You know the kind I'm talking about. One of those "try this yogurt and tell me what you really think" groups where they pay you to try several yogurts and give your honest opinion.
Or, have you heard about the test groups that get blamed for movies getting a new ending? (By the way, how do you get in one of those? There's a group I'd be interested in.)
I've decided it would be interesting to have a blind focus group for my book's rough draft. People who don't know me, or any other books I've written. I know, what about beta readers? Yep, I want them as well. But, I also think a group of "blind" readers (chosen of course based on my target audience for age and genre) would be beneficial. Especially with a list of questions...
1) Who is your favorite character and why?
2) Which character do you not like and why?
3) What do you think of the ending?
4) At what page did you feel the story grabbed you?
5) Was there a "lull" at any point in the book?
6) What was the most memorable section of story?
I wonder why we don't hear of this kind of group, especially in the big publishing houses. A book that comes out with a "test audience recommendation." Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be thrilled about rewriting an ending or a character, but if enough people had the same feedback, it would be worth it.
My A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update
Writing: Slow and steady wins the race, right? I'm keeping with my time commitment, but it's not producing as many words as I would like. I'm sticking to it, and I hope the structure will encourage the words to flow.
Editing: Just like with reading, I find it hardest to get started on a new story. There's so much to learn about a new book, you really know little to nothing about characters, story, setting, etc. I find it hard to get my head into it at first. But, I finished up one project last week and finished a first edit on another... one I'm so excited to see come out!
Reading: I'm currently reading Anne Lamott's Blue Shoe. I was excited to read another Lamott after reading and enjoying her craft book, Bird by Bird. I'm finding the slow start a bit rough, but I trust Lamott enough to keep going. I wonder, though, if I had no relationship with this author, would I continue? Hmmm. If I was reading it in a blind test group...
Social Media: Did better the last few days, but I'm still trying to claw my way out of a very deep hole. Part of my problem, I feel the need to comment so people know I was there, but that takes a lot more effort than simply reading a post.
Blogging: So far, I'm keeping with the BlogHer daily challenge. 9 days and counting.
I hope all my ROW80 buds are doing well!