So one of my beta readers got back to me yesterday, and gave some really good insight into some things that work in the novel. Over the past week I’ve been reading the manuscript and editing, pointing out to myself the flaws and corrections I’ll need to make. As I was reading it over, I couldn’t help thinking: Hey, this is pretty good.
It’s one thing to think your work is good; it’s one thing to have your wife or another family member read your work and think it’s good. But when someone who has no vested interest in your success tells you that it’s good — that takes it to a whole new level.
A couple of quotes from our correspondence:
“Overall: I really enjoyed the book. I liked the setting and some of the descriptions of place. The bruised sky, that kind of thing. Very noir. I liked how the chapters ended with action, which made me want to start the next chapter to see what was happening. I thought the pace of the action moved along well, didn’t get too bogged down. Nice insider look at the music business.”
But lest you think it was all sunshine and roses, the reader also saw that the narrative might not be as strong as it should be, which I appreciated:
“… I feel like this is missing a stronger sense of conflict … I really don’t know WHAT would make it more suspenseful but feels like it lacks some plot point somewhere …”
I’m sort of cherry-picking from her critique, because she echoed a great idea for some more conflict, and I don’t want to give anything away just yet.
I’ll just say I’m gratified that someone liked the novel, and now it’s time to get back to work on the rewrites.