For a variety of reason, we Restless Writers have been a bit lax of late, both in our meetings and pages, so I’ve been e-mailing my WIP (a chapter book aimed at those aged 7 to 10) to the ladies for some eFeedback.
This latest project is very dear to my heart, not to mention heaps of fun, because the entire family is involved: my husband came up with the initial character; my three-year-old daughter coined some catch phrases; and my eight-year-old son has provided me with key plot points.
When I received suggestions from Beckie and Maria, they were as usual, spot on. However I’ve noticed after reading the outline to my son that he had very similar comments regarding the pacing, characterization and even setting.
Obviously he didn’t use these terms; more often than not they were along the lines of, “That part’s boring, mommy…” or “Why wouldn’t they do (insert his better idea here) instead of (my idea)?”
I mentioned my son’s critiques to Beckie and she offered me some sage advice: “Listen to your kid!” I’ve decided to do just that. He doesn’t realize it, but my son and I have been having regular editorial meetings at bedtime.
I’ll still need my Restless Writers as I complete this manuscript, but they won’t see any pages that haven’t already passed the kid test.
3 responses to “Your Beta Readers Don’t Have to be Toilet-Trained”
From the perspective of a (retired) Kindergarten teacher. children’s literature must also appeal to the adult who initially reads this material to the children…I loved performing in my reading to the kids. It was a riot sometimes. At times, the book would be so tender and special I’d have to put the book down for a moment and the children would be moved too. You knew it was a very good book when they would squeal and clap and say”do it again!’ Once they can read on their own they love predictability, animals, fantasy, non- fiction. charm and funny words. Kids are great readers because they are A GREAT AUDIENCE
Kids offer the best, unfiltered opinions of our work. However…I think it would be totally inappropriate to let my kids read what I write. Ha ha…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I am very lucky that you share your beta readers with me 🙂 And for that, I thank you because they are simply awesome!