A BRAD meme, by way of Rocky:
Who was your first beta?
What was the story and fandom?
The fandom was Voyager, but I was writing a few stories at once. It may have been The Unity of the Multiverse.
Are you still writing in that fandom?
I try not to. The muse has moved on and it’s always best to move on with her.
Which beta(s) had the most impact on your writing?
I’d have to say Jintian, for pointing out my wandering POV. But see the question below about qualities I look for in a beta reader.
What is your favorite story or series of what you’ve written and why?
I’m fondest of the filks, really. Although the musicals are my greatest filky achievement, the Khan-filk I Will Revive is currently nearest and dearest to my heart.
Who was the beta?
The betas just nod and say “very nice, Jemima” when I send them filks. I’m not sure they want their names involved, but they can ‘fess up in the comments if they’d like.
What are your next two favorite stories or series of what you’ve written and why?
Moving on to actual stories, I pretty much agree with the fans on favorites. People are reccing “The Dance” almost 4 years after B’Elanna the Muse wrote it. Why is it my favorite? Because of the incredible muse high I had while writing it.
It’s harder to pick another. I’d like to name an SG fic, but my favorite is my unfinished SG novel, for its theme. Of things you can read now, I’ll go with another VOY standard: The Museum. It started out as a loosely-linked AU series but then it came together to an unexpected resolution. I got to do all sorts of character assassination and the Borg got to assimilate the Alpha Quadrant along the way, so fun was had all around.
Who beta-ed your most recent story?
Jade and Jerie beta all my Stargate fic. Lately they’ve been doing drabbles in batches of ten and campaigning for longer fics.
What do you consider the most important quality in a beta reader?
The same as in a writer—she needs to love the show. Familiarity with canon and fanon are vital, because a beta reader is not (for my purposes) an editor; she’s a test reader. You can’t know whether a story is coming across well unless you’re familiar with the genre and the background.
What do you consider the most important thing to be accomplished in a beta read? (Grammar, spelling, continuity, plot, character, canon, fanon, hand holding, other?)
It depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the author. Grammar and spelling aren’t a problem for me (though the betas still find stuff), so I just want to know in general that the story is working. I’m behind on Stargate canon, so Jerie is very helpful there. Jade is always on the lookout for good kissyface opportunities.
How has your writing changed from your first stories?
It’s better from a technical standpoint, but it’s gotten worse in some ways. I don’t spend the time on my fanfic that I used to. My SG stories aren’t getting the love that VOY did. Fortunately I’m a faster writer now so things have evened out more or less, but I still haven’t written The Great SG Ship Story.
What do you attribute that to?
The good I’d attribute to practice and learning more about fiction writing (for the sake of my original fiction, but the fanfic benefits, too).
The bad I’d attribute to laziness, shows going off the air, and the flight of the Muse. I feel guilty now about writing fanfic instead of original stories, so I don’t put the work into fanfic that I might have in the past. I’ve also done most of the things I was inspired to do, especially in Voyager.
The kissyface I attribute to Jade.
Happy BRAD, everyone!