Beta-Reader Thoughts
So! I've heard from about 75% of my beta readers for Breath of Stone!

Certainly they all have their own points to hit, and every one of them will make the novel a better story for ALL of you.  Y'see, most times when a beta reader makes me consider, change, explain, or justify a writerly decision, that reader makes me a better storyteller.  They give me a chance to truly consider my choices or, in some cases, make me away of the consequences of my choices.  Truly, this is why I so like working with a team of beta readers rather than a solitary editor.

This time, too, something unique has happened: every beta reader responding thus far has given me a nearly identical comment about the same couple of chapters.  That hasn't happened to me before!  Making it more difficult for me is the fact everyone is pointing to a section I thought was far stronger than other chapters!

If nothing else, this affirms the notion a writer does well with feedback. :-)

I was a fortunate young writer, to work first and primarily with writers and readers who thought discussion of their feedback was a most wonderful thing.  These were pros confident in their skill, in their contracts with publishers, in their ability to be readers of stories rather than mere auditors of All Things Proper Story.

I've had beta readers who were deeply offended by even  simple, "I don't understand, could you clarify?" questions, and I've had neo-pro writers acting as betas do a huff-and-hackles in response to the same.  But I've never had that response from confident pros, and never from savvy readers.

Look: I understand there are assholes in this world, and that those folks overlap with the SF writing community.  Trust me--I'm in contact with some of them, in some form, on an almost daily basis.  I know writers fall into that category (and know more than a couple I'd personally drop into that deep, deep well myself!), but my smart beta readers know the difference, and I am so grateful for them.

So... it looks more and more like Breath of Stone will be ready for release in the middle of May.  Some Patrons will receive a free ebook, and every Patron will be mentioned in the novel's expressions of gratitude. 

I will post the first (improved! edited!) chapter here by Thursday, April 21 so y'all know what's coming. :-)