Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First Results Are In

I’ve met with my first group of teenage test readers on my latest manuscript. It turned out to be an interesting experience.

While I’ve used test readers in the past, this is the first time I’ve done a face-to-face in any form. So we had some bugs in the technology and that impeded discussion a little. But it was worth it. Being able to hear the voice inflects and see the faces as the teens discuss was a privilege for me, and I will be using Skype for more teleconferences in the future for sure.

As for the reactions themselves, the good news is none of the hated the story. Maybe they weren’t as enthusiastic as I hoped, but from other things I heard afterward, this may be because about half the group was still processing the story itself, having finished it not long before the discussion. Either way, this is good news since this first group was handpicked because I knew they are in my very specific target market.

Also despite the processing still going on, everyone contributed helpful comments, positive and negative. It was fun to see which characters sparked what kind of reactions in which teens, and how they termed those characters. They also found some very specific spots needing improvement with some very specific reasons why.

So while there is still work to be done, I am content with how this first round went, convinced my story remains on the right track overall.

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