Picking Winners

12:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 46 Comments



The Bella's Point Challenge has a winner!



All I can say is- 
I'm glad I didn't have to choose. 
You guys rocked this challenge!
I had so much fun reading all the posts- 
so many clever ideas. 
I don't know why I was amazed...
you are all so talented!
But sadly, there can only be one winner-
and the judges have chosen and the winner is....



Special thanks Alex Cavanaugh and this months awesome co-hosts:

Before we get to the winner- let's talk insecurity.
My insecurity this month comes from beta reading.
I always wonder- who am I?
It's not like I've written a run away best seller and know all the secrets.
So, I'm always a wee bit hesitant to be totally truthful...to say- I think it would be better if you did this. 
It's easier with friends, because they know I know that opinions are like noses, everybody has one and in the end we all must pick only from our own. 

How about you? Does beta reading give you anxiety?

And don't worry! I didn't forget. 

Congratulations to Melissa Maygrove!


 Melissa's post stole the judge's hearts, so here is her badge of honor and her writer friendly surprise package is headed her way (right after I email her and get her address!)





46 comments:

  1. Congrats to Melissa! Also, I always feel that way when I read other people's work. At some point though, you have to remember that someone who's asked you to beta read for them isn't asking for a pat on the back, they're asking for your opinion on their work. In other words, always make the suggestion (though remind them that it's just your opinion). It's important because they might be secretly thinking the same thing, and your idea might validate the one they have.

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    1. Very good point. And I want my betas to be honest (and unoffended if I ignore them!). It doesn't bother me at all to be ignored.

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  2. yay for Melissa!! beta reading can be a personal challenge. you want to be honest, but in a non-callous way. always a catch 22.

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    1. It is very tricky. And I am always mindful that I don't know everything.

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  3. Congrats Melissa! Your post was my favourite too... you're a worthy winner!! :)
    Elizabeth, I beta read for Melissa Pearl and I've only ever had to correct a few minor spelling mistakes because her writing is so amazing! But I agree, it would worry me if there was something she did that I didn't agree with!! xx

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    1. Almost everything I read sparks an idea or an opinion. Like, I'd really like to tell JK Rowling not to kill off characters I like. But she seems to have found a way to make magic happen without my input!

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  4. Congratulations, Melissa! I don't usually beta read or review, but if I'm asked to judge a contest, I don't feel bad about giving honest feedback. I try to be positive, but I think I feel that when I'm asked to do it, they value my opinion.

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    1. Very wise thinking. And a very good point- if they just wanted a pat on the back, they'd ask their mom to read, not a beta.

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  5. Having anyone read my manuscript gives me anxiety, as I always fear people will hate it. I fear beta reading for others, because what happens if I don't like their book? So I don't beta read for anyone.

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    1. Both give me anxiety too, but beta reading and feedback have helped me quite a bit. It's worth the nail biting.

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  6. Congrats on the win, Melissa. I have never beta read, so no fear haha

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  7. congrats to melissa!

    as far as beta reading... state it up front and then tell them how you feel - you know writers need the honest truth and writers should also appreciate any feedback from any writer, the more the better - because even if you cant please all, you want to please most!

    i know i appreciate any and all feedback!

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  8. Congratulations, Melissa!
    And yes, Elizabeth, I feel that way too. My comments end up being something like, "You could think about trying this. If you want. I don't know." ;)

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    1. Me too! And really, all it is is an opinion. It's not like I'll be mad if you don't agree. It's like a brain storming session.

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  9. Grats Melissa! When I read her entry, my first thought was, "yep, there's the winner." :) So powerful and emotional. Really lodged a lump in my throat.

    Love the opinions and noses...

    Loni

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    1. It was awesome. There were so many awesome ones, I'm just glad I didn't have to judge!

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  10. Wahoo for Melissa!

    I'm actually not nervous about beta readers. The manuscript can always be changed after betas. The round that concerns me is when it goes out to the first batch of reviewers--after publication. I know by then it's DONE and I shouldn't stress, but I do. I think it's genetic--the worrier gene.

