Sometimes we have to admit our beta readers were right with their feedback about our draft novel. The admitting part can be tricky.
You will initially experience strong levels writer denial when reading through their feedback emails. In your head your draft novel will not need any extra work and there will be only minor tweaks needed.
You may think some bad thoughts about your beta readers and their criticism. You might even create a beta reader voodoo doll to stick pins into when thinking about their stinging feedback regarding your weak opening and lifeless main character. Those beta readers were wrong!
All of the above occcurs because you are still too close to your draft novel.
The trick to accepting your beta-readers were actually talking sense is to leave your manuscript alone for a period of time.
I don’t mean days! I am talking weeks or even months.
The secret to this is time changes your perspective and makes you lose all your hot, tear inducing emotions for your darling draft novel.
Get involved with other writing projects and avoid your manuscript like the plague.
After a significant amount of time has passed you will return to your manuscript and start to read. By the end of the first chapter you will hear a little voice whisper ‘those beta-readers might have had a point!’ and ‘OMG this character is actually lifeless!’
After spending the last eight months slating and criticising the feedback process the literary penny finally drops! Your reviewers had a point! They knew what they were talking about. Their feedback was correct!
It is at this point you smile. The smile is very significant, because up until now you will have looked like a bulldog chewing a wasp every time you thought about your beta reader feedback. This change in facial expression means that you have admitted your reviewers were right and you were wrong – sigh!
Quickly you add the names of your beta-readers to your Xmas card list and lovingly stroke their Twitter profile photos.
Take care out there writers – it’s not easy dealing with people who are right!