That’s what I’ve been doing. I seem to have new vigor and energy to direct towards getting this next (and I swear FINAL) re-write of my first novel finished.
Katie, my critique partner, just pointed out a major problem with a section near the end of my tale. It had nothing to do with my mechanics; it was all about content.
Without realizing it, I had portrayed my heroine as weak and indecisive (at best). Or maybe conniving, selfish, and uncaring about the pain she was inflicting on the hero (at worst). Katie was afraid I would alienate a lot of readers without some significant changes to that section.
With her prompting I was finally able to see the individual trees in the forest. Or is it that I saw the forest despite all those darn trees in my way? Whichever, it happened.
For the last few months Katie has been going through my manuscript about 30 pages at a time, making suggestions, correcting typos, telling me where I needed to add description and giving me insights that I had missed completely.
And she’s not even charging me!! WOO-HOO!!
Most of her suggestions have been right on. And while this novel will never be perfect (few are), it is now MUCH better than it ever was, or ever could have been without her help.
I figure I’ve got about another 2-3 days of work to get it finished. And I mean FINISHED! Ready to present to agents and maybe even publishers.
Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
After I’m convinced I can’t make it much better (and those 2-3 days may take me a month), I’ll rewrite the synopsis and then put together a dynamite query letter that nobody can resist and start mailing out copies to agents.
And if history (and everything I’ve read about the process) is any indication, I’ll receive back form rejections from about 90% of them.
But that’s OK. It only takes one who is in love with the manuscript and willing to go mile after mile in convincing an editor that it will make their house a lot of money.
Hope springs eternal, they say. So I’m taking one last shot with this book.
Then I’m working on the sequel. If this one doesn’t sell and the next one does, I’ll have a “prequel” all ready to go.
Stay tuned. I ought to have an answer back in about two years or so.