My earliest (non-spouse) proofreader was a close English friend of ours – a woman who has been in book clubs and reads lots of fiction. I had told her I wanted perfect honesty, that I needed to know what she thought. She did not hold back in her critique, but is also the rare type who knows how to offer clear and targeted feedback (not just, “Oh, that’s nice,” etc.) in a constructive manner.
Among other suggestions, she told me point blank she craved to read more about, and from, “________.” She said she liked her a lot. She thought the character had loads of potential.
I pondered that. Originally, I had had that character in mind as largely a tertiary player. Taking my friend’s advice, I added more from her, and about her, wherever possible.
However, by then, it was also too late to do much more than that, but I had agreed with that “first reader’s” point. So, for the sequel, there will probably be more from her….
…but, uh, I’m not saying who she is here quite yet. Stay tuned. 😉