Wise readers: what every author must have

Orson Scott Card, the great sci-fi author, was the man who introduced me to the importance of "wise readers". These individuals whom an author entrusts his manuscript to in order that they might catch something he did not.

Every author must have wise readers.

When selecting wise readers, it's good to have diversity. Spanning age, gender, and reading interests is helpful. A story that can appeal to a broader audience is going to have a much better chance at being published, and if it is published, will then have a better chance of selling well.

The wise readers you choose must be the types of people who can tell you flat out when something is not working. They must be ruthless in there (should be "their") desire to make your book the best it can be, and thus they read it with a scrutinous eye, combing for fallacies, plot holes, bad dialogue, false emotions, triteness and the like.

The warrior's (should be "warriors") in this comic are similar to the type of wise readers you are looking for. Fighters who will battle to make your story shine.

Now a quick shout out to my wise readers:

Amanda Barr! (Elite destroyer of misspellings)
Jacob Gomez! (Bearer of the youthful eye)
Doug Barr! (Wielder of the axe of error-corrections)
Jonathan Synnott! (Sage of literature, and bringer of truth)
Gary Redinger! (Stalwart of the books)

Going with the fantasy motif: May your wise readers speaketh (should be "speak") truth, and may you hideth not from it...


Anonymous said...

Yea for Brandon Barr's wise readers!!

David Daniels said...


Thank you for visiting my site, WiseReader. At your invitation, I browsed over to this blog. You asked for "wise readers" to evaluate your writing, so here goes.

You write: "They must be ruthless in there desire to make your book the best it can be..." In this sentence, "there" should be "their".

You write: "The warrior's in this comic are similar to the type of wise readers you are looking for." In this case, "warrior's" is not speaking of something possessive, but rather it simply refers to a plurality. It would be "warriors".

And finally, "Going with the fantasy motif: May your wise readers speaketh truth, and may you hideth not from it..." Here "speaketh" should simply be "speak" in this sentence.

Have a great day! :)

Brandon Barr said...

Thank you, David! Now we have a perfect example of what a wise reader must do! I have decided to leave the above errors for all to see.
I now dub you, David Daniels, friend of the spotless word, and herald of of the true spellings.

Robert Treskillard said...

This is a great idea ... especially to span different ages and experience.

The old Marvel comic caught my eye ... I've never seen that one, and I'm fairly well read in the older ones. What's interesting to me is the title "Warriors Three". There is a thread through many of the old english ballads about the "Brothers Three", one of whom is Robin Hood, and my daughter has done a lot of research on this. Now obviously this comic is about Norse warriors, but still, I wonder if there is a basis in old Norse legends or ballads that share a similarity to the English ones?

gzusfreek said...

Good post BB. I recently became a "beta reader" for a new author (to publish in Jan) Brutal honesty was a bit frightening, but I know if it were me, I'd want it no other way! You have the perfect list of "Wise readers", it looks like! Good post!

Brandon Barr said...

Hi Robert,
You pose an interesting question. I've enjoyed visiting your blog. You seem to have a real passion for old legends. That kind of knowledge must be fun to gather. Old books, old tales, old ballads.

I inherited an old (American) tome called: "Farm Ballads". I plan to enjoy reading through it one day.


And HI gzusfreek,
That's cool you're being a "beta reader". It's quite fun.
There's a tactful ways to be a beta-tester...if you're worried about offending the person you are helping out, shoot me an email, or post a comment here with any questions, I have some good thoughts on this matter.

Bethany K. Warner said...

I've got my novel in the hands of eight people who I'm hoping are my "wise, beta readers." I've got a mix of men and women, some parents, some singles, some family, some friends and all people who I hope will be really honest.

Brandon Barr said...

Excellent! That's great you have so many friends and family supporting your writing!

Anonymous said...

"Synnot (should be Synnott)" Hahaha! Thanks for including me on your blog. I love your description of my "super powers"...:)


Brandon Barr said...

Haha :)

Your welcome, Jonathan. Good catch!!!! You uphold your title with integrity!