When I first started this writing endeavor, Nic told me she had a person in mind to be my beta. Of course I’d heard of you, you’re amazing at what you do but never did I think you’d agree to work with me. You’re kind of a big deal. I’d had the pleasure of meeting you (albeit briefly) before I’d ever really talked with you, at the meet up in Nashville. I saw this group of women flock to you and sing your praises. And at the time, I didn’t fully understand how important what you do is but I get it now. You give me the ability to put my thoughts into readable material, actually fit for consumption. I’m always nervous making an author’s note at the beginning of a chapter because you’ve not gone through it. I depend on you for so many things beyond just grammar. Working with you these past few months has been invaluable. I was actually able to tell a coworker with absolute certainty, what a comma splice is. Something I’ve no doubt learned from you. I want to thank you for everything you do for me and the entire fandom, we’d be lost without you!
Betas are amazing! The wonderful stories we fall in love with and cherish would not be possible without the selfless work they provide without any compensation. I feel honored to have a chance to express my gratitude to mine.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should acknowledge that for a beta, I am the worst kind of writer. My schedule is horrible and I never get ahead in my chapters, yet I’m dedicated to meeting a posting deadline. For my partners in crime, that unfortunately equates to sending them everything at the last minute. I am incredibly lucky that I have two wonderful souls that have stuck with me despite that horrible habit and I appreciate them more than words can say.
You graciously offered to help me with my next project after I completed my first story. I’m still amazed that you wanted to, and I’m so thankful that you came into my life. You were truly my rock when I was writing Somewhere Between Nothing and Everything. I appreciate your willingness to re-read chapters as I worked my way through, even when the hour was late. You provided much needed confidence when I was nervous with gentle reminders to stop tweaking the chapter and send it off. You also gave me some much-needed sanity when I was overwhelmed and sure that I would never be able to make the next post. I wouldn’t have made it through without you and your beautiful spirit. Thank you from the bottom on my heart.
Fate shined down when you were randomly assigned to me through Project Team Beta. Thankfully, you agreed to take me on fulltime and quickly became a constant support for both of my stories. I learned so much from you regarding the details of the scene, which helped to make everything better. Your thoughtful questions have become the voice in my head as I check each chapter. I am so thankful to you and your willingness to give me your time, even when your schedule was so hectic. This crazy writing journey wouldn’t have been the same without you. Thank you, you are truly amazing!
With all my heart,
Hi. About a month ago, Nic and Lay approached the fandom with the wonderful idea to write a thank-you letter to our betas. So of course I said yes. And of course here I am, procrastinating, writing it two days before the submission date. Don’t pretend like you’re surprised by my laziness.
Anyway. I sat down, poured a glass of wine (no surprise there, either), and did a little thinking. And the more I thought, the more I realized why it’d taken me a month to write this thing. I couldn’t find the words to thank you as my beta, because you’re SO MUCH more than that.
You’re the person who puts up with me. You’re the one who’ll stay in a document with me for an entire day, just so I can get a paragraph just right. The one who endures drunk Skype calls at 2 A.M. and doesn’t hang up when forced to listen to me sing.
You entertain all of my ideas, no matter how big or small. You correct and simplify, but you never make me feel like an idiot (and let’s be real, I can be a HUGE idiot sometimes). You encourage any and all writing, even when I should be writing that one thing I started ages ago but seemed to have forgotten about.
You’re the most loyal person, the best encouragement, and I’m so fucking lucky to not only claim you as my beta, but a lifelong friend.
(This became much sappier than I’d intended, but I refuse to change a thing because every word is true.)
I love you, dude. Thank you for always being there, and for reminding me that I don't need to begin every line of dialogue with the word "well."
I’ve always felt like a late-comer to the fandom, having not even had Twilight on my radar until the New Moon movie was released in theaters. And then an even later comer to Fanfiction, since for some strange reason I resisted getting into. (Maybe I knew it would consume my life). But even back then I had plot bunnies hopping a muck in my head, but never an outlet for them.
