The critiques have been rolling in for ELEGY this week, and now all I want to do is drop everything and revise it! They were that fantastic - full of brilliant suggestions, gentle hints that some things weren't working, and sharp character analyses that made me say "Wow!" several times. I printed every email, taped them into my notebook, and scribbled down ideas on how to work in the advice: adding a chapter here, weaving in a scene there, etc.
Now, I hadn't looked at ELEGY since I finished it back in March and did a few brief edits in May. I hadn't even opened the Word document. I just typed "The End" and started sporadically shooting out the manuscript when the mood struck: first to my CP, then to three friends, and finally a couple of blog buddies who had shown interest in beta-reading it. And then I put ELEGY into a folder on my desktop and "forgot" about it.
But now it's all I can think about, after reading the critiques I got so far. I wouldn't say that I'm more excited about revising this than I was about PPP... it's just that I worked on PPP for so long that the excitement was more spread out.
I try to be a good "parent" to all of my books - I try not to love any of my "kids" more than the others - but I do love them in different ways, and ELEGY is giving me a feeling that I'm not sure I fully had with PPP. That's not to say that PPP hasn't done well, or that I would ever, ever give up on it, but I just feel more confident about ELEGY. I feel good. I feel like I'm becoming a stronger writer, and that it's not so hard to figure out how to use feedback to make the story better on my own terms, with my own style.
I sat down last night to read ELEGY in its entirety for the first time and felt so proud of it. Like, I know that in its current state, it's a hot mess, and there is a truckload of revisions to be done - but I love this book so damn much. I can't wait to flesh out the characters, add more detail to this world, and structure chapters so that everything flows more smoothly. It's all there in my head, just waiting to come out!
I'm busy all weekend, but I'm hoping to have at least a few hours on Sunday to get my notes together, whip the first few pages into shape, and write a query letter in preparation for WriteOnCon! ELEGY is nowhere near querying status, but I figured it might be fun and good practice. When the links go up, I'll make sure to post them here so anyone who's interested can hop over and critique!
That's it for now! Have a great weekend, everybody!