I have received edits from my first reader who confirms that it is, in fact, technically a book that I have produced. While I generally consider this person to be fairly critical, there are not nearly enough edits in the script to make it better, so I will fix what has been recommended and search for a second, more brutal reader.
I am not necessarily looking for typos at this point, those it’s always good to fix those, but more big picture problems. Like halfway through the manuscript when my reader noted that she hadn’t realized a location referenced frequently was actually outdoors until the sixth or seventh visit. Whoops. I had always been outdoors, but it’s based on a place I have been many times and *I* know it’s outdoors, but didn’t describe it well enough to my audience.
Another issue I’ve created for myself? The book is based in Russia and my first reader used to live there, so she has some background knowledge of the clothing and customs. She is probably not the ideal person to notice that those things are clumsily presented since she can already visualize a lot of what is discussed. Whoops again!
The feedback has been useful, don’t get me wrong, but I was expecting more of it, because I feel like I am in the dark about where to do from here even though I wrote it myself. Or maybe because I wrote it myself. I can’t see the forest for the trees, or whatever it is people say. It’s also just very difficult to literally zoom out and see where I am in the book, what is coming next, and if I’m repeating myself when I’m scrolling through 175 pages of a word document. It’s logistically cumbersome, to say the least.
We agree that an additional storyline needs to be developed, but jamming it in here and there has been awkward and I feel like I’m making the rest of the book less clear and more clunky. I definitely should have made a more detailed outline to start, though that may have hindered the creative process I suppose, but I really found my groove about halfway through so the first half is not as good as the last, and fixing half the book to match the other is…yikes.
In other words, it’s a work in progress. I’m fixing what I know how to fix and marinating on the stuff I’m not sure how to fix. Lord, give me the strength to fix the typos and the serenity to skip over the things I can’t change right now. I’m pretty sure that prayer is scratched into the desk of every writer at some point.
In our house it is Birthday Season, and my oldest turned eight August 31. My dad’s birthday is approaching and he will coincidentally be in El Paso that day, so we’re all excited to celebrate with him. My second son turns six on the twenty-fifth, so it’s all birthdays all the time right now. Our family responsible for the balloon helium shortage nationwide. Hopefully once we get a break from all the celebrations I can refocus on the book and get my thoughts in order to make big picture changes before passing it along to a second reader.
Also, it’s *cool* this morning! It’s going to be ninety-seven later, but still! COOL! In a time when we can’t go anywhere safely that isn’t outdoors, a couple hours of cool weather is huge. Can you tell I’m looking forward to winter? Because it’s all I think about.