Summary of Sound of Stone Beta Reading Feedback (and Initial Direction for next steps)
I want to make it more personal.
I want to focus on Shikayne’s story. Build her character. Show her conflict, her journey.
By focusing on her character, I stand to tell a deeper emotional story. And one that pulls the reader through with continuous action (relative to the fits and starts of multiple POVs).
Who is Shikayne (aka Shik)
Shikayne is an outsider to the inner world of the Known Caverns. She’s chasing answers to her past, using skills picked up in childhood, honed in recent past. Competent with an ice bow, passionate about listening to stories in stones.
What’s her personality?
Reserved, brash, risk-taker, quiet, calm, imaginative, independent, empathetic.
Advantage of removing POVs
More clearly help readers care about the smaller cast. Especially Shikayne.
Shortens the book.
Current Shikayne POV chapters amount to about 30,000 words. About 50,000 if we include scenes she’s involved in from other POVs.
Reviewing possible opening plot sequences
There are key backstory elements that might help the reader care more about Shikayne in early chapters. Can I build this empathy without showing those scenes?
Creating an alternate story flow with even more focus on Shikayne
One of my beta readers asked to see the overall story flow (beyond just the synopsis), so I’d like to consider this approach.