Having gained such valuable feedback from the workshop I wanted more and knew of five people who couldn’t refuse or escape. Over the Easter break we went to our beach shack north of Perth and I knew our next door neighbour shackies would be there. It didn’t take too much threatening to get them to read my story. They are of various back grounds, education and ages and were perfect to see what responses the story would elicit from different readers. I knew that the characters needed depth but wasn’t really sure in which direction to take them. I got plenty of ideas from the five, it was fascinating to hear their different interpretations of whom the protagonists were and why they were. Most importantly it highlighted areas and issues that no one grasped and therefore needed more work. For example one friend asked me, “Why did they go to the Kimberley?” I knew but I hadn’t included or even hinted at it any where; one of the pitfalls when you work from your own experience – assumption, it causes omission of sometimes vital detail or opportunities for depth.
Armed with my notes and all of the suggestions, problems and ideas I went back to the computer and edited it again.