Happy days! My beta reader enjoyed Conspire. I was worried that he would hate it when I found out (after sending him the manuscript) that he is not just an avid reader and writer, but also a soldier in the American army, currently serving in Iraq. Geez! Talk about far off course from my target market! Considering the themes in Conspire, I actually thought I might offend him. But even if he was offended (and he didn’t say he was), he definitely enjoyed my story!
Below is Clark’s critique. I’ve removed sections that give away the plot. I am incredibly grateful for the feedback and I am now busily revising all the areas that Clark has pointed out as problematic.
I just finished reading your manuscript and you really do have a page turner here. I really did keep wanting to get back and read more and there was a temptation to read real fast in order to find out what would be happening next but I slowed down and took notes. I hope that this feed back will be effective for you. I will put it in two categories and you can choose to read them in whichever order you like (not sure if you like having positive or negative first).
- The story has very good pacing
- Your description of scenes was really well done
- The torture scene was so intense I felt a little sick. Very vivid, really put me there
- There is great drama and excitement in the story that makes you want to keep reading
- Alex is a very likable character who is easy to identify with
- the way you crafted giving information and holding back information was really well done. I could tell something was up but never could really put my finger on it
- Use of current technologies and political headlines gave it a very real feel
Parts that didn’t seem right:
- The very first of the book introduces a lot of characters and if I wasn’t writing them down I’d have had a hard time keeping track
- The body contact (holding hands, holding etc.) of Henry and Alex seems out of place. (I removed a section here)
- When (removed) is picked up at the airport I wish I had cared more about him. (Removed) come off a little flat especially compared to how well the characters of (removed) have been developed. I really didn’t care about what happened to any of them.
- Henry sometimes confuses me and maybe that’s because (removed…)
- Ahmed’s plan with (removed) really didn’t make sense when (removed…).
As a personal note I really liked the (removed) but I didn’t care for the (removed) .
I really do appreciate the opportunity to have read Conspire and I’m hoping to say “I read that book before it was number one on the New York bestsellers list” 🙂
Best wishes as you move forward to the next step,