Bunny Trouble rolls over another beta reader, drawing her into the story and putting her into my world. Caroline weighed in last night and I respect her opinion mightily. She has very engaging and honest prose even in her casual writing. When she gets going, it is a delight to read because it is personal and she strikes me as someone comfortable in her own skin.
She thoroughly enjoyed the novel.
Moreover, boy-howdy did I get a lot of feedback! Secretly, I was expecting her to deliver the verdict of “crap,” and that had less to do with a lack of self-confidence than my overtly analytical nature. The Hack Writer is, after all, an arrogant ass. The likelihood of a first-time novelist getting the “crap” verdict from an honest genre reader/writer is high.
I struggle and worry about prose, but life throws you a cure. Sure, I pop up a grammatical boo-boo and the wretched mangle of sentence structure and every time someone points it out, I am embarrassed.
The real feedback I am getting however, is not “your prose is the suck,” but rather matters pertaining to plot, style and characterization.
Things I absolutely cannot have in my novel:
- Subplots that make no sense
- Gratuitousness without a reason
- A slow start
Caroline delivered a good amount of feedback in this area, and some of it mirrors what I heard from David #1. I need to hear from two others, but, my 8.3 readers, I believe we have a winner. There is a mile of difference between “your story is boring” and “your prose is bad” to “fix this, fix that, and when can I have the next book?”
Beta feedback is wonderful, as are my beta readers. The feedback thus far will let me spit out Draft 3 a month early. The feedback was that good.
I win critique!