Well, I managed to reach what I'll call the "Alpha" version of Tin's story. I'm sure there are still a few typos in there (though I've spent several passes tidying up) and the story is in no way "Finished" but it's at a good enough point that I'm ready to get some additional eyes on it.
The initial feedback I've received has been consistent:
- story and chars are ok to interesting
- opening is a drag
- some questions not answered or expectations not met in the ending
I can work with that.
The opening scene, in which a grizzled old prospector talks of "siftin' dust" was so much fun to write that I made it about 10 pages long, instead of the 1 page it should have been. I know that needs to change as readers won't be patient enough to dig through all that exposition.
As for unmet expectations or unanswered questions, that's a bit more tricky. In some ways, I don't ever think that a novel needs to answer every question or tie up every odd loose end. I _do_ believe that you owe the reader a good story and a conclusion of sorts. And I think I delivered on those. Now I just need flesh out the rest of the story and see if it's still interesting enough.
What I don't want to do, and haven't yet done, is chase a specific genre or demographic. This is not a "Young Adult" novel. Even if the world it's set in is "post apocalyptic" it's just not that kind of novel. But it does pose some much larger issues (class warfare, for example) and right now, those questions are not addressed. Can I save them for another book? Or do I have to tackle them now?
So, I'll rev the novel again and call it beta and look for more victe-- er, I mean, volunteers to read it through.