They both turn up on feedback night for my novel.
Now in all fairness, Jelly Bean’s talent is more toward the annual delivery of chocolate eggs end of the spectrum. But Jelly Bean did pitch in and even found a great new friend in Liz.
As you can see from the evening’s beverage selection, I had a special beer (the one on the left below) reserved for those who might pan my novel. Although at several points we did threaten one of the reviewers with Schlitz, fortunately we never had to break it out.
This was the first of two feedback nights I’m having for my 3rd draft (the Stylish Ladies will be on the 20th). For me, this was really a story of the good and the good. My mother actually called me today and asked how it went (that was pretty cool in itself, it’s still nice at my age to have mum take an interest in what I’m doing). What I told her was that I got some nice compliments, but the coolest thing was what they wanted improved. The theme was basically that they all really liked the world that I’ve created and they want more of it. That’s a cool criticism – “we like it, so do more.”
I think another way I can sum it up is to quote Liz (the one bonding with the bunny above): “It was a lot of fun. Your world and your characters obviously have more than enough life to generate fan interest – witness our debates about the nature of the <deleted (you’ll have to wait a bit longer for that one)> and character histories.” <– That is one of the coolest e-mails that I have received in a while and I was actually speechless (highly unusual) sitting in my seat, watching my readers debate the nature of my world, histories, etc. and answer one another’s questions.
The most interesting thing is that I came away entirely energized to work more on book 1 and fold in the suggestions, but bummed because I’ve already started book 2! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of letting things percolate, which is why I like to take a month off from a draft after completing it. But it is a little frustrating. The one big upside is that I have started to weave some of the suggestions about my world and continually evolving characters into book 2. So Book 2 is actually benefitting from the feedback on book 1. And in a month I’ll go back and play with book 1 again. 🙂
OK, now I need to go Nano for a bit before I go to bed.