One of my betas had an EXCELLENT idea to speed up the opening of the story. So now I'm rethinking the beginning of the novel, which I like very well, but having an even faster, more dramatic opening would hook readers faster and more securely. So I'm rethinking that and trying to sort out exactly how much I can write, given that I'm getting close to the word limit. The scene I have in mind will necessitate trimming a bit here and there through the rest of the text (oh boy, not looking forward to THAT job! That's where mistakes get made!) because the new scene will tell some information that I've scattered through the novel in bits and pieces. But still - if it works, it's worth it!
I did get my query letter written, and I think it's pretty good. I'll let it sit a few days before looking at it again so I can see it with fresh eyes.
Good betas are worth their weight in gold, and I have a really good bunch!
Read the above article I wrote for my blog on betas and follow the trail to the article I read on betas by Glenda. Or go here (http://glendalarke.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-i-write-novel-5-beta-readers.html) for reading the article directly.