A beta reader edited my novel a couple of years ago. He didn’t read through it all though, but instead tore it apart and asked me to write it again. I thought through his advice and saw that it made sense. My beginning—which has always been my weakness—was a bit dull. I needed to spice it up to grab the reader’s attention.
More action, he said. Sure, I listened. I started the story later on, more action. Added a portal and going into battle. I took out about five chapters. I thought it was better.
Better but not good enough, he basically said. I never talked to him much after that. But I also never changed my story’s beginning again.
Now, my beginning confuses too many people. There’s too many characters. Too many new words. No one can keep their attention past about thirty pages.
So, now, it’s back to the editing room to fix what he suggested in the first place. I know more action, sure, but not by skipping chapters, but by going backwards. It may be a longer fix, but it’s worth it.
Plus, I’ll think more about what a beta says with a grain of salt next time.