the back door area.

“To take out the trash,” he replies.

Door chime. He does the same thing as me– “Welcome to Subway,” turns corner to see nobody there but this time the door was wide open. Our doors are weighted to where they’ll close on their own if you let go of them. Door stayed open for a couple minutes as we stared… Then suddenly slammed.

Not a windy night, and our doors wouldn’t even stay open like that on the windiest of days. Have no idea what caused this, or why it happened on that particular night, but after I got a different job I was told it never happened again.

Told my boss about the incident and we all looked at the cameras. Nobody could explain it.

20. I don’t have a story, but here is the one my wife likes to tell:

She is a nurse and for a couple of years she was working nightshift in the Palliative Care Unit. Which is the comfort care/end of life unit. Patients in that unit are expected to die, or to be sent home or to a care home to die.

Anyways, those rooms also had a radio, and according to her it happened a few times that a radio suddenly turned on, and within an hour or so a patient would pass on.

One rather busy night, the radio turned on and my wife went into the room, stared into the darkness and said “Cut that out! I don’t have time for this shit!” and the radio suddenly snapped off.

No patient died during the rest of her shift, but one passed away shortly after she clocked out. TC mark

Was I right?
Thank me later.

Wordsmiths! Kind of thought that this was probably qualify for a read. Comment if you like.


Good Day Avid Readers, this could possibly be decent.

I fancy myself a pretty organized person. But when it comes to freelance writing, it’s easy for me to lose track of things.

Did I save that contract in Microsoft Word or Google Docs? Am I on invoice number 1038 or 1039? I thought I was happy with the rate my client is paying me, but I’ve been working on this project for who knows how long — is it even worth it?

When we’re our own boss, we have a lot of balls to juggle. If you were working in a traditional office, you might have a system for categorizing files or an accounting team to track work-related expenses. But since you’re on your own, how are you supposed to track everything?

In swoops Bonsai.

What is Bonsai?

Bonsai is an online platform that aims to help freelancers streamline their numerous daily tasks. 

When you create an account, go to the dashboard to access things like your contracts, invoices, proposals and client information. By keeping everything in one place, you can stay organized and hopefully accomplish tasks more efficiently.

Bonsai’s goal is to provide you with everything you need for a freelance project, from start to finish (or proposal to payment). You’ll receive a 14-day free trial when you sign up, which should give you time to get a feel for how Bonsai can influence your daily life.

What can you do with Bonsai?

Here’s what you can do with Bonsai.

Keep track of clients, projects and tasks

From your dashboard, you have a section for clients, where you can store information like clients’ contact information and social media profiles, and even how much money they owe you. 

For example, let’s say I enter information for my three main clients, Finance Company, Travel Blog and Beverage Website.

Then you can create projects for each client. Under Finance Company, I may add projects for credit card pieces, student loan pieces and equity pieces. For Travel Blog, the projects could be January blog posts, February blog posts, etc.

Finally, you can create specific tasks under each project. For instance, under January blog posts, I might add each individual blog post as a task, assuming I write more than one blog post per month.

This is essentially a digital version of a binder filled with folders and color-coded tabs. Monica Geller from Friends and Amy Santiago from Brooklyn Nine-Nine would have a field day with Bonsai if they were freelance writers.

Time yourself

In the top right corner, you’ll see “Start Timer.” When you click this, you can choose a specific project and even a task to time. You can also add notes, like “research” so you know you spent that time researching, not writing.

The timer is especially helpful if you charge clients by the hour. I don’t charge hourly, but I still prefer to use the timer. If I charge $100 for a piece but realize it required 10 hours of work, I might think twice before taking on a similar assignment.

Before signing up for Bonsai, I used a time tracker called Time Doctor. The program experienced several glitches over the months I used it, which was annoying because I was charging by the hour back then. So far, Bonsai’s timer has been more reliable and accurate.

Create invoices

Kim T., a writer who has been using Bonsai for two years, says the invoicing software might be her favorite part of the platform. “Bonsai is great for effortless invoicing and payment,” she explains.

“Effortless” really is the appropriate word. You can create an invoice, then link it to the timer so that the amount of time you spend on a project automatically shows up in the invoice. This can save you time plugging in numbers if you charge hourly.

