When Jon Rance reviewed a few sample chapters of Not Famous for me a while back he told me, “One of the first things I was told by my publishers is that most of your readers are women. You need to appeal to women as well as men.”
So, I decided to find another female beta-reader. It took a while to find one, but I did, and she is currently reading the manuscript and has already given me some great feedback.
After reading the prologue and first chapter she said she was “intrigued,” which I considered a great sign.
After reading more, she told me, “You are really spot on with dialogue. It reads as people speak. So hard but important.” She also commended my descriptions of the characters.
She did recommend cutting/changing an interior monologue by the main character she felt disrupted the flow and recommended using that time to have the main character focus more on his waiting for his love interest to show up at Starbucks where she works.
The prologue of the novel goes into the main character Nick’s failed marriage proposal to his longtime girlfriend, but, my new beta-reader told me “I know that he isn’t happy with the outcome of his proposal, but I haven’t gotten a sense of the depth of that disappointment. Even if he doesn’t know it yet, we should have an idea. I know you have completed it, but I want more from him.” I will have to address that.
One thing I’m glad I haven’t heard is any complaints that the main character wasn’t likeable enough. Both my first beta-reader and Jon Rance felt that was something I needed to work on, so much of the changes in this current draft addressed his unlikeability. I am hoping this means I was successful in achieving that.