It’s hard to know when we write something if others will like our work or connect to it. It can hurt if someone doesn’t because it feels personal – they don’t like my story, which in turn means they don’t like me. We are not always the hardiest of folks, we writers.
So when my first beta reader, Ann, told me she had finished my novel and was ready to hand it back over…I was braced for it. She was one who went into this saying she’s not a writer, so she didn’t necessarily feel qualified to respond – but I countered that most readers aren’t writers. I just wanted her reaction. (And if she could point out any errors I may have missed, I’d surely appreciate it.)
So when she told me that she loved the story, which she had been reading over her lunch hour the last few months, that she was missing her time with these people every day – I was relieved. I wanted to just puddle right there – someone else likes my story, sees these people the same way I (and Jack) do.
She had some great feedback throughout – pointing out things that were confusing or didn’t follow. She marked errors that I was sure were no longer present in the document (I had edited four or five times by this point…). And I thanked her for every single mark and comment.
I am also excited for an excuse to go back and revisit Alice, to work through some of these points.