alpha readers

July 28, 2010

The Blessing (and the Curse) of the Alpha Reader

Hi, I’m Denise and I use alpha readers. Now some of you are saying “What? What is she talking about? WTF is an alpha reader?” and others are now looking down your nose with contempt. No real writer uses alpha readers. And a few of you, some who are too ashamed to admit it, are nodding your head and whispering “I do too.” What is an alpha reader? An alpha reader is a person who reads your book while it’s in first draft. Okay, I’m going to let a few of you get yourselves back together before I continue on, because some of you would rather face a firing squad than show people your first draft. And guess what? That’s okay. Just like some people use detailed outlines, snowflake methods, or whatever else people use to intricately plot out their books, others just “pants” it and go. I fall somewhere in the middle, which if I had to guess, I think most writers do too. If someone tried to force me to use an an outline you would find me laying on the floor next to my computer throwing a temper tantrum in frustration. The rigidness of an outline is […]