Tom Petty says that the Waiting is the hardest part, and God knows I’m not good at waiting (and that is not part of the process I’m looking forward to). Thus far, from where I’ve spent my day sitting, at my desk in my home office, self-editing is the hardest part.
On Sunday I submitted the first 5 pages (Chapter 1) to my Novel-In-Progress group as a probe. I’d like to get some preliminary feedback. I’m scheduled for a 25 page critique on August 14th, which means I must have 25 pages submitted to the group by July 24th.
This round of editing is all about filtering for Point of View consistency, eliminating “telling” and creating “showing”, and trying to establish voice. On the next round of edits I will do a better scrub for character/voice. For this round, I hope to bring this to a point where the novel is ready for broader review. The first two reviewers have agreed to read it again, my parents are in the middle of proofing-as-I-go, and I’m hoping to hit my sisters up for their input.
Then, as a much-needed drop of encouragement in the midst of an arduous journey, I received the first feedback from one of the NIP reviewers. I nearly wept with joy. The feedback was very positive, but also provided some very helpful ideas for improvement. This was just what I needed to nourish me and push me onward.
Writing is a lonely sport, but there’s no need to go it alone. I’m delighted with the network of writers, readers and editors that are blessing me these days. You, my friends, are my great cloud of witnesses!