My first attempt at writing in 2011 was a good one, the story wasn’t good, but the experience of getting the ideas out there was good. Then came the idea for The Most Eligible Bachelor and my first story was put on hold. I started posting chapters of MEB without it being beta’d, because I didn’t have connections or completely understand the whole beta process. I honestly don’t remember how it came to be but Texas Bella and Ja Mash took me under their wings. They took each chapter and fixed them. They pushed me to change things, improve it, but most importantly they encouraged me to keep going, to finish what I had started. Without them coming into my life at that time, I can almost guarantee I wouldn’t be still writing now. So I owe them so much. They have both phased out of twific, but Texas Bella is now a successful author on her own, RE Hargrave.
My second beta was cejsmom (Colleen). She too pushed me and encouraged me. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person. She’s a lovely person inside and out.
Many others have helped me along the way with banners, prereading, betaing and rec’ing: Ana Fluttersby, Ja Mash, Carrie ZM, Midnight Cougar, Nic, The Lemonade Stand, Cejsmom, Iris, Dawn, TwiFanFiction Recs, The International House Of FanFic (Ficsisters), and all of those who have tweeted, posted, liked and commented on fb links for my stories.
However, the person who I currently owe everything to is Rachel Kitchmill. She’s beta’d the majority of my recent stories, and is currently helping me complete Ready for You. She has been so flexible, easy and just amazing all around. She has a busy life, family, children, etc. and she always manages to squeeze in my chapters. I’m sure she’s thoroughly frustrated with my recurring grammatical errors, but I’ve hopefully made some improvements under her tutelage. She is always positive with me, giving me constructive feedback and suggestions on ways to improve my writing. I will be eternally grateful to her for all she’s done for me over the past couple of years. Only with her help has my current story Ready for You been well received.
Whoever started Fanfiction and the whole concept, especially Twific, had it right. If you think about it, for the most part Fanfiction is women inspiring and supporting each other, and that is always a good thing.
From the moment I entered the fandom you were one of the names I heard over and over. Both as a beta and a reader, your enthusiasm cast a light across Twilight fanfic, and I have to admit I thought you were way out of my league. So when you first reviewed Fix You I was all fangirly and excited, and when I replied and we started to chat, I realized just how much we had in common.
Although we live in different countries, separated by thousands of miles, there are a lot of similarities between us. Our love for our families, our love of reading, and a really dirty sense of humor are just some of the things that bind us together. But what really keeps us going are the stories. The excitement we get when a new fic starts to grow, the fun we have when we discuss plot twists and character flaws. The pure delight you show when you tell me, “people are going to hate you for this.”
But it isn’t simply your enthusiasm that makes you a wonderful friend and beta. It’s your kindness. From the beginning you’ve been nothing but gentle in teaching me the importance of sentence flow, that certain words are better left out, and that further and farther definitely aren’t interchangeable. In fact, reading through this letter I can see that it needs a good beta – perhaps you can cast your eye across it and let me know how it can be improved!!
It isn’t only in fanfic that you’ve helped me along the way. We worked closely together on both Halfway Hidden and Broken Chords, and you spent days combing through the story, bringing out the characters and then working on my often-woeful grammar. It was such a wonderful experience to be able to have a trusted friend edit what was an emotional and difficult book to write, and I’m so grateful you held my hand through it all.
There are some people that make the world a better place just by being there, and you’re one of them. A shining light in the fandom, a great friend when I’m facing writer’s block, and a wonderful beta who lets me know when something simply isn’t working. In short, you’re amazing.
Thank you for all you’ve done for me. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be here without you. When I’m down you put a smile on my face, and when I’m stuck you send me inspirational pictures (and often rude ones too!) I know how lucky I am to be able to call you my beta, my editor and my friend.
Love you loads, lady,