Pulling It Together

I’ve got a lot of feedback.

Thoughtfulness by lampelina.

Almost all of it’s good.  And by that I mean it’s actually all good, I just don’t necessarily agree with it all.  My first round of beta readers have been, by and large, quite kind to me.  They’ve been pretty good at pointing out the flaws without providing solutions (and I appreciate this is a hard road to walk: sometimes it’s hard to express why something’s wrong, without saying how it could be right).

The feedback’s come in in bits and pieces – a salting here, a dash there.  I haven’t wanted to start on the corrective surgery until I’ve got a good feel for it as a whole, but I think I’m almost there.

It’s really cool that almost all readers have agreed on a few points, most have agreed on a couple, and then there’s the outliers (which, as I’ve noted, can be awesome or bat shit crazy).  Without exception I’m going to adopt the common themes – a good example of this is the descriptions of people and places.  These were originally written without a heavy hand, and deliberately so following the advice of my original writer’s group; it turns out that this is why a larger sample size is useful!  It’s an easy fix, and necessary, and I can already feel inside my head how it’s going to work.

Busy Businessman 4 by bizior.

I need to ponder a bit more some of the other pieces of feedback – such as the use of colourful metaphors.  In this example, two of my readers have reported polar opposite reactions.  Aside from that falling into the not useful or helpful category, it still makes me pause for thought: have I done it right?  Is there a way it can be re-written for better purpose or feel?  Attribution to certain characters and scenes?  Etc.

Yeah, I was kind of not looking forward to the feedback from the beta readers, but I’ve found – at the end of it – that I’ve actually enjoyed it.  No, not the being-kicked-in-the-balls part, but rather the part where it makes me think, and question myself (in a good way).  It also makes me feel grateful – so many of these people have put in so much time on this.  It’s humbling – I just hope I can do their work justice in mine.

Feedback Form by kikashi.

Tomorrow, I hope to be in a position to make a start on this – it’ll take me a bit to pull it together, so bear with me.  My ramblings here might get a bit more random as I work it through.  It’s exciting!  I already feel like we know each other better as a result.

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