Any Day But (alternately titled V-Day) is out with one of my writing-buddies, Florence.
We've done a novel swap, so I'm reading her masterpiece, The Ward.
Florence is good. Really good. She's not only a phenomenal writer, but she gives an excellent critique. I'm worried that she isn't getting a good trade by novel-swapping with me because even though I love line-editing, I'm not too practiced at giving big, over-arching advice.
I'm wondering, of course, what she'll think of ADB, mostly because I've only done one edit of this book. With my last novel, it was well-polished by the time my writing pals got their hands on it. This one came to me more quickly, partly because I'd already learned so much from writing the other novel.
Plus, I've learned to plan. I actually wrote a plot plan for this novel and basically stuck to it, something I didn't do with Up Lantau Running. With that one I let the mood guide me -- sweep me away in some cases -- which meant a lot of rewriting and hideous amounts of chopping.
With ADB, I haven't chopped all that much. It was born, went through some minor revisions, and went out to Florence in a state similar to its newborn one. So, we'll see. I'm not sure if that's bad or not. It might desperately need to be chopped up and overhauled. Or it might just need to be fleshed out and deepened. Or maybe it's perfect.
*cough* Yeah, right. In my dreams.
One of my fears with not chopping it up is that I'm wondering if I really know these characters like I knew them in Up Lantau Running. I mean, I spent years with those people -- Lila (previously called Marcy) and the gang. I've only spent months with Thia and her odd assortment of friends, acquaintances, and family. Will they seem real to my readers, or will they remain only shallow acquaintances?
Maybe I should stop worrying so much about what Florence will think of my book, and worry about giving her my best shot at a critique of her book.
Yeah, that might be a good idea. Okay, back to reading....