The thing about really good feedback on a book – at least for me – isn’t the stuff where someone says, “You’ve spelt banana wrong, 32 times.” (helpful though that undoubtedly is) it’s the stuff that makes you think about characters / scenes / interactions in a way you hadn’t previously. Having someone ask you how come this character’s got a limp and carries round a cuddly Kermit The Frog everywhere he goes, is a good sign that I’ve been too obscure. That those cunningly placed hints and tips just ain’t cutting it. That it’s time to go in with a slightly bolder brush.
Like a lot of people what write, I know a lot more about the ladies and gents that populate my books than anyone else is ever going to: they usually pop into the old noodle, complete with lots of baggage, and as soon as I start talking to myself about them (schizophrenia: my development tool of choice) a lot more things start to fall out of the woodwork. And when I get good feedback, what happens is that the process kicks off all over again and I get to suddenly discover more things about my characters. Though why the lazy bastards didn’t think to tell me all this in the first place is beyond me. Bloody freeloaders.
Anyway, the upshot of all this is that JamesO and Agent Phil have provided such feedback. And that’s the REAL reason the book hasn’t gone off to the great Jane and Sarah yet.
If in doubt: always blame someone else!*
*old project management saying.