So, yeah, I haven't posted in some time. Things are a little crazy. Something about the beginning of summer, afternoon storm rolling in from the west, and politicians yakking each other into irrelevance makes for a hectic path towards the year's wind down. I blame society. That and about six deadlines.
Expect posts to be dismal for a while.
The good news is my first reader has finished the first draft extract. I didn't have high hopes. I thought this story (as opposed to previous ones) would be a little too obtuse and too clever by half. I'm happy to report I was wrong. My first reader (bless her) engaged completely with the story and was keen to keep reading. A good sign.
My first reader is not an editor or a writer, or in any way associated with the industry. In fact it took me some time to teach her how to give feedback. We've come a long way from "I hate it" to "I don't get it" to "I thought that middle section didn't work".
We had to meet half way and it's a good place to get your initial feedback. Editors (or, worse, other writers) can be a little too...detailed for a rough draft. Pure readers can be too vague. But if a reader can articulate his or her thoughts and the writer trusts those ideas, then you get gold.
It's an imperfect science, but it works for me.