This was sent out on February 28th. I was a little excited.
I finished the read-thru today and just in the nick of time, it being February 28th and all!
What a huge, slobbering monkey off my back. I hate fully 25% of it, have middling affections for 50% and perhaps can grow to love the last 25%. The first half is going to get a major rewrite, and the second half will need lots of smoothing and retooling. I expect, sadly, to write upwards of 50,000 new words for the book. But, not so sadly — it will improve the book immensely. (Perhaps I can NaNoWriMo my way through March?)
I’m thinking that I need three drafts in total. My first draft basically muddled through the story — I discovered my characters, I found the main thrust of the story lines and arcs, and I figured out where I was going with everything. Now, after the read-thru, I’ll be going back to strengthen the story, nail the world-building, fill in the bits I skimped on, remove what no longer fits and write in what’s missing. After that draft I expect to have the real, final story. Then the third draft will be polish, polish, polish, tighten and finish. At least, that’s how I’m conceiving it right now.
Bonus, having never read anything of mine this long before, I can really see some obvious flaws. I have favorite words. Lots. And I start getting very messy with dialogue tags, reactions, missing bits, especially when I’m rushing. My short stories get lots of fiddling and tweaking as I write them, because going back and forth feels natural for something so much shorter, but the novel is raw like an unripe mango — barely sweet, tough, fibrous, and practically inedible. I have no doubt that Last Witch was that rough, and I both apologize and thank you all muchly for being patient and awesome enough to slog through all that. When you get The Blood of Wolves, it will be (I hope!) a much better experience.
Anywho … yayayayayay! I’m done! I did it! The read-thru didn’t kill me or my interest in the novel! (Sure, I came CLOSE on occasion, but I kept reading. Yay!)
Forgive a post of an email, but it summed up how I felt pretty well, and still does.
On to the edits!