I have had feed back from two of my four readers - and both are really positive, although I'll need to make a few more tweaks and probably need to add one more scene/chapter. Waiting for the other two sets of feedback is a bit like waiting in the wings to go on stage. I am plagued with angst about the impression my "performance" will give to my audience.
I was a little miffed when I had dinner with one of the four readers on Friday, expecting a full feedback only to discover the reader had only got as far as page 35 and, contrary to my specific requests, had embarked upon a close read and mark up. This particular reader is the only one of the four who knows my characters to any real degree. He was my original mentor, though is not specifically a creative writer - more an academic one. That explains his habitual inability to refrain from marking up I guess. I did feel rather flat after seeing him though as he said to me he felt he knew what was comming in the novel, because he already knew the story . This is partly true but not really. He did know alot about the story as it stood when it was a short piece more than 2 years ago but it has changed almost beyond recognition. It has made me think that probably it's not a good idea to give your manuscript to people who already know (or think they know) too much about your plot and characters. This reinforces what I thought about holding off from showing anything more to agents who've asked to see more - other than the completed finished manuscript in it's enitity when it's ready. How else can one gauge what impression someone will have of the novel as a whole. If they 've seen substantial bits, in my view, the overall impact is lessened as they can half guess what they think will follow.This may or (in my case) maynot be accurate. So I think have done the right thing in holding off from submitting anything more to agents until I have the whole manuscript ready.
And this is now only a few weeks off.