So, after four months waiting (im)patiently, my novel has returned from my editor. It was a worrying period, wondering what they were doing with my manuscript all this time.
Some things have come as a great surprise: she describes the writing as gorgeous, whereas I was sure it would require significant revision. Often when I read what I have written back to myself, it just grates with me, compared to all the beautiful prose I encounter in the library. Perhaps I am just my worst critic, or perhaps I have taken my worst critics too much to heart.
My editor says the twists and turns kept her engaged all the way to the end. She feels the novel is complex and impactful in its message. She felt that the characters are multidimensional, seeking out universal truths that most readers will easily relate to. Positive then.
But alas, the book is still not ready. I identified many of the shortcomings during that four-month wait. The advantage of employing a professional editor, however, is that she helps identify holes I had not even considered. In her view, the book is 80% ready. The remaining 20% of work would mainly come in the form of making my writing more concise.
This is all good. It means I still have more work to do, but that’s fine. I identified several other issues of my own through this long winter of despair (is it just me, or were the past three months really hard?). I think, perhaps, I can return to this novel with renewed vigour, adding the polish it deserves to make it the best version of itself.
So, back to my manuscript. These past few months, I have been working on another novel, but that now will have to wait. No, there’s unfinished business to address here first. Expect the recent flurry of posts on my blog to dry up for a while; time to head offline, to focus once more. Back to my novel once more.