Reader Feedback and the Story
The first draft of The Peach Widow is finished. Now for edits before publishng.
But along the way, when I took the next-to-the-last chapter to my Word Blenders writers group there was a hue and cry at the ending of the chapter.
Readers Get Invested in the Story
Readers love characters, even secondary characters like dogs. When the chapter ends with the fate of Pup in balance, members of the group said, "No! You can't let Pup die." And one member created a hashtag on the spot #SavePup.
During the week I received little prompts in messages that read #SavePup, because they knew I was working on the final chapter. The members of the group are very professional giving solid critiques on story structure, scene, chapter sequence, grammar and the like. I was surprised when they responded so strongly. Characters die in stories all the time.
I had notes for the final chapter sequences. I revised the notes in response to the unanimous response of the readers. I know that one of my beta readers would have the same response. I had to rethink the ending of the story and because of the ending the sequence of stories in the Argolicus Mysteries.
The new ending was nothing like the original ending.
Beta Reader Feedback
As a story writer, you may go along, whether pantser or planner, but beta readers will give you important feedback. When you receive the feedback you use your discernment and personal discretion to make changes they suggest. But when all the readers make the same comment, it's time to listen.
Once your story is published and out there, your general readers may or may not give you important feedback. But, if they don't like the way the story goes, they may never come back.
Finding beta readers is an important part of the writing process when you are ready for publication. Treasure those readers, be grateful for their feedback. If you don't agree with the feedback, be grateful because every reader is a clue to how your story is received.
Zara Altair, Author
The puzzle of politics, the mystery of murder in ancient Italy. After Rome, before the Middle Ages, Italy belonged to the Ostrogoths.