The last couple of weeks, I have been working on incorporating beta reader feedback into my book. It has been an amazing experience.
For those of you not in the know, beta readers are readers who get to read a manuscript before it is pitched to an agent or publishing house. They provide feedback to the author on what they liked, what they disliked, and any suggestions on improving it.
Handing your manuscript off to beta readers can be nerve wracking. Imagine handing off one of your children to someone else and asking them to tell you everything wrong with that child. Beta reading kind of feels like that. At the same time, it can be awesome.
If they like your book, you get some awesome praise. Authors love praise. Some of the praise I received included:
I really like the "monster". I read quite a bit of horror and this was unlike anything I've ever read. Really unique and creepy as hell!
Or how about my wife's comment after finishing the book for the first time:
Well, that was horrifying.
And one of my favorites:
This was one of the best horror books I have read and I would definitely recommend others to read it.
And then there is the ultimate compliment for any writer:
Yes, I would definitely read the next book in the series (and the next, and the next) and I would recommend it to everyone I know.
And then there's the part where they make your story better. My beta readers found a couple of small plot holes. Filling them has really improved the story, even if they weren't gaping craters.
So, even if they can be absolutely terrifying, they can also be one of the best parts of writing.