As some of you may well have heard, this past weekend I received the comments from my Beta Reader. In short, and to risk repeating myself, they were awesome. They were constructive and will have me working like a madman, but they are making my novel stronger. Nothing major in terms of content, and nothing major in terms of having to rip the novel apart and piece it back together, but major in the way small things often are.
So, as I mention, I am now working away on these corrections, updating my work and feeling great about it.
I have to create one whole new scene, well, kind of mini-scene actually. This can easily be slipped in (as good as) between two sentences in the novel. So it is with this that I began.
Everything was, and is going well, the scene is shaping up nicely, There is an internal conflict going on with the characters, that also serves as a refresher to their lives from the very start of the first book in the trilogy, there will be action and obviously a necessary change to the group dynamic as a result of this scene. I love it, I can’t believe I wanted to skip it the first time round.
Then I got to thinking. These corrections were recommended to me by someone who took their time to not only read my new novel but to take notes. They invested part of themselves in it. What happens if I make these changes they have suggested, send it back to them and they don’t approve. What if I work hard on it, but what I produce is not what they had in mind, or just not good enough?
Suddenly, there is a lot more pressure not on the novel, but on me… the writer. I know a lot of people dread sending their novel out to Beta readers, they get nervous about what they are going to say. I was, I mean it is a nerve-wracking thing having your work read by another. Especially by another writer, whose eye is always more critical. Yet now I realize, it isn’t the first draft that we should fear the wrath of, but rather that of the second opinion.
What do you think? Do you feel more pressure when awaiting the initial feedback from a beta reader or their second opinion?