Beta Readers – Part II
Much praise can be lauded upon those who take the time to go over your prose and see where things do not quite add up.
One of the most dedicated beta readers of TROA (“The Redemption of Anair”) was a tremendous help. He asked me questions about the cultures and the peoples – things which one cannot cram into one novella, but it is a great deal of extra material for future novels in the series. The antagonists are not the stereotypical “bad guys.” They are not Orcs or Uruk-hai but people.
The novellas which I have planned are aimed at painting the characters on all sides as people – all complete with their faults, flaws, loves and desires. I think that it bodes well for me that my beta readers have all seemed to identify TROA as a character orientated work first and foremost. All of the other factors, the world itself, the supernatural aspects, the conflicts etc., they serve to shape the various personalities whom I am portraying.
Another point which came across was that I had to be more aware in portraying chronology or seasons. The calendar for MY world is sitting in front of me and I have to figure out how to subtly show it to my readers instead of telling them. That is another thing which I have grown to love about writing; trying more and more often to “show and not tell.”
Nevertheless, having committed and awesome beta readers makes the whole process much more efficient and rewarding – the pre-publication feedback is invaluable.