Go ahead and ask how revisions are going

I’m going through Darth Beta’s comments on my manuscript right now. And there are many. Oh so many. (I’m currently on page 70 out of 319) I thought I would give you an example of some of them. The bolded sentences are the ones from the story and the Beta’s comments are below.

Kody brushed snow from the picnic table and leaned against it.

Seems like a lot of work to lean against something. Generally, snow is on top. You lean against the side. So either he needs to lean without brushing, or brush then sit on it. I get that he may get a tiny amount on him by leaning and slightly less if he brushes it first, but overall it’s distracting enough for me to spend three minutes writing this novel of a comment.


The garage door opened and a gold Cadillac emerged onto the street. Ethington wasn’t alone. His bodyguard sat in the passenger seat.

Rich people with nice cars usually have tinted windows so the rabble can’t see them laughing at them. They’d probably have less than a second to identify the two people in the front seats through the windshield.


A reporter with an expression of stoic concern stood in front of a Detroit church where the Red Cross was handing out blankets to a line of people.

Do you have a history with news anchors? Did one of them kill your cat or something? 😝 you love to paint them as fake and melodramatic. If that’s the way Tori sees them give her a good reason. Maybe because of all the bad press her dad has gotten (especially from CNN) – maybe she can paint the Fox News anchors and stylish and sincere and the CNN anchors as calloused frauds. 🙂


Tori paced over to him, hands tapping against her side in nervous agitation. “Was the military anywhere around when the attacks happened?”

Although this kind of disjointed awkward sentence structure is realistic of teenagers, your main characters need to be above that. 🙂 Reword so she doesn’t sound like she’s illiterate.


“But?” she added, because the word was already there, lingering unsaid behind his lips.

I like the idea but not the execution. Reword so it doesn’t sound so much like bad poetry.


How could she not? The images of looters, of the lawlessness of the last two days would probably stay perched in her mind for years. She dropped his hand and turned back to her locker. “Right.”

Emblazoned or seared…birds and effeminate men perch


She reached over and brushed her hand against Jesse’s arm. “You need a shielder more than I do. I’m immune to fire.”

I’m trying to picture this. So it’s like she’s wiping something sticky off her hand onto his arm?


  1. April
    March 23, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Woo! Harsh, but valuable. You have a good beta reader.

  2. Unazaki
    March 25, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Honestly curious to see what the comments were for the split endings

    • Janette Rallison
      March 25, 2019 at 10:39 pm

      Oh, we haven’t even gotten to those chapters yet.

  3. Melanie
    April 16, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Hmm, maybe I’m a cruddy beta reader but I just don’t have a problem with any of those. I never would have picked most of them out as problematic sentences. This is probably why I’ll never go very far in writing.

    • Janette Rallison
      April 16, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      Or maybe you’re just perfectly reasonable.I mean, I didn’t see any problems with the sentences either when I wrote them.

      • Melanie
        May 11, 2019 at 2:59 pm

        For what it’s worth, I read these sentences to my husband (who is pretty darn well-read) and a couple other people and they were all in agreement. These aren’t issues. In any case I look forward to being able to purchase the book. So do all my kids. 🙂

        • Janette Rallison
          May 12, 2019 at 6:25 pm

          Thank you for not being picky!

  4. Torhie Young
    May 16, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    I have to say I agree, certain sentences may sound like poetry or something but if the beta writers get too picky it’s also changing how you write, it changes the atmosphere of the series,and making it more how they would write it, but it’s your book and things like Kody wiping the snow away before he leans on the bench is perfectly fine, for all they know it’s a bit if a OCD he has, Haha sounds like something my husband would do out if habit and also that is correct he may lean on the side but he would still get some on his clothes so perhaps he would just like to avoid it, anyway cant wait to read the next book. Hoping it won’t be too much longer 😊

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