From Wikipedia

An alpha reader or beta reader (also spelled alphareader / betareader, or shortened to alpha / beta), also pre-reader or critiquer, is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption. Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context.

Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking.

For the Brothers Apart multiverse, we have three beta readers who will go through the stories after we’ve edited them. They make sure the story sticks to its plotline, look for mistakes we might have missed while editing (a new set of eyes does wonders) and yell at us if the story stresses them out (the more yells, the better we’re doing).

@neonthebright beta reads Brothers Apart itself (unless she’s cowriting the story, in which case @creatorofuniverses takes over for her), and agreed to help us with Brothers Consulted when it’s ready. Bless @creatorofuniverses, she agreed to read through and beta Brothers Found as well, leaving her with the massive horror story to trudge through, and @kimstaticchild is kind enough to stress her way through Brothers Asunder, Brothers Adopted and Brothers Lost.

As of this time, Brothers Unexpected and Brothers Together do not have beta readers, nor does the giant Jacob story.

Examples of the feedback we get:

  • You use “collapsing” twice in two sentences- maybe change.
  • Sentence appreciation: “The lamp was, on principle, tacky as sin” 
  • Nnnnnnnnnnnnng I am only stressssss 
  • I am intrigued and terrified

You would think with one main story and six AUs of it we’d have plenty to keep us busy, but instead here I am musing and trying to name a seventh one because I’m a masochist and clearly the world needs more BA.

Surprisingly, writing episode based fics is harder for me than writing a unique story for BA, so there’s a very good chance that I won’t have anymore episode based fics. Home took forever to write compared to Shadows and Reflections, and was much shorter.

If, however, you want to send me any episodes that you’re curious how BA Sam and Dean would react, I don’t mind sharing my thoughts! I’ve mused many times while watching the show about what would happen if one of the bros was tiny. It won’t be an official prompt, because I won’t write it all out, just musing, but it could be fun!

Fun Facts!

I was drunk when I wrote most of Shadows and Reflections. On my parents couch in Florida, waiting for Thanksgiving dinner and given an entire bottle of champagne… One of my few exceptions to my rule of very little alcohol in my life. I like to think the story turned out great because of it. Got Sam and Bobby’s first encounter all squared away.

Our writing process? Let’s see…

First off, we spend a lot of time talking about different scenarios between the characters. It’s mostly spitballing ideas or coming up with cool ideas for monsters at the time, but a lot of the ideas stick and then start to grow.

Once we find something that sounds like a good story, we play around with different ideas for it, acting out little scenes and switching things up (and occasionally going I have an idea, and if you ever hear that it’s usually a sign for angst).

Though at the beginning of when we started writing these AUs it was just for fun, we now have a distinct plan and list of story ideas. Once we finish one, there’s always another story just begging to be written, which is how we keep our momentum going. It’s very important to not lose momentum. 

Editing tends to take the longest, which is why despite the fact that we have a good amount of stories finished, not many are ready for posting. We are slowly working through editing and getting the stories beta read.

What we’ve found is our characters have great chemistry together, so we can throw them together and think something’s going to happen, then discover the characters just go and do their own thing anyway. (Dean and Jacob//Dean and Bowman are good examples. It’s almost impossible to know what’s going to happen with these pairs)

90% of our stories come from one of us going I have an idea and the other one going Oh no.