Two Fish: icarusancalion on The Growth of a Story. Icarus traces the path from idea to story. (I've tried to do this myself, but I've always got distracted by the actual process and forgotten to document it.)
Red Fish: I am looking for two or three beta testers. Yes, that's tester, not reader. I've been working on a Useful LJ Script and while I've done a bunch of testing on my own, I could sure use some help with just using it for a while and seeing how it goes.
Requirements: Website with PHP4 or better, the ability to upload files. I've been testing on an Apache server so if there's someone on IIS that wants to test, that would be super. But Apache server users also welcome.
What's in it for you: Um, mostly just my undying thanks and and acknowledgement in the comments in the script. And good karma. The script itself will be free; there's no monetary incentive for either of us.
Comment if you're interested.
Blue Fish: Fittingly, it seems to be Beta Appreciation Day. Many, many thanks to everyone over the years (years!) who has read my stories, made suggestions, and helped me be a better writer. I'm not going to make a list because in eight years worth of fanfic, I would definitely miss someone. But you're all great. *hugs*
But I will especially mention laurashapiro, who besides story beta has held my hand through several vids (and encouraged me to vid more in the first place) and kestrelsan, who is so much more than a beta. Maybe one of them can tell me how I screwed up the commas in that first sentence, because they don't look right to me.
I think that working with Kest over the last few years has improved my writing much more than anything else before that. We meet weekly in chat and while we spend a fair amount of time just chatting, we also discuss whatever we happen to be working on at the time. We talk about ideas for stories, we look at works in progress, we discuss elements of writing. We've been able to push each other to try harder things than we might have on our own and we've established trust and rapport so that we can give and take good crit.
If you're looking to improve your writing, I would strongly recommend a writing partner, someone who can help you develop stories as they're growing, not just after they're done.