1st 9 chapters = great!
The others = not so much…
Chapters consumed in quick succession, enjoyable relationship between Roger and Ed, liking where it’s going… had to put it down to go out, but found herself thinking about the story during the day. Looked forward to going back to it, to see where things were going.
Then chapter nine rolled around. I won’t blab the details, but basically these are the reasons the wheels started to fall off (just in case these are things that might need looking at in your fiction as well):
- too many fight scenes that slowed down the plot and felt like off-shoots (left in from early drafts, because I love a good scrap).
- not enough WHY to what’s going on (too much info left in my head, esp. about character motivations)
- not enough plot information revealed early enough. I have trickled info in later on, but by the first 15,000 words the reader should have a basic inkling of what the central plot is, and where things are headed
So uh, I have a lot to do. I think it’s good that I’ve started on the synopsis, because I can really see what’s necessary and where I need to build up more information for the reader.
I’m glad I waited until the second draft before getting anyone’s thoughts, and for only showing off the chunk of it that I’ve fine-tooth-combed over. Apparently that’s the done thing…
How have your beta/alpha reader experiences been? Did you get a lot out of them, and did they create a lot of work for you?
In other news, HAPPY FLIPPING NEW YEAR! How quick did 2014 go?
P.S. – a note on mums as test readers: You might have a mum that tells you unreservedly how she loves your book. That’s sweet, but useless. What you need is a brutal little critic with a mind like a steel trap, so if mum can’t deliver I suggest finding another budding author (someone you can return the favour for), or perhaps a teacher (someone who is being paid to care, but not too much)