Recently, about two weeks ago, I sent out the latest version of Emma’s Story for test reading. I sent it to five different people, and expected to hear back from two of them. The only ones I haven’t heard back from now are those two. I still think I’ll hear back from the eventually, it’ll just take some time.
Overall, the feedback has been good. All three of them agree on a few different things, but have wildly different takes on others. The most “controversial” issue is probably the writing style. One of my readers felt that it was confusing and condescending, while another called it a stroke of genius. The third reader found it interesting, but felt that it lost a bit of its novelty towards the end.
My take on that is that it’s the kind of thing that will appeal to some people, but not to others, and I won’t change it. Admittedly, changing it would require me to rewrite the entire story, and that’s just not an option anymore. I feel like I’m close to finishing this story, and there’s a limit to how long I can keep tweaking and fiddling with it – especially if there are people who like the things I would be changing.
What all three readers agree on is an incident near the end. My main characters behaviour in face of what they’re up against just doesn’t seem to match anyone’s expectations. This is something that was pointed out to me previously, and I tried fixing it but I misunderstood the issue and changed the wrong thing.
I now have a better understanding of what the issue is, and with a bit of time I should be able to figure out a resolution for it. I already have one idea, and with that as a start I can come up with others. Unfortunately I may have to remove an event I’m really fond of, but if that’s what it takes to make the story as a whole better, then so be it. I’ll try to see if I can find a way to avoid that though.