I had the delight this evening of talking with a handful of Magic-playing “nerds” at the library.
Actually they started the Nerd v. Geek discussion a couple times, but ultimately said it was fine to call them nerds.
They were at the next table while I waited for other SCBWI members who never arrived. When a chair opened up I impulsively grabbed my character-list and (after verifying they were fantasy-readers) asked their opinion on the readability (and confusablity) of the names.
I got some useful feedback, and from the list began telling a corner of the story.
They were hooked, and I can’t say how exciting it was for me as a storyteller to have them hanging on and asking intelligent, clarifying questions.
One boy in particular was tracking very closely and made a couple connections on his own, which assured me of the story’s internal (fantasy) logic.
Jay said I should take the first few chapters back next week for them to read, and I think I will. The idea of instant feedback from my target-audience is very attractive.
Yes, they said they’d like to read it.
I’m currently trying to decide if there are any drawbacks.