So I gave the sequel to one of my daughters to read and like I said  before, I was a bit nervous. I told her she should feel free to tear it apart, and then she did.

And that was fine, even expected, but what I didn’t expect was how angry she was.

She had been so eager to read it too. And when I asked her why, she said that Jameela (the protagonist in Wanting Mor) felt like an old friend. She was curious to know how the story would continue.

While in the midst of it, I made the mistake of calling her and inquiring how far she’d gotten.

It was the first time I’d let anyone read it–I guess I was feeling too nervous to show it before then.

She was alarmed! And she said so repeatedly.

And I think she was surprised that I was so calm as I listened to her rant about it.

But the thing is, and this I learned way back when I was taking my first writing course, when people have strong reaction to your work, even if it’s a negative reaction–it’s a good thing!

It means that you probably did something very close to excellent but somehow you mucked it up along the way.

It was cute. My daughter called me twice, once midway in the reading. At that point the Afghan girl whom I’d asked to vet the manuscript gave me her feedback where she also shredded the things that she found wrong with it (similar to my daughter’s grievances). So I told my daughter not to bother finishing the draft I’d given her, because I’d be making huge changes anyway.

Well, she didn’t listen and she finished reading it, and again she called me to let me know what she thought. Again she was quite irate, but also, there was something additional from the previous time.

She was passionate about it! Same with the Afghan girl.

Both had said they couldn’t stop reading, they really wanted to know what would happen to Jameela.

Better and better!

And now, armed with helpful suggestions, from both my daughter and that Afghan girl, I can get working on the second draft of the sequel.

I know many people would have found this type of trashing discouraging, but I feel quite the opposite.

I feel excited to get back and fix up the areas that need it!

As I suspected, once they’d let loose their diatribe, they told me all the things they LIKED about the story!

And ironically the things they didn’t like are not hard to fix.

At least the foundation of the story is solid! The characters are solid, just a few of their actions and reactions are the things they had issue with.

Very very promising! Especially for a book I was feeling a great deal of trepidation about because I’d gone out on a limb and really tried something different.

Art is risk.