The reader’s response to a story line can be extraordinarily powerful in the construct of a current work. Yesterday, I was listening to responses from several new readers, when the topic of ‘what I hope to find out next’ in the Greatest Treasure series, helped solidify the closure to Book III – a manuscript currently in the works.
I like to use a live reader group to actively listen to a manuscript under construction – one or two chapters at a time. I’ve found this to be a strength-building exercise for the overall story-line. Still, the power of the new reader, one who has picked up a book for the first time and shared how it impacted them, is immeasurable for the development of future works.
For some, that raises a question, “Don’t you know your story’s plot before you begin?” The answer is yes, I know the basic construct, but I am not a detailed outliner. Once the rough framework of an outline is in place, then I might be called a pantser by some (writing by the seat of my pants), allowing the fullness of a story to develop out of the unexpected.
So for me, listening to the reaction of a new reader can bring vivid clarity to what happens next. Never doubt the impact your review or simple line of feedback can have on an author. What you’ve read impacts you in a distinctly, unique way. That’s because you are distinctly unique – created in God’s image, and yet like no one else.