After a tense 48 hours of waiting, I've gotten a few initial comments trickling in about the pages I sent out to the women from my book club. I've only gotten one marked-up draft back, and then it was only some of the pages. I definitely don't blame anyone, since I sent them 25 pages, and these people do have lives (jobs, husbands, families, and most of them NaNos) of their own. But I was so excited about my initial feedback I wanted to share!
So far, everyone said they really enjoyed it, and they would want to keep reading it when I'm done. A good sign, right? The detailed notes I got were awesome. The person who wrote them is actually in the middle of workshopping her own YA novel, so it was really wonderful to get feedback from her perspective, since she knows exactly what to point out in a weak manuscript. The notes addressed some issues that I knew I was struggling with (my tendency to jump between past and present tense, some world-building questions I had) and some new challenges with character development which I hadn't considered before. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of her comments, and what everyone else has to say!
Tonight, though, I was so exhausted that I didn't write much. I fell asleep at the keys. I made it a rule that I wanted to write a little bit every day, so I got a few words in. I'm still ahead of the NaNo curve, and since my husband and I are headed to Plant City on Thursday (40 minutes in the car one way) and Orlando on Friday (two hours in the car one way), I'll have time to play catch up since he offered to drive.
Finally, I've been reading Stephen King's On Writing, something I should have done a long time ago. (If you are a writer, a Stephen King fan, or want to learn how to form a better sentence, pick up On Writing. And The Elements of Style. But that second one should go without saying.) The book starts out as a memoir of sorts, explaining all about how King got into writing and telling the excruciating details of his rejections, then later his struggles with addiction. The second part of the book is my new guidebook on how to write, and I can't believe I have lived my professional life thus far never having read it. Already I'm trying to cut out adverbs, remove extraneous "thats," and make other changes he says book editors are just going to make anyway. I'm also trying to use what I learned when editing articles in my professional life, because our magazine deserves good writing (even if it comes from amateur writers).