Yesterday, one of my three editors/beta readers returned my manuscript, full of little notes and corrections. I’m always nervous to find out what people will think. Even though I’ve hired them to be honest and to tell me what works, what doesn’t work, where I wrote “their” instead of “there”, etc., I still get jittery. What if I don’t like what they think? What if they think I’m a total idiot because I forgot to add a comma? What if they think the story sucks and that I just need to rewrite the whole darn thing?
Fortunately, she loved the story and made several quite useful suggestions. It’s so nice getting an outside perception. “No, you don’t need this. You need to expand on this.” I know what’s going on in my head in the story, but having someone who doesn’t know let you know what’s missing or what is not needed… oh my gosh, this is why writers have beta readers and editors!
My favorite part is that the program she used to edit allowed her to go through and add in little corrections that I’d missed! DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH BUSY WORK THAT IS GOING TO SAVE ME?! I’m not even going to lie to you. I am a lazy person and I hate going back and fixing every itsy bitsy little detail. I will, because I want my book to be professional quality, but oh man! I am so excited about that. I can’t even tell you.
Her final note on the last page of the manuscript really made my day.
Now I am even more excited to get this book done and out there!
In other news, I’ve been thinking about my newer projects. I will be working on getting the third CT book started, but I also want to get some new stuff out there. There is one story I’ve had in my head for ages, and I’ve tried multiple times to get it started, but somehow, something always feels off. That’s not a new feeling. It took me four failed attempts and two years to get Cemetery Tours right. In the first draft, Michael Sinclair’s character was named Nick Tanner and he had to travel all across the country to find a dead guy’s fiancee. I definitely like the story better now.
I realized today that one of my problems with the new story is my female protagonist. She’s very serious and very quiet, and it’s hard for me to write characters like that because I am so the opposite. That’s something I love about writing Kate from CT. She’s so funny and neurotic and outspoken. That’s the kind of female character I enjoy writing. When I write the timid, serious characters, I think, “Oh my God, how do you have friends? You’re so boring and annoying!” I think this character has a lot of potential, but she needs to be more fun and interesting. I also realized that I’ve been trying to write the story as an adult novel while, in all honesty, I’m pretty sure it’s more of a YA. Some reconfiguration might be in order, but you know, when isn’t it? The most important thing is to keep writing and to keep moving forward.