A Few Manuscript Beta-Reader Comments

“A Greek Matinee, I can’t put it down … The archaeological sites enable the past and present to entwine. Females are empowered.” comment from a beta-reader.

An enormous thank you to my Pre-submission Readers.

2022 October  Life’s commitments and unexpected events sometimes disrupt what we want to do – a great pleasure some, and soon we’re back in the hilt greatly refreshed. Not so hot others. Writing suffers. And reading. Then we’re away again. And of course there’s always more study or research to do. A Greek Matinée is steaming ahead.

2022 January 30  Two sessions with yet another beta-reader of the first 50 pages of A Greek Matinée. Since I gave the pages to Carole a month-or-so ago we’ve talked about it but yesterday got to the nitty-gritty of two words. We meet regularly and talk about books, analysing, dissecting, criticising, recommending over an extended lunch. Yes, I think four hours could be seen as extended!

And she wants to read the rest. Particularly after perusing the Synopsis that is neither sales-pitch nor blurb that may appear on the back of a book but a piece of writing in which the publisher or agent is introduced to the main character, the where and when of the story, core conflict and how the main character deals with the conflict (or fails to), how the conflict is resolved remembering of course, emotions and feelings.

2022 January 27  Yesterday I met with another beta-reader who generously read the first 50 pages of my manuscript. Good session. Important. Now I have the perspective of a vibrant 27-year old. Vanessa gave me several solid suggestions. Initially she thought Anna was “ageless” insomuch that she could be any age but then saw a speech pattern a mod-bod may not use in 2016, the period of the story. Ahah, a generational thing! She thought the character’s age should slot in earlier because of that. So now with Anna’s age on page 1 of Chap 1 instead of p7, everything falls into place 😀

I’m pleased to say that Vanessa is enormously enthusiastic about A Greek Matinée. She says it’s like reading poetry.

Weeee! I want to say. On 2022 January 23 I was feeling flat. But this week I’ve been enjoying tickling my latest editing round. Good coffee with friends does it! How are you other emerging-writers doing?


The Journey Well In Hand.

In this Log for your interest, I’ve placed some comments from my Alpha-Reader and some Beta-Readers. Currently I’m super-fine-toothcombing my manuscript. Do I move on to Gamma-Scrutineers? Or are they too, Beta-Readers, third wave of pre-submission readers?

* After reading just the first page of A Greek Matinée (that was before the manuscript gained a preceding “Preamble”), Nicole said she liked it as it gives good idea of what the story will embrace. Particles immediately got me interested and having read the first 16 pages I want to read more”. Nicole is a down-to-earth, strong-minded young woman.

* Carmel, retired university lecturer of sociology, throughout her complete reading kept saying: “I can’t put it down … The archaeological sites enable the past and present to entwine. Females are empowered ” and suggested I include a map. Her husband said she’d disappear with the manuscript for hours! We still tango with “sub” clauses!

* Robin, a retired General Practitioner who read a late manuscript of A Greek Matinée a year after an early draft (on his request! 🙂 ) also enjoyed the story and said Chapter Of Teeterings and Toasts is a “good sharp hit”. He also said that first page Particles is a good addition… and we had heaps of discussions and going over notes together – he even caught me out on several spelling mistakes and grammar! Mighty efforts! Thanks a million Robin. His wife interestingly said their grandson would want to read it also!

* Others too including my daughter (who suggested I change the earlier working title Anna Amongst the Gods – she “really” likes the new one A Greek Matinée) have been so supportive and encouraging giving positive feedback and suggestions.

* And Julia! my Alpha-Reader! with our long discussions over home-brewed coffee! In her notes she’d written: “I want to read on – I am now at home with Anna and enjoy her thoughts and plans.” After her full manuscript reading Julia wrote: “It is a good read and believable“.

* And Beatrice whose first language is not English, read aloud early chapters to me bringing up a few issues to address. A very interesting exercise to hear someone read their “baby” to them – particularly with a robust accent.

* And Deane, retired teacher/Headteacher at coffee and cake, “really” likes the title and says it gets her interested. Deane also suggested certain commas!

* And Em.Prof. Bob says not to forget to invite him to the launch! Bob had helped me with some of the Greek. Any mistakes are entirely my own.

 How lucky I am to have such support from all these people. Dearly I treasure each of you. Thank you.


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Author: agreekmatinee

My interests and playtime: Writing, Reading, Swimming in the Sea, Gardening, Art: painting, drawing, printmaking (intaglio, lino cut, woodcut); Travel, Ancient History, Archaeology, Exploration, playing Chess, Family, Friends, chili in my tea

7 thoughts on “A Few Manuscript Beta-Reader Comments”

  1. Greetings. I also initially thought Anna was ageless. Her perceptions were linked to the context of each scene, but she seemed to be in her twenties. However, mindfulness is separate to age.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Carmair. It’s interesting you also found that. However, tickling the ms with her age appearing on p1 of Chapter 1 seems a good move as it puts so much in place. The gap of six pages was too much. The ms has 3 pages preceding Chapter 1 (two and a half really – each chap starts on a new page. The preamble expanded necessarily.


  2. Greetings,

    Thank you for your feedback and also for including our ancient civilisations class.

    I will happily discuss A.S Byatts Possession. It is a long story why it moved me so much.

    Go well, Carm

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am thrilled to be an early reader of A Greek Matinee. The author A.S. Byatt also writes using complex historical and philosophical themes in a manner that encourages the reader to be totally engaged in the story.

    Dr Carmel Desmarchelier 15 January 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

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