I'm writing a book right now. I want to get beta readers for it, but at what point in the story should I get beta readers?

Should I get them early?

In the middle?

Near the end?

After the book?

I'm wondering when I should get beta readers. And how should I pick those beta readers?

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Acid Kritana is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.

Writers vary enormously in when they have beta readers read their work. Some people have others read the work while the first draft is still in progress. Others will complete several drafts before letting anyone else read it. And anywhere in between.

Completing the first draft at least will let them see the story as a whole.

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  • Ok, thanks! I'll keep that in mind. I was just wondering if there's a certain time that should be done. – Acid Kritana May 22 at 3:53
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    There are trade-offs either way. You will never get a second chance for a beta reader's first impressions; if you revise, the beta reader will probably still remember the first one and it will show some influence on the reader's reactions. On the other hand, a beta reader who notices a major structural flaw in the plot may invalidate months of work on details that will have to go if the flaw is to be fixed. The one rule I would suggest is that you want to give it to beta readers before you are sick of working on it, so you can make revisions. – Mary May 23 at 3:55

I've heard get them pretty early. This is because what an individual as an author things is a good idea, and its better to get told that at an early stage when things can be easily changed than late in the process when you have made the idea very intricate and it is much more difficult to fix things. This video is mostly about writing or programming video games, but it also applies to writing and in a sense when to find beta readers.

I had that problem. I have an issue where if I tell someone else about my ideas I lose interest and never end up writing them. So I tried keeping my ideas to myself and ended up writing a much more than I usually did, but my plot became so intricate and interconnected that when I discovered severe problems in my plot that could potentially wreck the story I couldn't figure out how to fix it without ruining the plot. All because I didn't seek out feedback early in the process.

That said, I don't know the exact relationship to have with beta readers. Beta readers generally don't appreciate reading incomplete chapters or at least things that can't be made coherent in context, but at exactly what point a chapter is considered worth sending is unclear. They do say be very considerate with your beta readers because they're almost invariably reading unpolished stuff that's harder to read through than a final product.

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