Or you may choose to create invoices manually. Bonsai provides you with invoice templates, so you don’t have to start from scratch.

I despise creating invoices in Microsoft Word, even with Word’s templates, so I have to agree with Kim — Bonsai’s invoices are a huge plus.

Write proposals and contracts

Time to pitch a big project? You might need to write a proposal.

Bonsai provides several proposal templates depending on what type of work you’re proposing. There’s one for writing projects that divides the proposal into Context & Objectives, Timeline and Why Me. 

There are also templates for other types of work, like Design or Consulting. (Because we all know at least one writer who has expertise in more than one field!)

Once a client accepts your proposal, you can write up a contract. Bonsai’s contracts are even more customizable than its proposals, and it’s the customizability that Kim says makes Bonsai stand out from other platforms. There are numerous contract template options, including a “custom” option that helps you create a contract from scratch.

Record business expenses

The Expenses section is where you’ll keep track of items like Uber and Lyft rides, airplane flights, business meals — anything a client might reimburse you for. You can subdivide expenses into categories like Advertising, Office Expenses and Supplies. Bonsai will track which billable expenses you have been reimbursed for and which ones you’re waiting to be reimbursed for.

You can also track non-billable expenses, which can be useful when tax season rolls around and you’re thinking, “Oh, what business expenses can I write off?”

Be your own accountant

The more clients you have and the more diverse your freelancing work is, the more likely you are to benefit from an accountant. But if you’re already paying for a subscription to Bonsai, why bother hiring an accountant? Use the platform to act as your own accountant!

You can link the Accounting section to your Expenses and Invoicing sections to track your business budget. The layout is useful for tracking both billable and non-billable expenses so you can see how much you’re spending on your writing career versus how much you’re bringing in. 

What could improve about Bonsai?

The invoicing may be convenient, but the system isn’t flawless. 

You can only customize invoices to a point. The sections are “Item name,” “units,” “rate” and “total.” But for one of my clients, I need to have a separate section for “item code,” and I don’t need a “units” column. 

It would be great if I could just replace “units” with “item code,” but unfortunately this isn’t an option.

When you set up an invoice, you choose a payment method, and a few of these methods involve fees. I always request direct deposit when I can, but Bonsai charges a $5 fee for direct deposit. I’d rather just create an invoice through Microsoft Word and pocket the $5.

Kim has been using Bonsai for much longer than I have, and although she’s a fan overall, she finds herself wishing she could use the platform for more complex tasks. 

“It’d be wonderful if I could take a client/project and run a report that tells me the total amount billed as it relates to the total hours spent,” she says.

We can only hope Bonsai continues to develop each section so that freelancers can do even more with the program.

Bottom line: Should you give Bonsai a try?

If you’re a freelance writer with multiple clients and/or projects, it’s certainly worth setting up a Bonsai account. Storing all my information in one place has made me feel less frazzled.

Your ability to access certain features depends on which plan you select. Here are your options:

  • Bonsai Plus ($19 per month): Ability to create invoices, proposals and contracts, track expenses, access an accounting module and use chat support.
  • Bonsai Premium ($29 per month): All the features you can access with a Plus membership, as well as the ability to subcontract through Bonsai and white-label (or  legally replace a brand’s logo with your own). You can also add multiple users to your account for $9 monthly per member.

If you’re looking for a more affordable deal and are open to long-term commitment, you can sign up for annual billing. You’ll receive the equivalent of two months free, which comes to only $16 per month for Bonsai Plus and $24 for Premium.

You might give the two-week trial a go and see if you want to sign up for Bonsai Plus. However, I don’t see much use for Premium unless you either have some very specific, advanced needs, or you employ other people and want to add them to your account.

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase through our links, you’re supporting The Write Life — and we thank you for that!

Photo via JKstock/ Shutterstock 

The post Meet Bonsai, A Task-Management Tool Keeping Freelance Writers Organized appeared first on The Write Life.

Was I on target?
Was I right on?

Scribes! Thought that this could probably justify a look. Thoughts?


Hi Bored Readers, this has a bonafide chance be good.

