Integrating feedback

My favorite reader and I sat down and discussed the current manuscript draft. He brought up several kinds of issues. Most of these I agreed needed fixing.

  • Fairly easy name issues: Some names are inconsistent, so I’ll want to make those are all correct and as non-confusing as possible. Additionally, two characters have similar names, even if it doesn’t come up often. I should rename one.
  • Prose issues: I have some language tics that can make the prose confusing. Also, I should use more French.
  • Emphasis issues: There are things I bring up early on but it’s not clear at all why they could be important.
  • Issues I am not sure how to fix yet: There’s a character who doesn’t have an arc, and a few other things like it.
  • Issues I’m not sure if I agree with: I’ll wait on my other reader’s feedback and quiz her on these (as neutrally as I can). They concern some world details and other ambiguities.
Sylveon image
Plus français, si’l vous plaît! Image from DBX Fanon

I am so thankful for his feedback. He enjoyed the novel, so I consider it a success already. Writing is interesting in that people have wildly different success metrics, even for the same author. Example: I believe success is making this manuscript something I and John would enjoy reading. Mom thinks success for me would be selling lots of copies. I’d rather not take that kind of pressure, thank you.

Waiting for feedback

I took a week’s vacation in San Diego, which is a beautiful place. I stayed with John and our moms on Ocean Beach. Every night we got lulled to sleep by the waves breaking outside. Revision was slow going, though, and I sent my second draft off to two readers last weekend. Before that, I’d been the only one who’d read most of the material, and it felt like my private world for two years. I let John in, but only to look at certain stuff. Now he’ll get to read the whole thing. I also sent it to a friend who’s an agent and editor for her day job- she’ll tell me how much more I need to fix and polish it before I send it to editors, and whether I should try submitting it to publishers and agents, publish it myself, or just hide it under my bed.

In the somewhat anxious wait, I’ll work more on the prose of my manuscript. I do enjoy marking it up with comments in Scrivener. I’m most afraid that I have written something worthwhile, because then I must serve the work and make it the best it can be.