The new novel went out to its first test reader after weeks of self-editing. As most of you would-be writers already know, this is very arduous task that can go against every emotional bone in your body because you are, after all, editing yourself. It’s as if you were a plastic surgeon staring at yourself in a mirror and making black markings all over your body for “trimming.” Terrifying image? You bet. Well, it’s just about the same. And you have to be as meticulous as you are merciless. If it doesn’t contribute in some way – plot development, scene description, character back-story, iambic pentameter (kidding!) – then it has to go. Brutal. My favorite book to assist in this process is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. It is a key tool in getting rid of some of your most adored (and more-likely crippling) writing habits. You’ll cringe to hit the delete button, but your work will be better for it.
That said and done, I am now awaiting the initial test-reader feedback with bated breath, and of course a “tiny” bit of anxiety.
Next step – jacket-flap/query outline for my agent. Here’s a teaser – it’s all about hell.