Sunday, January 15, 2017

What Is A Beta Reader?

Once upon a time ago, I had no clue what a beta reader was. What the hell are they? I never even heard of the term, until I entered the literary world.

According to Wikipedia, a beta reader is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released to the public. Beta readers are not proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context.

Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with characterization or believability.

I personally think the beta reader’s job is to make sure the story flows, check for plot issues, characterization, believability, spelling and grammar errors. However, it’s not their job to edit your manuscript. What I mean by this is a beta reader is not supposed to carefully read line by line to specifically check for goof-ups. 

Since last Friday, I’d talked to both a self-published and a traditionally published author regarding what a beta reader’s job is. I had also approached a beta reader/proof reader/editor and asked her what she thought about this issue as well. Basically, in a nutshell, all of them told me beta readers are invaluable writer’s aids, but they aren’t editors. Here’s what a beta reader’s job is:

A beta reader’s job is to:

1.) Make sure your story flows nicely.

2.) If there are plot holes, tell you about them.

3.) Point out spelling and grammar errors when he or she spots them.

4.) The believability of the tale. Is it cheesy? Stupid? Too far-fetched?

5.) Characterization. Are the characters relatable? Are they three dimensional? Are they boring cardboard cutouts with no individuality? Are they clones?

6.) Bring it to your attention if you’ve missed something, like in the same scene your character is wearing shorts, and then all of a sudden he has on a ghillie suit and you didn’t explain why. 

Anyway, if you’re an author or plan to be, it’s imperative to have a beta reader or critique partner. You want your story to rock, and the only way to accomplish that goal is to polish your tale as much as you can. With the help of another set of eyes and a mutual understanding of what is expected from both parties, you’ll be well on your way to a kickass novel. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Do You Believe In Bigfoot?

I don’t know if you know this about me, but when my parents were married, my dad used to hunt for Bigfoot. One time when he came back from one of his trips, he brought back a plastered impression of a huge footprint. I was five at the time and took it to school for show and tell. LOL. My classmates were in total awe. My teacher, on the other hand, rolled her eyes, but hey, I was a rockstar that day. :)

I don’t know if I believe in Bigfoot but that and the paranormal world was a huge part of my upbringing. I think that’s why I love writing paranormal stories. Not to mention, my knowledge and experience aid me in creating those tales.

Anyway, last month, there was a Bigfoot sighting in a town not too far from me. I thought it was interesting.

Bigfoot in rural North Dakota?

Anyway, here’s the article if you want to check it out.

Do you believe in Bigfoot?

What are your thoughts on it?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Do You Need A Break? Let's Escape Together And Go Here.

I’ve been working a lot lately, and though I love winter, all this ice and snow is wearing me down. 

I need a break. 

How about you? 

Are you in?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Blog Tour! A Sinister Bouquet: awakening by #Author A. Nicky Hjort


★* 。 • ˚ ˚•。★A Sinister Bouquet: awakening
          ★ 。* 。by  A. Nicky Hjort

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Thriller: Adult
The page count: 371 as per Amazon Kindle
Devyn Mitchell has a choice… listen to the voice of her unborn baby – or die- again.
After a near death experience, Doctor Devyn Mitchell finds herself not only mysteriously pregnant but able to communicate with her fetus.
She has two choices: give in to total madness or surrender to her new reality, which just may be the only way she and her family will survive the obsessions of the Homeless Hunter’s mind.
A true paranormal romantic thriller, A Sinister Bouquet: Awakening, the first of the Sinister Series, will take you right to the edge of what you know to be possible and then drop you in a place so dark, so terrifying, that the only passageway out is through the blinding light of awakening.
Wake up. Open your eyes. Finally.
We’ve missed you so.
(MA18+ for graphic sexual and violent content)

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profpic.jpgA. Nicky Hjort is originally from Arlington, Texas- the second of five siblings, all of whom have strong creative talents. She currently lives in coastal central California where she practices medicine as an Ob/GYN. In between being a lovingly devoted mother and delivering babies, she writes stories that cross multiple genre lines- from Sci Fi to high fantasy, but all of her stories have thriller and strong romantic components. And for her clever reader, all of her manuscripts are subtly connected to each other, with their purpose to explore all facets of Love and Light. She likes to say that her stories write themselves, and in the process, often write her, or at least the next version of her hoping to emerge. A lover of all the arts, A. Nicky Hjort hopes her stories might inspire you to find your inner creative genius.
As for her heroes- they are as varied and eclectic as her choice of narrative genres, but when pushed to list her favorite influences, she would say James Patterson, Barbara Kingsolver, Patricia Cornwell, Dean Koontz, Gene Roddenberry, Shel Silverstein, Suzanne Collins, and Walt Disney.
Connect with her on FB at,
Twitter at @A_NickyHjort,
Her website is
She thanks you for your attention to her work.

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