I talked to one of my beta readers today in person: my father-in-law, Ed, is a voracious reader of all things sci-fi, military thrillers and suspense novels. He really enjoyed the book. That is always a big ego boost. The man knows his genres. He has been reading them longer than I have been alive. Therefore, I take what he says very seriously.
One thing about established readers is that they love a well-researched novel, and dig concepts that have a firm researched foundation even if the writer slips into “tell mode”. Thus, he was a little sad to hear I had cut Megan to a different character, which got rid of her interactions with the Indian tribe, parts of the book he really dug.
On the other hand, his favorite parts of the book have the momentum that I was talking about earlier in my blog. Since he also felt the beginning of the book was rough, I believe Draft 3 will please him mightily. In Draft 3, I will lay claim to the reader. You are mine. I will not let you go.
He was curious about what other people thought (he is not a blog reader). I told him Caroline felt the book was “sex sex sex sex guns sex sex sex sex guns” when what she probably wanted was “guns guns guns guns sex guns guns guns guns sex”.
He agreed and thought that was funny.
Writing is like that.