Today, I submitted my first novel to a publisher, after - of course - another round of aggressive editing. I guess it's a good sign that I can never by satisfied with what I write.
Last night I attended my first writer's critique group. My story had already gone through a proof reader and a beta reader with a thumbs up. However, those two were good friends, and these ladies I met last night are writers like myself. I read my first chapter and they picked it apart like scavengers on a carcass. Now don't get me wrong, it was well liked, but it is what I needed. I needed an equal to tell me what was needed. I have a good story, but I want a great story. I want a novel that haunts the reader as much as the story has haunted me for these last few months. The best part of our fledgeling group is that we all write different genres. I write action/thrillers, two write romance, and the third writes YA fantasy. It made for a good balance of ideas. While my story runs fast and furious, the other's suggestions made me sit back and look around at the scenes, and my descriptions fell short.
After today's edits, I am happier with the first chapters, also I have the addition of a sub-character that can bring the ending full circle, which excites me. It'll bring a good closure to the story.
So off my manuscript went, I waved at it as it ran off to be judged and wished it well. Fortunately, I have an ace in the hole. I've already been chatted up to the editor. Yea! I just hope my work reflects the buzz that has been created.
Is humility dead?
Well, a phrase came to mind which I shared on my other modes of networking today. I might as well share it here.
Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
I gave up time. Time spent with my family. Time spent doing hobbies I enjoy. Time playing with my dog. A lot of time.
Time owes me big time!