March 13, 2012

What Betas Taught Me: Teen Readers Rock

"So. You're going to write the next one, right? Cause I don't want to like tell you all the bad stuff if you won't write the next one."

Oh my God, there's Bad Stuff. I reassure the earnest 13 year old sitting across from me that I will not, in fact, be deterred by her honest feedback.

"Okay. Cool. I just wanted to make sure. Cause I was really upset when I turned the last page and there was nothing more."

Swoon. Then she hits me with the Bad Stuff:

  • The parents don't act real.
  • The first chapter was kindof, well, totally, boring.
  • I had to skip a lot of that soccer scene.
  • The dance was too short. I want to know what happened. Why didn't you show it?
  • Why does that girl hate the her? I mean, you always have someone you hate, but you know why.
  • Why wouldn't she ask so-and-so what was going on? I would just text him/her.
  • When are you going to write the next one?

Well, obviously, that last one wasn't Bad Stuff. Still, hearing teenage reflections on my novel made me realize I am not a teenager anymore. Really. I have to give that up now. But it also made me realize that I still *get* teens, and that they love it that I do.

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