Well, my beta-reader is now about sixty percent through Not Famous.
Today I got some useful critiques that I have to work on. All of them center around issues she has with the main character Nick. She says he’s “jealous and self-centered sometimes” but she’s noted areas where I can easily tone it down. His jealous towards another character he suspects is making moves on his girlfriend is definitely an important part of the story, but it seems I may have overdone it some.
And then there’s his relationship with his sister. His sister is eleven years younger than him and actually his half-sister. While these two facts contribute to him not being close, I’ve apparently made him too mean to be very likable.
So these are two issues I need to address in order make him more likable. Now, my beta-reader, who is a woman, has often prefaced her critiques by reminding me that she’s not part of my target audience. In one respect, no she isn’t. However, one thing that has become clear from our conversations is that she’s remained very engaged with the story, is empathetic towards the characters, and has been reacting to various scenes and characters the way I want readers to react to them. So I’m glad about that. And she’s probably right that my main character needs to be a bit more likable—and plan to address that when I edit the next draft.