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Beta Reading Samples: 2. Party On! — a pure grammar, spelling and canon beta

This piece was deliberately written (and corrected) by Gwynnyd to demonstrate how a strict grammar, spelling and canon beta would tackle a piece. The next chapter provides an example of short comments on plot, characterisation, continuity and style on the same piece corrected for grammar, spelling and canon issues.

The beta’s comments are in italics

Note: this piece with the grammatical errors included is most definitely not representative of Gwynnyd’s usual fine abilities as a writer. Gwynnyd not only deliberately wrote the piece with errors, but also provided the beta comments to correct them. In these aspects, her prose is always a joy for her beta readers to work with.

***

Party On!

This title is very modern, you might want to change it to something not quite so slangy.

Aragron Aragorn, was either delete 'was' or add 'and' in front of 'had' in the next phrase recently crowned King of Gondor, had more work to do than was his want 'want' is to need something, I think you meant 'wont' which means 'accustomed to'. He fondly remembered long days, delete comma of travel with nothing to do but stride along, eyes watching for signs of trouble, while his mind was free to think and plan. Now the plans had come to fruitition; 'fruition' also the semi-colon is unnecessary, delete it and add 'and' time to think was in short supply.

In days overloaded with meeting people he had little time to himslef himself and then 'then' is unnecessary, delete snatched odd moments of rest and recreation where he could find them. Dawn was only just blushing the sky a deep rosey rosy red and he was indulging in a private moment. What needed planning was no feat I think you meant 'fete', a festival or feast, not 'feat', a deed of great import, but it promised to provide him with some real entertainment amidst the more formal functions he was expected to attend every day.

Eomer wished to honor some of the Captains of the Ridermark Ridermark should be Riddermark with a party in Minas Tirith.

"It's not that I don't have the resources, Aragorn,' Eomer explained, "But but should not be capitalised, as you have a comma after the speech tag (explained) and Eomer’s words are all one sentence when we came south, I was not expecting to have to fund so much from my private purse." He shrugged and poured another pint of ale into his mug. "While Gondor has been very generous in supporting my troops since we arrived, I really do not expect you to pay for this. And then delete 'and then', unnecessary, capitalize 'The' the tavern-keepers of this city are just as suspicious of foreign soldiers as ever. I could make arrangements as the King of Rohan, but." He There should be a comma after 'but' and "he" should NOT be capitalized shrugged again and paused with his mug halfway to his lips. He smiled. "I'm no more used to being a king than you are, and I want to enjoy myself without worrying about the tavern keeper decide if you want tavern-keeper to be hyphenated or not telling tales of the wild King of Rohan. Its It's, you need the apostrophe because the word is 'it is' not the possessive bad enough that they will talk about the wild Rohirrim. You are still planning to join us?"

Aragorn laughed. "Wouldn't miss it, even if I do have to use my Ranger skills to sneak away from a formal recepiton. reception We are agreed then. Your stallion Firefoot will cover Roheryn Roheryn is referred to as 'he' in RotK, "Aragorn's own horse that they had brought from the North; Roheryn was his name. Maybe just make this four mares? and three other mares from my private stables and my privy purse will pay for your party. But not damage to the inn, mind you. The city is battered enough without that."

"Agreed." Eomer looked around puzzled. "Was not Faramir to been here 'to be here' or 'to have been here' would be better, 'to be here' is more active and more archaic sounding to handle the funds transfer discreetly?"

Aragorn laughed again. "He is. He was. My Steward needs a steward. He recieved received word this morning of a crack in some historic building or other and needs must check it out himself. He'll be back present. 'presently', should be adverb form "

"Ah, then I can wait." He drank a deep draft 'draught' would be a more archaic spelling of 'draft' of the ale. He thought about how hard it was to find what he thought of as a good breakfast in Gondor. This sentence shifts into Eomer's point of view. Because this is the onlyplace where you do this, I would delete it for consistency. Maybe make the information part of the dialogue? "Prince Imrahil keep 'keeps' wanting me to discuss our border issues with the Dunlendings, delete comma, unnecessary over breakfast." Eomer shuddered. "Once was enough for that. Odd herb drinks and tiny, sweet cakes. Faugh." He stubbed I think you mean 'stabbed' a slice of meat off the tray on the table between them with the point of his belt knife. "At least you know what a man's breakfast should look like."

Aragorn razed 'raze' is to tear down, 'raise' is to lift up, I think you need 'raised' here his eyebrows in disbelief. "I remember your grandmother. She knew what a fork was for. Rohan has gone sadly downhill." Aragorn shhaked shook his head sorrowfully, then change to 'and' and delete comma or change to 'and then' if you want to keep the comma speared his own piece of meat off the tray with a knife.

The men were still chuckling when there was knock at the door. Prince Imrahil entered and bowed formally to his King and then to the king of rohan. You either need capitalization for both instances of king or for neither — arguments have been put forward for both approaches; my preference is for no capitalization in these circumstances. Rohan definitely needs capitalization though. He stood stiffly in front of the king.

