Alpha~Beta…some crazy code? #writerlywednesday #awriterslife


There is so much more to writing than sitting down with pen and paper or computer. On Wednesday I will try to share some of the things I have learned by trial and error. We all have our own methods, some may like one thing while dislike another.  There is no one way of writing that is the right one. Since I just finished my current WIP which means work in progress, I will share my next step that is on to a Beta read, In my case, I send it o only one reader so I guess you would say she is my Alpha reader. What’s the difference?

An alpha reader or beta reader (also spelled alphareader / betareader, or shortened to alpha / beta), also pre-reader or critiquer, 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 …

Beta reader – Wikipedia

An Alpha reader is a person who gets your work as soon as you finish your rounds. In my case I write a rough draft, go over it running it through my ProWritingAid.   

I found a friend through my chatty chick writing group. She is my Alpha extraordinaire.  even though she makes tough calls, she and I understand each other. she never changes my voice no matter how deep the call. We pass the manuscript back and forth until we both are happy with the product.

Yes, sometimes I get teary at some of the cuts. Once we finish, the story is crisp, more polished and Ready for an editor.

What does an Alpha look for?

 Alpha versus Beta 

another great article between Alpha Beta and Arc readers Here 

of course, any glaring mistakes such as typos and stuff that stands out but the job is deeper. Their main job is loopholes things that don’t make sense, tense change and pacing. That’s just a tip of the iceberg. Having all this done ahead of time makes an editors job easier and makes for a more polished book.

It is important you have an Alpha you bond with because calls can be rough and you need to trust it’s not personal and for your best interest.  They have to be tough too and not let the author bully them too.  my Alpha Misty and I fit like lock and key. she knows when she will hae to hand me a tissue or calm me down.  She knows not to be offended if I like something so well I don’t want to make the change we discuss it and if I keep it she understands.  We have worked together for years now but this past year more seriously. We have one manuscript almost ready for me to either sub or hire an editor and this new project with a deadline of  Jan 31 just about ready to submit.

I don’t know what I would do without my Alpha. LOL Sounds like a wolf pack or something LOL

Courtesy of

Do you use an Alpha, or do Alpha reads?

4 responses to “Alpha~Beta…some crazy code? #writerlywednesday #awriterslife”

  1. Wow, thank you. I’m so glad you understand that I don’t try to be cruel, but to help polish your baby for you. I enjoy working with you as well. We really do work well together and have a great understanding of one or another. Plus, I get to read your stuff before anyone else.

  2. Awesome post, Cathy! I’m so glad you have a great rapport and workflow with your alpha reader. I love the way you describe the process. I too value having someone who doesn’t mind my messy rough draft.

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