After attending LTUE for the second year in a row, my conviction that I'm doing the right thing in taking my time with this story was confirmed.
Having now finished the rewrite of book 1, it is now in the hands of a good friend. One of the best things about having this person read it is that he's going to be able to give me feedback from a reader's perspective. He's is not a writer, but he is an avid fantasy reader. And after speaking with him about the specific fantasy stories he's enjoyed, I think mine is going to be a good fit for him.
I am now on chapter 11 of 35 in my rewrite. It began as an in-depth edit until I realized I was kidding myself. So much of my page was consumed by extra facts and unnecessary explanation to the reader my story l lost all momentum.
After over two months of rewriting I am still only one chapter 11. I have a demanding job, yes, but I also have been forcing myself to take my time. In one chapter alone I decreased the word count by 38%. I can honestly say the story is stronger for it.
I received the first edits of my story back from my friends and I've got a lot of work ahead of me.
At first I thought I could simply read their edits and make notations: "Keep this", "Rework this", "Make into dialogue", etc. But the changes required were so significant I couldn't bring myself to do a line-by-line approval.
I decided the more prudent idea for me would be to retype my entire novel.
I sent my book off to my beta readers a couple of weeks ago. After doing so, I realized that pretty much all of them were friends of mine on Facebook, so I created a private group for everyone to discuss the book and what they were getting from it so far.
I have only heard from two people so far (out of seven).
My first book is coming to a close. I know that it'll have to go through a significant editing process, but I'm so happy that it's nearing completion. The world I started with has increased in size to such a degree that I'm beginning to believe it. :-)
I have a list of agents that I'm going to start sending it to once I finish the preliminary editing process. Once done I'm going to start work on the second part of the book and see where that takes me.
After LTUE, my Twitter life has exploded. :-) I rediscovered TweetDeck and I think I'm in love. (http://www.tweetdeck.com/) I was able to keep up on notable quotes from sessions I was unable to attend and still get a lot out of the ones I did.
The first thing I did when I got back was begin to clear my work load. My day job is very demanding and I have allowed it to take over much of my free time (working for a non-profit makes me more willing to work extra hours).
If you're like me, then you've been writing since you can remember. Short stories about bunnies, your friends, your family vacation, etc. Anything was grounds to write. I remember I used to hate essays because I had to write about my life as it was...no embellishments. As an avid fantasy and science fiction reader, I have a love of all things fantastic and unbelievable. I did not feel that my life fell into either category.
I have been struggling through my first writing project. I've always had a way with words (spoken that is), so a year ago I decided to start writing a novel. How could I know then that I would be on my third revision? How could I know the sacrifice required for good fiction?