I thought I'd drop in and quickly share with you that I have received some of the beta feedback for Xavier's School.
During the beta process, it's important that the betas get to read as a reader. This is why they all receive a reader copy of the book. The book arrives to them throughly edited. No it hasn't been through its final proof, but it's near there. They read as they would read any book and then answer some questions afterward.
The kind of feedback I'm looking for from them is in terms of flow and readability rather than grammar, or sentence structure.
It's vital that I look for consistency in the feedback. If out of eight betas only ONE has said x, y, z, more than likely it's personal to that reader and not something I should change in my book.
I am looking for critiques, rather than criticism.
Here are the most consistent critiques I've gotten back so far, and thus some of the ways in which I will improve the manuscript before it's released. I hope this can provide you with a good laugh on my account!
More descriptions of the campus, more descriptions of the surroundings.
I am caught! Describing surroundings when they don't directly pertain to what the person is doing is a weakness of mine because I hate doing it. Ha! I'm way too excited to get to the spankings. And while I definitely don't do the 'talking heads' thing (you at least know you're in a room of some kind) I do skimp on description to see how little I can get away with.
I'm like: "Okay, so they are in a room. The kitchen. At a table. Now look at this spanking over here... way more interesting than anything else imaginable."
Well, Mock can do this no more with such excellent betas! I will go in and make these things more clear and more real. Also, hopefully more interesting than, 'they are in the kitchen.' Hahahaha, oh man!
2. Add the "x y z" spanking.
This is not a spoil, because we know this book is filled to the brim with spanking, but I did leave the description of one of the spankings out (called the 'x, y, z' spanking for now, I'll tell you which one, when the book is released). I said it happened but decided not to show it. Silly me, I was worried the book already had too much spanking. I should have known there is no such thing!
I heard the cries far and wide.
So far, only one person didn't feel it pertained to, or added to the book, but all the rest felt it was vital to the book for more than just the spanking aspect. I had hummed and hawed on this one. After much musing, I feel the majority is correct on this one for reasons I will share later. I will be adding it!
3. What I glazed over so I could time jump
I tried to write a 60K book. Oh how I tried, but it's already 73K anyway, so let's just call the 60k book a fail right now and be done with that notion. This is not going to be a 60k book. It's not even going to be a 73K book. But in trying to write a 60K book, I time jumped to move the book along and did not show two scenes in particular. The betas were all, "Whoa, whoa, WHOA, Mock. Just what do you think you're doing? Get your butt back here and show this stuff. We want to see it!"
This means the book will be longer, which I am fine with--I was trying to keep it short thinking readers might like that better since Xavier's school is meant to be a series--so I'm excited to write out those scenes.
And honestly? "We need you to come back here and write MORE," is probably the biggest compliment I could have received.
So far, these are the only changes that will happen, but I am waiting on a bit more feedback, so there could be more things. We shall see.
Because of their feedback, the book is going to be so much better and I am so grateful.
Included is the "Glossary of Implements" that will be found in the back of the book. Do you remember Artsy Ape? She drew inner art for the book! That's right, there is art inside the book. I will show off a few of her beautiful works as I introduce you to the book over the next 6 weeks. In this pic, you can see the implements used, which she drew for me. I hope you like it. It's meant for a little humour but also serious. Beware these implements!
Which one would you hope to never see? Which one might you not mind?
Last, some of you have asked about my Ko-fi account. It's here if you wanna donate to upcoming book projects and stuff!