Phew! Have finally finished Paper Edit Number One. I say finished. I've finished making a hideous scribbly mess on the paper manuscript but now have the joyful task of transposing all those squiggles on to the computer version. Fun!
I'm feeling quite good about the changes I've made - at the moment. Probably, like most writers, if you come back to me in about, ooh, say five minutes, I'll be of the opposite opinion and the belief that what I have written and/or changed is terrible and what was I even thinking? But that's all par for the course, isn't it? (Isn't it?!)
I've got to page 56 so far, and obviously still have plenty to go. The thing that did strike me as I've been doing all of these edits is that I've been enjoying going through the novel again, and spending time with my characters. I'm really hoping that may suggest that if I've enjoyed reading it, then there might be other people out there that will feel the same way...fingers crossed!
The plan is to finish transferring all these changes onto the main document and then give it a few days before doing another read through myself. I'll make any changes then that I feel need to be done and then I'll be passing it onto my First Reader (also known as hubby) for an opinion and another pair of eyes for picking up random letters and bits of punctuation that I've left lying around. After that, well, we'll see!
I'm aware that it may seem strange to some that a man is my 'first reader' when it's a romantic novel. Whilst I can understand that, I also think it's good to get a fresh perspective for me. I realise that there are some men who wouldn't be in the slightest bit interested in reading a novel like this and I understand that too, completely! And I have to say, if he was picking out a book to read, it wouldn't be in this genre, and that's fine. But in this case, I've found that it works for me. He'll tell me what he likes and what he doesn't, or what he felt wasn't clear, for example and I trust him to do so. He won't say 'Oh, it's wonderful, darling!' if he thinks it stinks because he knows that I wouldn't want him to do that. Conversely he's not going to nit pick at every tiny thing as I have heard of happening at various writing groups. Personally, I think the two most important things you need in your 'first reader' are trust and honesty. That isn't determined by gender, or genre preference.
In the meantime, I hope everyone else's work is coming along well. Keep on keeping on!