First Reader has come back with comments on Beneath a Wounded Sky (FC:V).
Overall, response was very good. Really good. “I miss them already,” was the comment after the last page.
But, there was room for improvement. Here’s the sort of thing First Reader found:
- The first major action sequence, written back when I was approaching getting back into a groove, was unclear. I know that I didn’t follow my own advice on writing action sequences, so this is not a surprise.
- Sequences that referred back to one of the previous books needed more detail. This is because I had re-read FC:I-IV before re-starting my work, but First Reader (intentionally) did not. Since most readers won’t re-read the first four, this was very good feedback.
- A few of the more complicated sections were unclear as to motivation; why did so-n-so do thus-n-such? Again, great feedback because to be honest, I hadn’t thought it out. I’d cheated, and tap-danced my way through a section to get to a good part. Bad writer! No biscuit! I’d written some action without considering the “why,” and it showed.
- The denouement seemed rushed. This is a common response, and one I always suspect I’m going to get. With the finish line in sight, I will dash ahead and finish the book, wanting to (a) get it done, and (b) get it to First Reader. It’s nothing tragic; it just needs a little more attention.
- Throughout the entire novel, only four typos. A record for me.
Now, all the changes have been considered and fixed. The new version is off to a select group of Second Readers. I expect to hear back from them in a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, I get to think about what to do next? Agent/Publisher (which could take—literally—years)? Self-publication (which would reap little, monetarily)?