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    1. I agree. Having my stuff beta read makes me way less bothered than having to offer up opinions to others. Those reviews are the killer. You're right- then you just have to deal with it. Or yank it. I'd hate to have to do that!

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  11. Big congrats to Melissa!! Being a Beta and/or CP is a hard thing. I never want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I am always honest, no matter what. I never feel like what I say needs to be written in stone, more like a suggestion. Ultimately, the author still has the final word, right?

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    1. Most definitely. And yes, I am always honest. Why even read it if I am just going to pat them on the back?

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  12. Congratulations to Melissa!
    Critiquing someone else's work always makes me nervous. I don't feel I qualify to make suggestions either.

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    1. As always- you hit the nail on the head! I will see things and have an idea, but then I know I am unqualified.

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  13. Wow, blogger is giving me issues this morning... anyway... Congrats to Melissa. I have a crit group I've met with for years. We no longer hold back punches, but are just honest. I also rely on my editor for the final check.

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    1. And it shows in your stories! Can't wait to read Rifters!

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  14. Oh my gosh! I can't believe it! There were such excellent posts among the competition, I never even dreamed I'd win. Thank you. I'm humbled and honored. Truly.

    Elizabeth, regarding your insecurity...
    It's much easier to spot problems in a story as an objective reader than it is as the author. Every beta reader has good things to contribute. They are invaluable. Don't ever sell yourself or your nose-picking-opinions short. ;)

    IWSG #184 until Alex culls the list again.

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    1. You wowed them lady!

      And I must admit. I am a pretty good nose picker ;)

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  15. YAY for Melissa!!!!!!

    I can understand your anxiety about a beta read, especially if you are not close with the author. The first thing I tell an author is I will be honest. Can you handle it. In most cases the author wants this. Why else would you ask for a Beta read if you didn't what their/my honest opinion.

    I did lose two writers who asked for honesty and could't handle it, became angry and abusive. SO know I am VERY select who I Beta for. The connection between you and the writer needs to be a respectful one....

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    1. Well, that's completely uncalled for! No need to get mean about things. Everybody hates to have their baby's flaws pointed out, but better your beta friends than the reviewers!

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  16. You kept us in suspense just a good writer should, Elizabeth. Hat's off to Melissa for her story and her award.

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    1. So many good entries! So glad I wasn't the one choosing.

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  17. Congratulations Melissa! Thank you, Elizabeth, and to everyone involved. I enjoyed reading the wonderful entries and grateful to have been part of this challenge. Great fun!

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    1. Thanks for taking part. One of the best parts of the challenge was meeting new bloggers like yourself!

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  18. Way to go Melssa!!!

    Beta reading is fun, but you're right, there is a level of apprehension that goes along with it. Also, I have to remind myself sometimes that I'm beta reading, not full-on editing.

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    1. Also a good point! Sometimes I do forget that and it makes me read so much slower.

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  19. Congrats to Melissa. Beta reading gives me some anxiety because I worry about not giving enough feedback. I do make notes of every concern I have, though, as well as praise.

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    1. I think adding in the praise is very important. We all need to hear more praise!

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  20. When I ask people to read for me, I expect gut-wrenching honesty, and yet I always hesitate to give the same back.

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    1. As one of my favorite betas- I fully expect gut wrenching honesty. You are a beta dream...I never worry about being honest with you.

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  21. Yay, Melissa!
    I prefer hard honesty from my beta readers - no sugar coating, please. I try to give it back (nicely, of course) but have noticed that not all people really want to hear everything I have to say. Usually, I end up going through my notes twice to smooth them out.

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    1. I have beta'd for some who have gotten offended. So, I opt out from doing it twice. There is a matter of taste and my taste doesn't always mesh with others.

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  22. Congratulations Melissa!
    There were so many wonderful entries!
    With regards to beta reading, I'd imagine that it's not what you say, it's the manner in which you say it. The tactful approach is important.

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  23. Missed this post. Congrats to Melissa.

    I was a reader long before I became a writer, so beta-reading doesn't feel like a challenge.

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    1. That is a very good point. I was reading long, long before I was writing.

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