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Monday, February 7, 2011

YA Beta Reading Across the Generations

Last week on her blog Fallen Formulates Fiction,  Sarah Ahiers was looking for beta readers for her latest YA novel. Not surprisingly, she wanted readers who read a lot of YA.  I started to pass because I don't read that much YA.  When I do, it's usually because one of my own YA's - my older grandkids - have wanted to share a book they've read.  And it struck me, who would be a better YA beta reader than a member of that target audience.  A young adult. 

Not to make myself sound any older than I am, my older grandkids are actually pre-teens but both are excellent readers who read pretty much all levels of YA novels.  I asked my oldest, who lives nearby, if he'd be interested in being a beta reader and explained what would be expected of him.  He loved the idea.  So I asked Sarah if she'd be interested in using him and we agreed all around to give it a try.

Sarah has put together a questionaire for her beta readers and she sent it along with her manuscript. I'm going to read the book, too, in case my grandson wants to discuss it, but the feedback will be all his.  I'm really excited about this.  What a great way for him to learn more about the writing process and hopefully perform a service for an author at the same time. 

Of course, getting to share something like this with him is pretty cool for me, too. 

How about other YA authors?  Do you use younger readers for your betas?

My current word count: 6,619  (no time to write this weekend)

I'm currently enjoying: Lion in the Valley by Elizabeth Peters (no chance to read either)

Groaner of the Day: Christina, a most beautiful child, was born an albino. As an adult, she was even more spectacular. The effect was most intriguing, silver-white skin, almost argent in its nature. Everyone loved her -- except for Ronald, who, we must confess had a deep streak of prejudice against the extraordinary. And, as it always happens, she fell deeply, madly in love with Ronald.

Against the advice of all those who had her best interests at heart, Tina decided to try tanning as a method to darken her silver skin. She was warned about the dangers, especially the long-term effects of ultraviolet radiation on skin lacking melanin. She was adamant. "I'll get a tan and win my man," bravely, she proclaimed her mantra.

Just in the nick of time, a fit of conscience caught the odious Ronald. He expressed his contrition when he told his love-to-be, "Don't fry for me, Argent Tina!"


(Oh Gawd, that's awful.)

6 comments:

Melanie said...

Terrific idea!! I hope it works out and everyone is happy with the results.

Liz Fichera said...

I do write a lot of YA and I do have young adult beta readers. They're awesome because they pick up things I wouldn't have even thought about, particularly current slang/word choice, etc. There's only so much you can pick up eavesdropping on teen conversations at the Starbucks. ;-)

Linda Leszczuk said...

Thanks, Melanie. I'm hoping so too.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Liz, excellent point. I don't remember if slang/word choice was on the questionaire but I'll mention to my grandson to keep an ear open along those lines. Thanks.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I don’t write YA, but I think you came up with an excellent idea. Having readers from your target audience seems like an important step.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Jane - It made sense to me. Now we'll see what kind of a beta reader he'll make.