I’ve received the feedback from each of my Beta Readers! I picked 5 people that I know love to read, some who read romantic suspense and some who don’t. Some of these people have known me for a while, some know me well, and some don’t know me well at all. Their ages range from early 20s to mid 60s. I wanted to get a small but diverse group that would represent the readers who will eventually be the audience for my book.
Sending your story out to beta readers isn’t easy on the emotions, nor is the anticipation of getting their feedback. Putting your work out there is a terrifying thing. You’ve worked hard, lost sleep, shed sweat and tears over this story. You love your characters as if they were your best friends. And now, you have to turn them over to others who may not love them as much as you do.
Opening yourself up for critiques leaves you feeling raw. It’s like that nightmare where you find yourself naked in front of a room full of people. But, it is all part of the process. A necessary evil in order to make your book the best it can be. Because you don’t want to send your child out into the world with tangles in her hair and clothes that don’t fit or match. No, you want her polished and looking her best.
Thankfully, the feedback overall has been positive. There were some great suggestions on ways I could improve the story, and I will be following up on those in the coming months. That’s why I asked for feedback in the first place. As much as I love having my ego inflated, flattery will not make my story better.
The Bible likens it to iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17). Think of a knife. It doesn’t get sharper by slicing through something soft, like cheese. The only thing to make it sharper is a hard, gritty surface that grinds away the dullness of the blade. And so it is with critique. It may not feel comfortable while it’s happening, but the end result will be so much better.
I owe many thanks to my beta readers, which I promise to deliver in a tangible way. And now, on to the next step – editing, re-writing, rinse and repeat.
What about you? Has there been a time in your life when you received some feedback that wasn’t easy to hear? How did you handle it? How did it change you for the better? Leave a comment to join in the conversation.