Subject: "Any" beta advice: You could always be wrong.
Posted on: 2023-02-23 00:59:04 UTC

"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy." So always look up anything unfamiliar, even if it sounds like the most obviously silly nonsense you've ever heard of. There's always a chance you're behind the times or just plain ignorant. Trust me, I've been plenty guilty of this in my time. {= )

This especially applies when beta'ing for someone from another country. English comes in many and varied forms, so what looks wrong to an American may be correct for a Brit or Aussie. Not just for spelling; idioms are many-splendored things, and different life experiences make for different perceptions of what's normal/usual.

On a related note, you should always have an objective reason for making a correction, and be able to explain it clearly and kindly. You may make style suggestions, but ultimately it's the writer's story, not yours, and they're allowed to disagree with you in matters of taste.

Know that your goal is to help the author realize their vision (not yours) in the best possible way. To do that, you have to understand the vision. When you're not sure you understand something, ask (don't assume) what the author intended. Clear and considerate communication in both directions makes for the best outcomes.

Basically, keep an open mind. You might think you know where a joke, arc, or story is going, but... you could always be wrong. {= )

And that's okay! Everyone makes mistakes. Accept it humbly, learn from the experience, and move on. That's how you get better.

I hope that was helpful, but if not, ask a more specific question next time. {= P


Reply Return to messages