How can being a Beta reader and discussing with other writers influence your writing process and your stories? Today we talk about it with jmolly. She's the amazing author of I Hunger for Your Touch, a long (over 600,000 word) story, which is the 6th book in the “Unforeseen Events Series”.  Her 23 stories are complicated, and very much appreciated (by 6-9000 readers a month). She's also great beta-reader.

Did your experience as a Beta influence your writing process and your stories?
jmolly: Hmm… I don’t know if it’s influenced the process, because I’m very stubborn, although I’ve certainly picked up stylistic and technical elements my authors use.  It likely makes me appreciate my own beta more.  It certainly expands my mind to include other styles.  I beta touttoi, and in her present story, I liked the First Person Present tense so much that I tried it myself in “Heaven Help My Heart”.  Through reading other fics, I decided to try Third Person Past for “Dartmouth Halloween”.  I think that’s the biggest impact on style that has come from beta reading.  I prefer to write First Person Past.  I suppose being a beta also opened my mind to letting someone beta for me.  When I first started out, I was very territorial about my writing.  But a knowledgeable and kind-hearted beta can give you enormous growth as a writer.

FF writing is a wonderful opportunity to train as a writer for free.  I don’t pick a beta for myself out of a pool, and I don’t beta just anyone.  You have to be able to relate to, and work with, the other party.  I’ve sometimes beta’d authors who haven’t worked well with me.  That’s stressful for both people.  Overall, I adore seeing how writers tick.  I love teaching, as well, and watching an author I beta evolve and get popular makes me very happy.

When you talk to other writers you tend to pick up story ideas.  That’s elementary to any art.  And what could possibly be more fun?

Thank you, jmolly!

As usual, your comments are welcome!

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