Well my newest novel is complete. I edited it top to bottom, each time catching errors and improving the story. Then I sent it to my beta readers, who read it very quickly. My “final” draft is called Rainbox 9 because that’s how many times I went through beginning to end to change things.
I had some writer friends read the first few chapters last summer, and that was immensely helpful. But what I’ve found is that other writers sometimes try to steer a book to be the way they would write it. They pick up on pivotal things, and details that matter, plot and dailogue, and provide great input along the way.
Everyone has a different writing style though and if we listen to all our writing peers, we would rewrite work endlessly. That’s why beta readers who are only readers, not writers, are important.
At the end of the day, we are selling to readers, and we have to trust our ability as story tellers. I did three major rewrites and drafts of my “final” draft, then another pass through after my readers gave comments. Thankfully they were easy to fix.
I sent the first ten pages to an agent and my fingers are crossed. If he takes it, there will be more edits I’m sure. If he sells it to publisher, there will be more edits based on someone’s best guess on what a reader would want to see.
All along the way there are readers, and without them our works would fall into a vacuum. We’d still write, as most of us write out of compulsion and passion not praise and acclaim, but it is nice when someone reads our books.
For all the readers out there, and especially to my first readers, THANK YOU!