I've gotten some general feedback from my beta readers and the consensus seems to be:
I DIDN'T WASTE THEIR TIME!
Imagine yours truly dancing in her squeaky black office chair while typing those words. All feedback has been overwhelming positive. My head and heart are a little bigger than they were two weeks ago. ^_^
That's not to say that I don't have a lot of work ahead of me... because I do. I have so many things to take into consideration. I have to figure out how much of it I want to cut out. I also have to figure out how to implement the important parts (which aren't that numerous, honestly) of my first couple of chapters in the previously-third-now-first-chapter.
I also received a piece of advice that I'm trying to figure out what to do with. In my very first rough drafts, back before I had done enough research and editing, I had two point of views alternating back and forth between chapters. Not confident enough in my story, the first time I heard "that sucks, take it out!" - I did just that. I cut it all down to one POV and left it there. Now, I'm being told (as she has told me before) to put it back.
My story has changed drastically from what I set out to write. The person who was supposed to be the hero just didn't fit. I created another character to fit the mold, and I could easily see myself throwing in maybe 6-7 chapters from his point of view throughout. That would cause a MAJOR rewriting procedure, which could honestly not be received once I try to market the book.
There are stories that have alternated first person POVs throughout the novel. I know, overall, it's usually done all as third person if you want to incorporate another person... but I don't think it has to be that way. Personally, I don't care for third person novels, and don't see myself ever picking this book back up if I decided to try my hand at it.
So, where I'm left is completing the edits I have now... beefing up key parts and taking out the filler. Then, after that is done, I'll reanalyze and figure out what I want to do.
Also... I've decided to edit my climax... and make it a little more original. Maybe not EVERYONE has to die. Though they deserve to. I'll rethink it. Smiles.
P.S. Does anyone have that ONE word that they can't ever seem to spell correctly? Receive. That's my word. I can never spell it right.