So last Monday I read the first chapter of my current WiP to my writers group, the Writers of Chantilly. Very promising! Everybody seemed to enjoy the first chapter, and one person wrote that they "loved" one of the characters I introduced. And that was one of the written comments, which I put more credence in--verbal comments often tend to be more positive but generic "good job"-type remarks.
Next Monday will be Chapter Two. Hopefully I'll get as good a reception--or, almost as good, a worse reception but with concrete advice for improving.