Re: Manuscript swaping seems like a bad idea tbh, to much potential for drama

#3
Have to disagree completely there.  Writers generally AREN'T in direct competition with each other for the simple reason that readers read many books a year.

Non-writers make lousy beta readers unless they happen to have editing experience.  A non-writer might notice there's something wrong or confusing with a particular scene, but they are unlikely to have the experience that would help them figure out what exactly the problem is.  Don't know if you've heard the phrase "read like a writer" but that's what you want beta readers yo be able to do.

A third point is that the practice of trading editing with another writer exists because writer typically can't afford to hire professional editors.  What do you have that you can use to recompense non-writer beta readers?  If you are relying on volunteers you will likely need to recruit a new one every 5 chapters or so because they will get bored/busy.

Re: Manuscript swaping seems like a bad idea tbh, to much potential for drama

#4
I've tried to build a reciprocal relationship with other writers in the past (3 times). Problems include:
  • they are not timely in returning the work (months can pass)
  • they do not give nearly as many comments as I do (I'm an editor, so I don't expect the same edits I give, but I do expect more than one comment ever 25k words)
  • people become hostile whenever they come across any hint of opinion contrary to their own
By the last point, I mean that, like on social media, people want to live in an echo chamber that reflects their own beliefs and hate other perspectives. For example, in one story my character mentioned how gross smoking was. A couple of beta readers got up in arms and said I shouldn't say stuff like that. Any comments about politics, religion, gender and just about anything else can really set people off, even if they're supposed to be from a character's POV, and not representative of the author. 

When this emotional conflict happens, the writer you're working with (or beta) may suddenly get turned off the effort entirely. I've exchanged sections and started out getting good feedback on early sections, then when they came across something they disagreed with, future sections had almost no comments, like they were only forcing themselves to go through the exchange process without actually doing the work. Or they will leave nasty comments.

Recommendation
Get to know an exchange partner well first, then exchange. Make sure you're either both on the same page about what you're each writing about, or make sure that you're both professional and committed and that you'll do the job regardless of your personal beliefs. Knowing each other in the real world is perhaps best-case.

This is easier said than done, of course. Finding other people and getting to know the real them and how well they work is tough. If you do find someone, do everything to hold onto them.

Re: Manuscript swaping seems like a bad idea tbh, to much potential for drama

#5


Timothy Wrote: For example, in one story my character mentioned how gross smoking was. A couple of beta readers got up in arms and said I shouldn't say stuff like that. Any comments about politics, religion, gender and just about anything else can really set people off, even if they're supposed to be from a character's POV, and not representative of the author.

Welcome to the age of snowflakes. This is what happens when you have a generation of spoiled brats grow up. I've often wondered if this is all by design and the ruling classes have intentionally progammed people to be this way, to discourage writers from saying anything 'too interesting'.



Tbh the modern state of the west has destroyed my faith in humanity. Sentient primates were a mistake.