BetaReadG

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Website
Name: BetaReadG, BRG, Beta Readers Pages
Owner/Maintainer: c. salyers (identity by permission)
Dates: started in 1999; last updated 2006; going down Oct 2009
Type: information/resource
Fandom: Gatchaman; Battle Of The Planets; Eagle Riders; G-Force
URL: Geocities; Wayback
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BRG was a site predominately for fans of Gatchaman, Battle Of The Planets, Eagle Riders and G-Force. It contained essays on those fandoms, articles on writing fanfiction, a list of beta readers, author interviews, an ideas generator and a links page.

It is being documented here as part of the OTW's GeoCities Rescue Project.

Author Interviews

Authors were invited to submit 'interviews', based on a questionnaire offered on the site. Questions included:[1]

  • What series did you start on and how has it affected you?
  • Who is your favorite character(s) from any one or all of the different versions?
  • Who is your least favorite? Why?
  • Why did you start writing fanfic?
  • Do you have a favorite author or authors in the fanfic world?
  • Are there any fanfic stories that are especially memorable for you?
  • Out of the stories you've written, which one is your personal favorite and why?
  • Which fanfic was the hardest to write? Why?

Authors interviewed[2]

Holly Quinn - "The X-Men in general attract me for similar reasons Gatch does (human characters with issues and problems who nevertheless manage to protect humanity. X-Men has the added feature of dealing with discrimination, an issue quite important to me.)"

Ali - "When I started writing, I almost stopped reading altogether because in my mind, I could potentially end up copying other authors. So I read very little, and I regret it now."

Terri-Anne - "...the one I use most often, was to find something that showed the point of the story; a quote, a phrase, whatever. Keep it handy and it'll keep you honest when you want to wander off on tangents..."

Nancy Tang - "My life was inexorably changed by "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." After that, well... there was no hope."

Mark 'Anderson' Stalter - "Will the real Mark Anderson please stand up? I always connected best with Mark. Here was a young guy that kept getting a raw deal from life ... and yet he continued to maintain some kind of control..."

Ebonbird - "I'm of the opinion that the best fanfic convinces readers of the extreme possibilities."

Naa-Dei Nikoi - "...a really good work is one that also hints at stories not told and also tells its story so well that you love the journey as much as the destination."

Articles[3]

Managing Goals In Your Story - Celena Salyers '...By finding out the answer to 'what is the goal?' and 'what is needed to accomplish the goal?', you can troubleshoot a lot of scenes.'

Killing 'em Softly - Naa-Dei Nikoi '..fighting (organized) is essentially a social affair. Fighters succeed as a group and they fail as a group. And as a group, when things go wrong, things can be bizarre and catastrophic --'

Angles - Terrianne '..you've got to decide whether you're going to work in first, second or third person. The decisions you make are going to affect the whole shape of your story or novel..'

What's the Point? - Celena Salyers '..defining conflict and obstacles through hypothetical questions and answers to give your story a journey and a goal..'

Planet Spectra and Star Classes - Naa-Dei Nikoi '...Life as we know it is thought most likely to occur around stars of type F, G and K since they are long-lived enough to support the evolution of life...'

Mary Sue and Family - Celena Salyers 'Everyone in the story likes Mary Sue... But Mary Sue has an evil twin. In fact she has a whole family...'

When Writer and Beta Reader Disagree - Celena Salyers 'All beta-writer relationships have something to offer, even the tough ones. Don't let a beta get you down, ...'

Big Scenes and Uncertain Words - Celena Salyers 'You can usually find the point the story went wrong where emotions started running high...'

Defining Mary Sue from the Character Specialist - Julieann 'a Specialist does not necessarily have to be a Mary-Sue, just because you wrote it. But the word 'outshine' that you used says ...'

Mecha-nations - Naa-Dei Nikoi 'there are certain considerations that ought to prevent one from building a flying terror machine 200 meters wide...'

Slaying the Hydra - Naa-Dei Nikoi 'The real advantage of a mecha is how little gets committed into a target...'

A Better Beta - Naa-Dei Nikoi 'A beta reader is the lucky person who gets first dibs on a tantalizing piece of fanfic then gets to mouth off to the writer about it...'

The Big Easy - Nancy Ford 'Every now and then, a discussion arises... as to the nature of fan fiction (derivative) writing versus the nature of writing entirely original work...'

Blood - Not Just a Pretty Color - Sal "The floor was red with blood" or "his pants were red with blood". Not exactly wrong statements, but misleading.

Random Thoughts on Writing - Terrianne 'We write a particular type of fiction, with its own rules and circumstances; fanfic published to a mailing list. That poses a unique challenge...'

Character and series essays[4]

Joe and Ryu - Botp ML - Team relations: '...[their] basic problem seems to be mutual incomprehension they are such different people...'