"Sire, I have distressing news to report."

Aragorn removed his booted feet from the low table and sat up straiter 'strait' is a passage between two bodies of water, I think you mean "straighter'.

Imrahil squared his shoulders, took a deep breath and continued in the tones of one delivering unwelcome news, "Faramir was seen drinking heavily in several taverns in the lower city last night."

Aragorn waited for the bad news. As the pause continued: colon should be a comma, or delete 'As' and capitalize "The" to make it two complete thoughts joined by a colon it seemed that Imrahil was finished.

"And, Aragorn prompted?" question mark should be after 'and' and followed by the quote mark. Put a period at the end. "And?" Aragorn prompted.

Imrahil made a clean breast of it. "With the periannath italicize, that refers to people. Should be 'who were' were also drinking heavily."

Aragorn thought back to the hobbit's just one hobbit? I think you mean hobbits', plural possessive drinking habits in Bree. That there was beer left in the citadel continually surprised him. With four hobbits and add 'a' dwarf to supply he expected to hear of shortages every day. Imrahil was still standing stiffly in front of him.

"Ah," Aragorn prevaricated. "That is certainly unfortunate."

"I was their, 'their' is the possessive, should be 'there' the place too," Eamer Eomer contributed, in a spirit of helpfulness. "Pippin searched 'was searching' for brews that compared to the ones in the Shire and Bree and he and Merry disagreed on the flavors. Faramir and I went along to ..." He trailed off into silence at the sour look on the Prince's face.

"Well, in that case, I will speak no more of it." Imrahil bowed to Eomer and turned to Aragrorn. Aragorn "But you should certainly discuss this disgraceful behavior with your Steward, my lord. It reflects very badly on the family. And the periannath periannath, this is a foreign word and should be italicized need to be spoken to, as well."

"Certainly, certainly," Aragorn said smoothingly. while Aragorn wants to 'smooth out the situation', 'smoothingly' is not a word. Did you mean 'soothingly'? He stood and maneuvered Imrahil at to the door. "Yes, you can leave it add 'to' me. I will certenly certainly speak to them about their unseemly behavior last night."

Seconds after the door closed behind Imrahil, it opened again to admit Faramir. His red-gold hair Are we in movie!verse? Because you mention Imrahil & Roheryn by name, I thought this was book!verse and so should be consistent. If so, Faramir has black hair. When he first meets Frodo he is described as "Frodo saw that they were goodly men, pale-skinned, dark of hair, with grey eyes and faces sad and proud." And of course when he is on the battlements with Eowyn his hair is described as 'raven', "and their hair, raven and golden" was windblown from standing on the battlements in the morning breeze, but his eyes was were clear and sparkling. He held up a hand to fourstall forestall whatever Aragorn was going to say.

"Have I disgraced you to the point where you ask for my resignation?" he said smiling. "Uncle Imrahil certainly seem 'seems' verbs ending in 's' are singular, 'Uncle Imrahil", one person, is the subject to think you will when you heard either 'seems to think you would when you heard' or 'seems to think you will when you hear' tenses of the verbs must agree. about my carouse last night. Although what he were doing 'was doing' again, it's a singular verb in the third level at that hour, he never said."

Aragorn sits should be kept past tense, 'sat' back down and gestured Faramir into a vacant chair by the table. He poured Faramir a mug of ale and handed it to him.

"I hardly need hair-of-the-dog," Faramir said wryly, putting the mug down and helping him himself to a peace wrong word, "piece' of bread from the tray.

"Nah, nah," Eomer said gesturing with his own mug. "Breakfast ale. Weak enough for babies.

Aragorn looked severly severely at Faramir. "I do however have a very serious issue to discuss with you about your behavior last night." He included Eomer in his disapproval. "Both of you."

Faramir swallowed the bread. "Yes, my lord. I am sorry..."

Aragorn cut him off. "You trusted Pippin to be able to tell the difference between the ales. You, lords of Gondor and Rohan, went too 'to', if you want to use 'too' in the sense of more than enough, it needs to be 'went to too many' many of the taverns in the city and drank indiscriminately."

Faramir and Eomer exchanged guilty glances.

Aragorn drove the lesson home, 'And you didn't think to invite me?"

Very nice. I like the humor. I think you've done a good job of capturing a funny moment. You might also want to add the diacritical marks in the name Éomer, although that's not strictly necessary as I think people will recognize it either way.

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Last Update: 19 May 07
Stories: 2
Type: Workshop/Group List
Created By: Beta Reading Resources


A complete how to on beta reading at HASA.

Why This Story?

Actual examples of beta reading. See stories shredded and put together better under your very eyes. Parts of this are available for you to test your prowess as a beta reader in the Stories area of the Beta Reading Resources Workshop. Join today.

 

Story Information

Author: HASA Resources

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Other

Genre: Research Article

Rating: General

Last Updated: 06/05/04

Original Post: 05/22/04

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