So I just found out one of my very close writer friends had no alpha readers for her recently finished MS. I literally gasped. I don't know how you no-alpha writers do it! Don't you get discouraged? Don't you worry about the choices you make as a writer? How in the world do you make it 60—100k words without falling into complete despair?
What? Maybe I'm just an insecure person? Sure...that might be a valid point, but let me just toot the Alpha horn for a second.
If you don't know what an Alpha reader is, let me give you a quick definition. An Alpha Reader is a person who reads a writer's rough draft as it is being generated. And they are awesome. Alphas don't have to be writers (though it's helpful), they just have to love you no matter what and be wildly enthusiastic about your desire to write.
The role of the Alpha is not to point out "messy" writing or little things that can be fixed later. That's the Beta's job. The Alpha role is two fold: 1) Point out anything they "don't get" or speak up when/if the story goes "off course." 2) Tell you after every single chapter that they are dying for the next and you're the best writer in the whole entire world and it's a crime you're not published yet (or something like that)!
I have two wonderful, perfect Alpha readers—my husband and my best friend. Getting their feedback as I write keeps me going, reassures me that I'm taking the story the right way, and stops me from making huge blunders right off the bat. I love it every time I get an "OMG that was awesome!" response, but I equally appreciate the "uh, that didn't go quite right...would MC really do that?"
Since I enlisted Alphas, I feel like my first drafts are in much better shape than before. The big plot holes just aren't there—I think more about what I'm writing because I want the Alphas to get the best possible rough draft. Of course, the writing is far from perfect, but still a lot better than if I was going it alone.
Consider finding an Alpha or two, you really won't regret it. Unless you find one who thinks they're a Beta and nitpicks you to death. That wouldn't be good. Make sure they know their role.