Tiny - Naa-Dei Nikoi - '...pushover? Watch on. He may be laid back, but he takes his work seriously...' (BotP)

Ollie Keeawani: The Owl's Baggage - Meridian Day - 'It's possible to see a lot of Ollie's personality from his interaction with his family... Ollie is one of the more sympathetic treatments of G5...' (ER)

Ryu Nakinaashi - In depth stats donated by Wendy Dinsmore. (Gatch)

Princess- Terri-Anne - 'Although she's as capable in a fight as anyone, her real skill is working out what Spectran computer banks are for and teaching things how to fall down, go boom.' (BotP)

Harley Harris - Meridian Day - 'It seems that Hunter and his father had a close relationship. Unique among all the G1s, he knows who his father is and what he does.' (ER)

Mark - Julieann - '...goodie two shoes? Perhaps this misnomer comes partly from his innocent looks. But make no mistake, this is one boy you don't want to mess around with...' (BotP)

Jason - Naa-Dei Nikoi - '...bad boy? This being an essay that'll look at him in an admittedly favorable light, one would expect to hear about his angelic qualities. The truth lies somewhere in between...' (BotP)

Botp and Gatch Personality Differences - Wendy Dinsmore - Find out the nuances between the characters.

Jinpei - In depth stats donated by Wendy Dinsmore. (Gatch)

Who (or What) is the NTT Gatchaman Team? - Celena Salyers - a bit of information on the NTT East Gatchaman campaign.

Also on this page were astrological charts for the characters Ken, Jun, Jinpei, Joe, Ryu, Dr Nambu and Katse.

Betareaders

This section contained profiles of fourteen beta readers, with details on what sort of beta reading they offered, and what sort of stories they preferred/preferred not to read.

Example beta reader profile[5]

Naa-Dei Nikoi

General: Grammar, spelling, line edits and feel, backstory, characterization (main & new), scenarios, brainstorming, technical, details
Specific: Drama, horror, humor, sex, alternate (the original team *must* be the main focus), crossover, any version of Gatchaman

Comments: What I won't handle: Under no circumstances will I read a fanfic whose main purpose is to belittle, ridicule or humilate a character. If you don't respect the character you're working with, don't expect me to read it. Excellent with BotP, very good with Gatch, Gatch OAV and G-Force.

Other Features

  • A Glossary defined a few fannish terms, such as canon and lemon, and a few common Japanese words.
  • The Tips section focused on links to articles and resources about grammar, plotting, characterization and writing in general.
  • A more comprehensive Links page was divided into sections on:
    • A. Episode and Character Information for Writers
    • B. General Writing Resouces
    • C. Interactive Fanstuff
    • D. Beta Resources from Other Fandoms
    • page 2. Heroes, Heroines, and Villians
    • page 3. Writing Tips and Articles Around the Web (the Tips page)

Ideas Generator

The ideas generator produced:

  • Main Character: A name or type of person within canon
  • Secondary Character: attributes such as jobs or hobbies for additional characters
  • An event or reference: A pattern to build the story around, or an item to be mentioned within the story
  • Included in: Items can be symbolic or a clue to further the story
  • Setting: A time and/or place in which the story occurs, begins, or ends
  • Theme: Issues at hand for the protagonist/antagonist

Example: My main protagonist/antagonist is Jinpei. An extra character is an undercover police officer. An event or reference is the beginnings of life. Included in my story is a map. The story is set in a bus. The theme is self-discovery.

Feedback Form[6]

Unusually, the site offered an anonymous feedback form to be filled out and sent to the moderator, who then sent it on to the author. The form included radio buttons for questions such as "Did you feel this was a Mary-Sue Fanfic?", "Was the fiction world believable?", "Was the right viewpoint used to tell the story effectively?" and "Descriptions were:

  • wonderfully detailed
  • sparse, but good
  • a bit too much
  • not always clear"

And a final set of check boxes for "What did you like most?":

  • The way the characters were portrayed
  • Character interaction was well handled and believable
  • The storyline was unique
  • Funny! Add a nose cola alert next time
  • It's so sad
  • It's romantic
  • Romantic scenes were exciting and entertaining
  • It's poetic
  • Missions were believable and exciting
  • Violence was well handled
  • Problems were resolved in a reasonable way
  • Original characters were well handled
  • It was action packed
  • Twists and turns kept me guessing
  • Can't wait to see more!
  • Loved the ending"

Screencaps

References

  1. BetaReadG - author questionnaire (accessed by Wayback 4 October 2009)
  2. BetaReadG - Author Interviews index (accessed by Wayback 4 October 2009)
  3. BetaReadG - Articles Index (accessed by Wayback 4 October 2009)
  4. BetaReadG - Character and series essays index (accessed by Wayback 4 October 2009)
  5. BetaReadG - Betareaders page (accessed by Wayback 4 October 2009)
  6. BetaReadG - feedback form (accessed by Wayback 4 October 2009)