* early readers take on Part One of “An Untitled Novel”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 7, 2014




I have completed a draft of Part One of my novel set in Germany and Poland during the Nazi years. The first early reviewer was my wife, who is an excellent reader and who I encouraged to be critical, although such encouragement was not really necessary since Pat often describes herself as my “harshest critic.” After that, I did my own re-edit of the roughly 200 pages of Part One, then sent the latest revised draft to friends who have agreed to be “early readers.”

Some of these early readers are Goodreads and Facebook friends, others are people I met in Germany while doing research, some are friends from Key West, others are people who have been early readers on my previous novels.

Here’s what I’ve asked early readers to pay particular attention to …

1. First of all is your sense of the flow of the book. Does it pull you along? Are there dead spots where your interest flags? Are there scenes or parts of scenes which you don’t think are necessary?

2. This is harder. Are there things missing? For instance, do you feel you need a transition link between scenes or to set the scene? Or do you need a prior foundation for something you are reading and don’t fully understand?

3. Reaction to major characters … What is your view of Berthold and Anna? Do you think you have gotten to know them as young people? Are you interested in finding out what happens to bring them to Nuremberg?

4. Prologue and Interludes. Do you like the opening, with the Nuremberg charges and sentences? Do you like the way Marissa and Abraham frame the story at the beginning and then re-appear in the interludes? Do you like meeting Anna and Berthold in “real time” in the interludes?

Within two days, I have already received some really perceptive comments, enough to make the whole process worthwhile, and I am sure there will be many more.





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