If you are my agent or my editor you should stop reading. Or pour a stiff drink before continuing. Seriously.
Two days ago I was on the final, tweak-the-ending home stretch of the sequel to Swiss Vendetta. Then yesterday happened. First my husband read the draft. He was very complimentary but pointed out a few details for consideration (I have to listen to him since he’s Swiss and that’s where the books are set) and had a few questions. After these discussions my mind rolled through the solutions and I have a tendency to overcompensate. If someone says “I wonder if you should trim so-and-so’s role.” I think maybe I should cut them altogether and streamline the entire theme. You can see where this heads…. After this conversation I’m in full questioning/realigning mode.
But that’s not what really did me in. Truth be told, I can lay blame at the feet of a specific person. Christine Stewart. She is a friend and fellow writer (also a professional editor and consultant aka TheRealWriter) and is a great Beta reader for me. I’d sent her an email the evening before asking if she had a window of reading time available. I hit send and went back to work. Once my husband had my mind whirring I thought: What will Christine think about the draft? And it came to me. I knew exactly what she would say. And I started to reorganize. Mainly it’s the opening, and then how things cascade afterward, it’s not a change of story or of character or place, still….. In Olympic Games’ terms I suppose it’s like hitting your peak at training, with your bags packed for the Games, only to be told the Games have been rescheduled and are still six months out and you have to keep training at peak condition all that time. What? I was nearly finished, ready for the victory lap! Now it’s time to get back in the water and keep swimming. After all, in six months you will likely be an even better athlete…. To round out the metaphor I’m sure this will be a much better book.
Now, back in the water…..
(I also blog at MissDemeanors.com)