Quote Originally Posted by rhiannon_writes View Post
Just had one of my only beta readers finally get back to me with her full comments and I'm torn between excitement and sheer disappointment. She adored my book. She had basically no critiques to speak of. I tried ferreting out some more concrete answers, but she just really liked it. I know she read it and isn't just pretending to, because she gushed for quite awhile about her favorite parts and characters and details she would've had to pay attention to notice. I'll take the self-esteem boost and move on at this point because I don't think I'm going to wring many more useful comments from her. But finding anyone to beta (especially a 103,000+ k novel) is a challenge. She's one of only two beta readers I could find. While I'm flattered she liked it so much, it's a very early draft and I know it needs a lot more work. It's just disappointing that now I'm basically down to one beta reader, and I don't know how I'm going to find more. I wanted her critiques. I pleaded with her to find negative (for lack of a better word) things to say, and she did, but it wasn't really stuff that helped. She said things like "double-check how to use emdashes I'm not sure myself if you used them right." Which I probably should, but I wanted her to rip apart my plot and writing and characters and all, but she couldn't think of any issues.

It's frustrating because I know I should be excited. I am! Someone liked my book! Hooray! But it's not really even a second draft yet. It's draft 1.5 at best, and written in a frantic coffee-fueled two week haze. It NEEDS work, and as much as I appreciate her being a fan, I want that criticism so everyone can enjoy it like she did. Aaaand now I'm back to square one. Sigh.
Hi rhiannon_writes. Have you gotten feedback from the other beta reader yet and did they find a lot needing work? You say you know it needs work, but do you think maybe it's just at the line level? Beta readers have different approaches and some will look only at the bigger picture things (line level critiques can be overwhelming and won't be a strength for some), and maybe you actually are good with the bigger areas of plot, characters, pacing and such.

I don't think an all positive beta read is useless. It tells you that it already worked for a reader. I'm inclined to say she's not just trying to be nice if you were making a point of seeking more critique. You can even let yourself feel good about it.

But I'd definitely still seek out other betas and continue with your own line edits.

Good luck!

CJ