In this final post in our Writer’s Guide to Beta Readers, we’ll talk about how to deal with all the great feedback you’ve gotten from your beta readers!

The Writer's Guide to Beta Readers: How to Deal With Beta Reader Feedback

If you don’t know what a beta reader is, jump back to the first post in this series to find out. The previous post also gave the answers to burning questions about whether you pay beta readers, the type of beta readers you want to find, and more.

The second post discussed how to work with beta readers, including how to prepare your manuscript, how to ask someone to beta read, and how to keep your beta readers focused on the big issues.

Now let’s move on to the big project: implementing beta reader feedback!

Tips for Dealing with Beta Reader Feedback

You’ve spent a few agonizing weeks waiting on the feedback to roll in from your beta readers. You’ve probably worked your way into an anxiety attack with all the waiting. What if they don’t like it? What if you have to do a major rewrite? It’s scary!

Wait. Seriously.

It’s going to be tempting to start looking at your feedback as soon as one of your beta readers lets you know they’re finished. Don’t do it!

It’s a bad idea to look at the feedback from one reader at a time. Why? Because you’re not seeing the full picture. And getting the full picture was what you sent your manuscript to beta readers for to begin with.

So wait until the deadline (you did give your beta readers a deadline, right?) passes before you look at anything.

Combine Documents

Back to the idea of the full picture, you’re going to want to combine all the documents from every single one of your beta readers into one master document. You can do this easily with MS Word, or there are software programs out there (like BetaBooks) to help you out.

But now you’ve got a huge document with possibly hundreds of comments. That excitement you felt at seeing how much your beta readers loved your book is waning and turning quickly to dread. It’s time to freak out!

Take a Deep Breath

All those comments look daunting, so go ahead and get your freakout over with. I don’t know if this is a necessary step in the process for every writer, but it is for me. I can’t help but feel like every comment is bad and it makes me want to trash the book.

The fact is any point in the revision process is a point where a writer wants to give up. Don’t. Especially not now. You’ve come too far for that.

So take a deep breath and remember you’re trying to make your book as good as it can possibly be.

You Don’t Have to Accept Every Piece of Feedback

The fact that you can ignore some pieces of feedback should set your mind at ease.

I’m not saying you can just scoff and think your betas “don’t get it” and throw all their feedback out the window.

I’m saying quite a few of those hundreds of comments are probably things like, “Oh I love this description!” or “Wow that’s freaky!” While beta readers are just trying to help (and I love reading those types of comments), you can just go through and delete those. They’re not really helpful at this point, other than for an ego boost.

There are a few other things you might ignore. If someone comments that they are confused and might have missed something, yet no one else says they are confused at that point, most likely that person actually missed something while reading. Double-check to make sure you didn’t forget something vital, and then delete.

But You Do Have to Listen

That sentence that three people said read weird? Pay attention to that. The character that no one likes? You might want to have another look at that person (unless no one is supposed to like them!).

Read each and every piece of feedback and commentary and consider before you decide if it’s something you should take seriously or if it’s something you can safely ignore.

Next Steps

Hopefully, your manuscript was in pretty good shape and you don’t have much to change. If that’s the case, you can move on and send your MS to a proofreader.

Some people do another round of beta readers after they tweak their manuscript just to make sure they didn’t mess something up. I don’t, but if you do, make sure you use a new batch of beta readers, not just to avoid asking the same people for favors, but to make sure you get fresh eyes on the story.

Don’t Forget to Say Thanks!

I told you in the previous post that your beta readers are doing you a favor and you should always, always remember that. Never treat them disrespectfully, and make sure you thank them for all the hard work they’ve done. I thanked mine profusely in a personal email (no mass emailing!) and will be sending my readers a free e-copy of my finished book.

If you missed the previous posts in this series, be sure to check them out! In this post, I give an overview of beta readers and the process, and in this one, I tell you how to find them.

Is it hard for you to accept feedback from beta readers? Let me know in the comments.


For today’s practice, free write about how you deal with criticism. Write for fifteen minutes. I promise this is a good exercise to help you learn to take feedback better!

When you’re, feel free to post your free writing in the comments!

The post The Writer’s Guide to Beta Readers: How to Deal With Beta Reader Feedback appeared first on The Write Practice.

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