I had an exceptional experience over this past week: I revisited my novel after a six-week break.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would I still like it? Is it as good as I remember it being? I’d been working on a different story line since I put this one on time out to give my brain some distance, which worked like a champ. Admittedly my brain would occasionally jump to my first book with ideas. I dutifully wrote them down and did my best to divert my focus.
My plan was to read it the whole way through and take note of glaring errors. I needed to see if it held together and the order made sense. I’d only ever read it as pieces – not after I put my post-it note skills to the test. It didn’t quite happen that way.
First off, the book is 350 pages – a bit much for me to do in a day, or even a weekend. I ended up spending a week. I took four pages of notes of things to fix. Some things will be easy – getting the right names for the characters, fact checking myself, and changing the order of certain segments. Others will be more challenging – put a real ending on this section, make this tie in to the new version of the gunfight scene.
The verdict: Overall, I love it! It is a book I definitely want to read when it’s done. Now to get there.
Next steps: Work my way through the changes. I will miss writing my second novel, but what a good incentive to finish with this round of edits! As part of my notes I was writing in suggestions for how to fix the scenes that didn’t hang quite right. How thoughtful of me. I’m hoping to be done with this in two weeks, but realistically I think I can get it done in less than a month.
Once that is done, I’ll be needing beta readers. If any of you like speculative fiction written from multiple perspectives and are up for giving specific feedback on what you liked, what you didn’t, where you got bored, what plot points don’t work, and filling out a brief questionnaire for me, let me know. I won’t necessarily do all the suggestions I received, but I will definitely give them consideration. More importantly I will be so grateful for your contributions.