Well, my lovely beta reader has come back with comments, and I am sure he won’t mind my quoting the bit I like best: “I thoroughly enjoyed it.” Well, as a writer, what could be better? Of course he has some suggestions for improvement – which is why I so trust and rely on him as a beta reader – but I’m just so relieved that he didn’t come back and say, “Pfffft – what a let-down!”.
I have two long train journeys this weekend – and with “scheduled engineering works” and unscheduled snafus, who knows how long I’ll be on the rails? – so I am printing out “Plank 2” for the first time. I will look at my reader’s small corrections and typo spots, and then consider his suggestions for more radical plot alterations – I may have to take over the whole train carriage to lay out all the pages and shuffle them around. It’s always very exciting to see the words on paper for the first time, rather than just on a screen – makes it seem more real, more book-like somehow.
As ever, my mind returns to the conundrum of a title. Looking at the results of my poll here, I see that “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat” is the current favourite. My blessed reader thought that “Magpie in a Canary Waistcoat” might be fun and more intriguing – a magpie being Regency slang for a certain type of fraudster, of which there are plenty in the book. What do you think?