Friday, April 8, 2011

Teenage betas?

Okay, so I did promise you a review this week, and well, I haven't delivered. **cheeks red** **holds head in shame** Yes, I'm still writing. I did do some brainstorming this week too. I think I have a way I want the story to go down, I just have to write it. This got me thinking. I have CPs and I'm lining up beta readers, but they are all about my age. I write Young Adult, you know that 12-18 age group, and I know a bunch of people who are out of this age group that read this lovely candy. I won't mention names or ages. :) But in the end, I'm targeting the 12-18 age group. Now, my baby must sound teenager when I write it so that's up to me in revisions. But what about finding a teenager to read it before I query?

So, I'm wondering if any of you have teenage beta readers. My kids are not teens and I don't have close contact with anyone in this bracket so where do I find one? I've seen a forum on YA Lit Chat. Has anyone tried this?

I'm not quite near needing one yet, but wondered if anyone has used a teen reader and how it's helped your MS.

I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but when I'm not writing I'm thinking of what I need to do to help it after (fingers crossed) it's finished.

I promise a review next week, and most likely I'll be on more of a hiatus. I need to get this baby done, and then head into revision prison for WiP #1. That baby needs lots and lots of work. Wow. Then if that all gets done, its on to query time. So scared.

Any weekend plans?

Have a great weekend!


  1. Christine this is funny to me, because I don't write YA but I did have a teen beta for me a year ago. It was great. If you find a serious teen reader, they can ask questions and point out plot flaws as well as any of our peer writers.

    My teen beta enjoyed my book and got excited about it, but some of her questions were hard for me to figure out what to do. I had to decided if her questions were more because she doesn't read science fiction, or because she just didn't have the same life experience to understand a certain phrase. Like I said, my book is for adults and most adults don't like every little detail pointed out for you.

    I think getting at least one girl and one boy to read your book and give you their thoughts would be invaluable.

    Wow, I'm rambling this morning. Sorry! Hope some of that made sense. Good luck!

  2. I've never used a teenage beta. I could look to my church youth group or some of my daughter's friends have older sisters. Good luck finishing up!

  3. My books are a bit younger, but I've used my kids friends as beta readers. One came back with a list of authors she likened my book to which was useful and with another project nobody actually got to the end which told me a lot - such as time to shelve that one!

  4. I've had three teen girls read and comment on my work, and it was incredibly helpful. One was an entirely average kid from church choir, the other two were super-bright, well-read youth group girls now at Ivy League colleges. Each of them brought something different to the table.

    My suggestion would be to go to one of the teen book blogger sites and look for possible readers. You want one reader you're sure will "get" what you're doing and loves your genre, and one who's open to just about anything. Each will look for and find different things in your MS. If any of your friends teaches HS, see if s/he could recommend a top English student to read for you.

    From a teen's perspective, having your opinion sought and valued by a non-authority adult is a pretty big thrill. So there's no reason at all to be scared to ask!

  5. It sounds like a great idea. It makes complete sense since you are writing for that market.

    I have no advise to give you on this, but Laurels's sounds perfect.

    Nothing special planned for the weekend. A walk on the beach and editing my second novel. Also polishing up the query letter before sending it out next week.

    Have a nice weekend Christine.

  6. One of my CPs writes YA and I had my daughter and her friends read her book. They were very spot on with their comments, brutally honest, and on the ball. She revised the book and it is getting shopped right now. I'll have to send her the link you just shared.


  7. I do have teens read my book. It's just good to know what questions they'd have. The teen that read my first book didn't like the ending. I totally understood and then changed it because of that.

    I find my teen reader's at church. Do you have teen neighbor's that you trust? How about family? Nieces nephews. Friends with kids that age?

    Good luck with everything :)

  8. I have a teenager at home. I'm not sure that you have to have teens read a YA novel, though, at least not beforehand.

  9. I'm a teen. :D The internet isn't probably the most reliable source to find teenagers (we're not always very responsible and deadlines aren't our thing), but you can find them.

  10. I hadn't thought about this before. Maybe because I'm only 22 (edging towards 23) and I don't feel totally out of touch yet. It's a good idea though and I can't wait to hear whether you do find a teen to beta-read for you.
    - Sophia.

  11. I did use two for my first novel, but I haven't done that since (though one did give me some amazing feedback). My 11 yo has read sections of my WIP (I didn't realize he was reading them), but I don't want him to read the book since there's swearing in it (and he swears enough as it is).

    I posted my first chapter on YALITCHAT but no one critted it. And no one else's had been critted in awhile.

  12. I think teen readers are a SUPER idea! But they need guidance. From my experience with teens, they're not much good at giving detailed feedback beyond "I liked it." or "I didn't like it." *giggle* *giggle* ;p

    but there are exceptions! Maybe print out a questionnaire for them to complete. But keep it simple. I'd love to hear how it goes~ <3

  13. I don't know any teens that fit but I think it's a great idea.

  14. I've thought of this too! My problem is that I know a ton of teens, but not sure if any of them would read...

  15. Around round 3 of querying, you won't be scared anymore :)