If, within your mind, there was conjured an image of Gizmoduck, you are officially awesome.If you remember that he was originally a bean counter named Fenton Crackshell, you’re doubly awesome…but what does Darkwing Duck have to do with writing? The answer is nothing. However, the phrase “Blathering Blatherskite” does.
Blatherskite, in case you’ve ever wondered, is a word of Scottish origin that is defined as “a person who blathers a lot”. So, the phrase “Blabbering Blatherskite” translates literally as “Blabbering Person who Blabbers a lot“. This is redundancy at it’s best. The word blabbering is repeated and can be removed without changing the meaning of the phrase. Because the show was aimed at children (who had no idea what a Blatherskite was), nobody seemed to notice.
Sadly, the literary world isn’t so forgiving. After I released my first novel Darkness Within, I realized that the novel would have benefited from a little less blabbering. Not that it’s not a good novel…it just isn’t as polished as it COULD have been. Of course, I’m sure that a lot of authors feel that way about their work.
So, what could I have done to release a more polished novel? Firstly, I could have waited more time to release it. Better yet, I could have utilized the proper resources. That’s right, I could have used Beta-Readers (another “B” word). I’m going to be honest here…I don’t really know much about beta-readers. I mean, I’m familiar with them but I don’t know enough to know where to find them or what qualities they should have when I do.
So, I’m asking for advice from my fellow author-buddies. According to this article on Beta Readers by Belinda Pollard, beta readers can be found beside the pots of gold at the end of rainbows. Pollards article is really good and it does a great job at defining the qualities of an ideal beta-reader but I still don’t understand where to actually find them. So, I’ve decided to open up the comments section of this post for advice, resources and general words of wisdom about beta-readers.