I admit I didn’t know there was a name for friends and loved ones who read your unedited manuscripts to see if they make sense. But now I know: Beta Reader.
Let’s take a moment to give our beta readers a big fat, “Thank you!” They let us know when our characters act incongruently, our conflict isn’t stressful enough, our story moves too fast or too slow, and apparently, in my case – when our sex scenes seem breast obsessed. Maybe obsessed is too strong of a word. But I recently found some notes from my wife in my manuscript’s margins that made me laugh out loud. I mean, let’s get serious for a moment, friends. Your romance novel isn’t truly finished until the sex scenes get the stamp of approval from your wife or significant other. Am I right about this?
In my case, I scored some feedback as clear as “nope,” “WOW!” and then this other, slightly longer note letting me know that there are other parts of the female anatomy that deserve attention besides breasts. Who knew? It seems that other sexy parts on a woman’s body include a delicate shoulder, the small of the back, or the curve of the hips. Now, in my defense, I’m pretty sure I rave about all of those luscious parts as well. But it seems not quite as often as I sing the praises of ample breasts.
Has your editor mentioned doing a word search for your favorite words, your crutch words? It seems one of mine might be breasts.
I’m prepared to own my shortcomings on this issue. And to all our beta readers, I salute you.