If you’ve even heard of editing, then you should know what a beta-reader is. They’re the volunteers or people you hire to read over your drafts and give you feedback. Some people send their writing to friends, some people share in their writing groups, some people hire people. I’ve gotten beta readers through friends and networking–with the hope of getting a wide array of feedback. I couldn’t do this without them!
However, I’ve got something a bit better.
I’ve got a sister.
And not just any sister.
I’ve got a sister whose tastes massively overlap with mine. Since I’m my own audience, getting her to read what I write is as close as possible to me reading it myself, without being the one to have written it. I can throw plot changes and concepts at her, and with a lot less explaining than someone less tied into how my brain works, she can take that idea and run with it.
She’s supportive and has read every draft. She remembers plots and characters and how they fit.
I call her my alpha reader.
Now, let me get back to a massive plot rearrangement and tracking down all the repercussions…