Getting My Beta On: The First Edit of My Novel
I recently sent my completed novel draft to three brilliant friends who agreed to be my beta-readers — two of whom are writers and one of whom is an avid reader.
I just got on their feedback, and they said, Anita, this is perfect, I’ve never been so moved, it’s better than Cats.
What they did do was much better than that:
- They affirmed that the story was worth telling and that my voice kept them reading. Woot!
- They pinpointed problem areas. Like good therapists, they articulated shortcomings I kind of knew but didn’t want to admit. There were a couple of egregious oversights that multiple readers pointed out, and many smaller points from individual readers that gave me clear direction for my edit.
- They opened up new lines of inquiry, making links between characters and developments that I didn’t even recognize.
Getting that kind of feedback is what writers need to keep going. I’m on the right path, so I might as well run it. I now have more trail markers to know which direction I’m running. And best of all, I don’t feel like I’m running it alone.