What is a Beta Reader?
Beta readers come in lots of different forms, and authors have their own definitions of what makes one, but essentially, a beta reader is someone who reads your work before it is published and offers their opinion. I’ve used beta readers in many ways and have found them absolutely instrumental in my writing process.
On plotting vs pantsing
In the writing world, people often like to describe themselves as a ‘planner’ or a ‘pantser’. Are you someone who carefully plots their stories, writes pages of notes about the backstory of their characters, and only writes the first word when you know how each scene will play out? Or are you a pantser, the kind of person who wakes up from an awesome dream about a dinosaur having sex with a werewolf in space and decides to write about it, without any clue as to how or when it will end?
Once I have an idea, and the bit between my teeth, getting words on the page is often easy. They aren’t necessarily the right words or even in the right order, but they are there. Writing too many words is a far better place to be than not writing enough, as cutting your work down creates a better draft. Having to add fluff just to up a word count is rarely going to end well.