I’VE HEARD OF people having beta readers, the book equivalent of a screen-test, who read a story and help the author to sort out issues they didn’t see themselves. Or simply to read a piece and critique it, say what they liked, what they didn’t.
The trouble is, people with beta readers are usually published authors. What do you do to get feedback on your finished or near finished stories? Family and friends are good and often willing, but also tend to be biased, so feedback isn’t always brutally honest like it needs to be.
But if you’re farming out your writing to someone else it raises all kinds of worrying issues such especially that of trust with your material. I don’t even like my writing leaving my laptop!
What’s the answer? Is there a ‘safe’ way? I don’t know.