So I received my manuscript back yesterday and I'm excited and eager. Excited to get someone else's feedback-someone I respect as an author. Eager to dive back into the world of Alex and Hayden. I've missed them while they've been gone. Desperately.
So, right now, I'm in the process of welcoming them back with open arms:-)
Upon reviewing Stephanie's notes, I have a lot to consider. She sent me three pages of amazing comments and a completely marked up manuscript. She did exactly what I wanted. She offered suggestions, told me where things took her out of a moment, told me when things didn't add up, told me when things were too hard to believe, etc. Her comments totally refreshed me, and hopefully my story.
I've been working on my revisions. Her notes are marked up with post it notes of ideas I had based on her thoughts, and I already eliminated pages from the manuscript based on her suggestions. I'm down 20 pages, but she did recommend cutting it down 50-70 pages. I would love to do it if I knew where to even begin cutting. I knew it was long(420 pages). But I'll have to ask her more about that when we have our phone conversation.
The great thing about Stephanie Elliot is she is completely open to me asking questions and running ideas by her. Thank God, because I want to be sure my revisions are not ruining the story.
So my manuscript is in the hands of the wonderful Stephanie Elliot being edited. I've found a cover I really love and now I feel lost. I am so used to coming home to work on Alex and Hayden's story, not having them with me has left a void. Crazy, right?
So, I tried working on This Time, the story Alex and Hayden interrupted a year ago. But the problem with that is I was not loving the story the way I once had.
I need to get reacquainted with the characters, Brendan and Morgan, and I'm making some major changes to the story line. Right now, I'm not sure how they will affect the remainder of the book. It's a huge undertaking that I am not ready to begin...yet. Not until Alex and Hayden's story is out for the world to read.
But I do know I need to get back to it. Brendan and Morgan deserve their happy ending.
If you're lucky enough to have friends and family who are willing to read your story, let them! But just know they are likely to praise the fact that you completed a novel, instead of the story itself.
Once you've tried the family route, you can look for beta readers online or through writers' groups in your town.
Personally, I feel uncomfortable letting people I know read what I've written. Ask my husband. He doesn't even really know what ...Until Alex is about. He's more interested in hearing if there are any racy scenes...
Lucky for me, I found the amazing writer, editor, blogger extraordinaire--Stephanie Elliot. If you do not know Stephanie, please check out her novel What She Left Us and her novella The Cell Phone Lot. You will not be disappointed. Stephanie has been a lifesaver for me. I was stuck in a rut-editing my story everyday, but I wasn't changing the story. I was only changing word choice.
I needed her to point me in the right direction. From our first correspondence, she pointed out a huge hindrance in my story. This was before she even agreed to read my manuscript! Without her pointing out the flaw, the story would have read differently than what I wanted. I could not have asked for a better editor.
While Stephanie has been editing, she has been sending me short notes with reassuring comments and pages she completed. This gave me two things...confidence that I did not have, and an idea of where she was in the story, so I was not just sitting home biting my fingernails wondering which page she was on and what she was thinking. I really appreciated those notes. So until I get her full comments, I will be waiting patiently.
If you are interested in a real partner through this process--someone who is kind and a real cheerleader, contact Stephanie at www.stephanieelliot.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Much of this information can also be found under About Self Publishing)