I dumped the first three chapters of my book off to my wife and she gave me some good feedback. I asked her to read it as a reader and also to keep a critical eye on it.
First off, I was wondering whether the prologue should be a prologue or the first chapter, because it is an interaction between the two main characters that don't meet again until much later in the book. She thought it worked as a prologue, though the writing seemed a bit amateurish.
The prologue was originally a short story that I wrote as an assignment in school, and to delve further into the personalities of three of the characters. I have rewritten it a few times, but it still feels simplistic. Her feedback served to strengthen that feeling. I wonder if I should just rewrite the chapter fresh.
She tells me that the first two chapters read like a published book with another issue that I had to agree with. She said that the narrative felt a bit choppy. In a sense, I have always felt that some of my transitions weren't as smooth as they should be.
The encouraging news? She felt like the characters were complex. This is more than encouraging, this is great news! I have worked hard to make my characters three dimensional, and at times I have felt like I fell short. To hear her call my characters complex is a huge boost.
Overall, she did an excellent job of giving me some useful feedback. I can't wait to see what she comes up with on the grammar related edits.