I am going to brag a little, so if you want to avoid that, now’s your chance.
I’ve gotten feedback from beta readers on the second draft of my novella. Unanimously people “couldn’t put it down” and became thoroughly invested in the characters. One person even said it “fucked her up one side of the street to the other” (which it’s supposed to), and mentioned more than once that it was a “gut punch” (also good).
There were differences in age, race, gender, nationality, and figure skating knowledge* amongst all my readers, and yet they all pretty much said the same things. Which speaks to the potential audience reach this work has.
All and all, I have never received so much positive feedback from my beta readers before. In the past the ratio between positive feedback and “things that need fixing” was closer to 50/50, or 60/40, or 70/30, with the first number being “things that needed fixing” and the second being positive feedback. The ratio for this project is probably close to 30/70 at this point.
There’s still work to do, of course, but I am well pleased, which rarely happens. If everyone is saying the same things, I think I did something right.
I also feel very lucky that I collided with this story and the main character. It’s just one of those things. You don’t always have a good story, even if you love it. You don’t always have a cracking good main character, even if you love them. And I stumbled into both.
* The novella is about a figure skater. Because gosh do I love figure skating.