Click HERE to read:
*** Your discerning taste is always appreciated! ***
I didn't enter in this challenge. I've been busy working on "Thought You Should Know" and I didn't want to divert my focus. Though my idea was for a Buffy/Batman crossover. Spoiler: Batman will never let Buffy drive the batmobile again. I'll probably come back to writing this story eventually, heh.
This ultimately led to me beta'ing several of the entries for this round. Out of nine entries, I beta'd three of them. One was 500 words over the limit and I ended up helping to chop down and re-write sections, dropping the word count while keeping the action and suspense intact. I think this piece turned out to be my favorite. Another needed some help in breaking up dialogue and pacing. The final one was more about tweaking grammar and making the sentence structure active and not passive.
What have I learned?
Beta'ing makes you a better writer. It's so much easier to read another person's work and think 'wow, that would be better if it was written this way'. Because you're able to be purely analytical without any sentimentality for the words. Brutal, even, but true in your judgment. Fun stuff. And once you start to beta, that active reader in you sometimes comes out when you're reading published works. I've always done this before when it came to punctuation (who doesn't get annoyed when periods, commas, etc. are missing?), but now I've started rewording lines in my head when reading and removing redundant clauses. Of course, then I also sit back and take note when something is crafted so well that I want to better understand how that writer accomplished it.