While waiting for the midnight screening of The Hunger Games last Thursday, my sister read through the first five chapters. (I made character sketches for a book a plan to write, eventually. I have a couple ahead of it in the line-up, but I was inspired.)
I'll admit it's hard to sit next to someone when you know she is reading your book. Any time she shows reaction -- good or bad -- you want to know what she read. For the most part, I managed to keep my questions until she finished. And here were a few of her comments after getting through the chapters.
|Good and fast-paced opener to draw in the reader.|
|I like how you give a shout-out to the book that was an |
inspiration for this story.
|Did you really forget to explain where the MC's father and|
sister went? Come on!
|You messed up on your word choice here. It's so sad to see.|
|I can see the start of the love story, and I want to know|
what happened and what went wrong.
|I like it. I want to keep reading. (Now finish editing.)|
What I appreciated most was she said she wanted to keep reading it. That's definitely something. The first novel I wrote was way too heavy at the beginning, which made it difficult for people to push through. She said that wasn't a problem this time. See, I'm growing!
Having someone like my sister, who I trust fully and completely to be honest with me, review my book is completely beneficial. Whether or not you have critique partners, I strongly encourage you to have a couple of friends or family members take a look at the book in its early stages, too. They are representative of your future readers, and their reaction is crucial.
A million thanks to my sister for taking the time to read, and then playing along with the photo shoot!
Your turn to weigh in: What do you look for in critiques?
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