Back in the day...ok, so maybe not that long ago, I used to write fanfic. I wrote Gladiator, LOTR, Harry Potter, Underworld and even X-Men slash. I decided to go Original around about 2006 and once I had my first release in 2007, I was hooked. So I hung up my fan fic pen. I enjoyed weaving my own tales, spending days, weeks and months in my own sandboxes and on my own worlds. I still do, but I find myself sometimes missing the community that immediately embraces the fanfic writer.
Now when you post a fan fic, you get comments, replies, praise and all of that fan interaction. Not so much when you're a begining Original Fic writer. (Either that or my readers don't have much to say good or bad) But what I miss the most and what I dream of mostly is....a beta reader.
Whoa, you want input on your writing style, on your story? Write a novella about Legolas and Aragorn or Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. You'll have to turn down beta readers, offering advice on everything from punctuation, sentence structure, continuity, pacing and then some! Whoa, I think. If I had a Beta reader that would allow me to embaress myself less when I turn manuscripts into my editor and would allow me some feedback.
An editor is not a beta-reader and you learn that when you submitt and get a rejection letter. However every once and a while you might get a thorough explaination and advice INSIDE of your rejection letter.
I guess back in the fanfic days, it was all pro bono, dealing in known-shared-and loved universes and done for the enhancement of the community. I know now that I am involved with monetary business, that it would be a bit much to ask for someone to give a free critique, but one can still day dream about the old days...