– my new (for-writers) web project!

After a great many design revisions, programming crash courses, and yet another critique group that didn’t quite meet my expectations, I’m pleased to announce that development on is officially underway!

Geta-Beta— a bad pun based on the term ‘beta-reader’.

After trying a good number of writer’s critique circles and websites, I have to say that I’ve had my share of disappointments. Hobby writers clashing with determined professionals, fantasy die-hards trying to read cozy mysteries, groups of older women with loudly stated political views that… well, don’t quite match up to your taste.

The online critique circles have their failings, too. You have a bigger community pool… but how do you really know who is giving you feedback? And if you miss a week’s queue, you miss a chapter. Great for short stories, but terrible for novelists.

The main theory behind is that the authors ought to be the ones directing who gets to see their stories. A user on the site will be able to browse projects, all of which are publicly displayed in query letter format– description, credentials, notes, and the first three pages. Find something that you enjoy, request to be a beta reader. The author will receive notice and decide whether to give you access.

Write some thoughtful critiques, earn credits for posting your own stories and chapters. If you want to focus on plot and not style in the first draft, great. Go browse the user directory and find some plot junkies who like your genre. Need a grammar sweep? Say so in your notes.

It won’t be a fair system. Better writers will get more attention. The site won’t be right for everyone. But I need something like this for my work, and I hope others agree.

I’ll post news when I get closer to finishing. I’ll need some test readers and writers to try out Geta-Beta-beta, and while I know html and css, my design’s not quite inspired. Anyone interested?

5 thoughts on “ – my new (for-writers) web project!

  1. Hey, Eliza. Haven’t visited for a while… sorry about that 😉

    Definitely interested in the Geta-Beta, I understand the letdown of critique groups completely (must have gotten a good few people interested in beta-reading my work, only to never get a reply after the initial contact), so I’m curious how your new system/project will work.

    Also very much back into writing lately. Launched my first eBook on Amazon and Smashwords, yadda yadda (not an advert), and will take part in Nick Enlowe’s NPI – so, they’ll be plenty of ‘state-of-reading/writing-mind’ going around for me to put into something like Geta-Beta-beta.

    If you still need and/or want help. I’m offering.

    BTW, nice angel image in your banner. I like the style, something poetically-graphic-novel about it to me.

    • Thanks, Ryan!

      I’ve got a good start going, but it’ll need a lot of work before it’s done. I’ve started a list of interested parties– I’ll put your name down. 🙂

  2. Great site idea. I know i’ll be interested! I’m always looking for new crit groups and the like.

    Will this be free?

    A few groups these days charge after the first couple of chapter/short story posts :\

    I don’t get to wordpress that often. my main computer won’t let me acess this site so please drop me an email when the site goes live.

    • Absolutely free. 😉 I hate fake-out pay sites, too.

      I may need to put an ad on the side or something, just to cover the cost of hosting and bandwidth and the like, and if I program up enough fun writer tools I may make a premium account (access to character galleries, daily wordcount graphs, plot-tension tools and such), but the site itself will be totally open, and that won’t be changing.

      That said, after the first few chapters or so, you’ll need to critique other people’s work to post more. I don’t like it, but if I don’t, we won’t have enough crits going around.

      In any case, you are on the list, and I’ll let you know when things move! I’m trying for an alpha release on Sept. 18th (3 weeks from now).

  3. Pingback: designing a writers’ site– what would you like to see? « tales of a fantasy scribbler

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