Somehow, I started editing. Actually, it came from my husband’s desire to hear my work. I read aloud to him sometimes before bed, he finds the sound of my voice relaxing. I ended up reading him the first chapter of Climbing Yggdrasil, making mental notes all the while about what did and did not work for me. It’s strange, but after just over a week of sitting there, the book feels different. I’ve managed to successfully disconnect from it.
He mentioned that one particular bit of conversations seemed unnatural, designed only to inform the reader and not actually something that two people in that world would talk about. This morning, I added the following note to my manuscript:
This morning, I asked him about several bits of information I felt uneasy about; I go on about the solar system and various aspects of the Corporation that runs it, all the while worrying that this information is boring and redundant, as much of it gets revisited in a more active manner later in the book. I worried that I was telling instead of showing. He said he felt that it was interesting and informative, and I said I would have to think on it to see if I kept it in. Readers need an introduction to the fictional universe they’re visiting, sure, but I’d rather take them on a guided tour than hand them an informative pamphlet. I may need more opinions here.
The big thing for me, though, was showing my work to someone else. True, he’s my husband and bound to treat my work with care and respect, but I have trouble showing things like this to anyone. This was an important first step for me, as was finding problems with my manuscript without getting upset or sad. These are not depressing facts, these are opportunities for improvement.
I plan to continue reading my book to my husband and getting his feedback, taking notes on really obvious things that need to be changed, on things that I need to think about, on things that might require more opinions to give me a better feel how different readers react to them. This naturally brings me to an awkward part, asking others to read what I’ve written. I think I have less of a problem with the initial question of, “Will you read this thing that I wrote?” Now my issue is, “Yeah, it’s over 300 pages, are you sure you’re okay with that?” Is that something I need to simply get over and let people who want to read my book decide if that’s too much of a commitment for them? I’ve read that a lot of people do exchanges to make things fair, and I’m interested in looking at other writers’ work and providing feedback.