So it was finished. Oh, dear. That means it was FINISHED! Now what??
I had actually printed off the first 100 pages or so that Friday, so my husband could start reading it because, as he said, “I’m a slow reader, I need to start NOW!” He wasn’t slow this time! He read Friday night, and Saturday, and finished the whole thing Sunday evening. And he loved it!
Of course, you say, he’s SUPPOSED to love it – for better and for worse and all that, right?
The next step, almost as soon as I wrote “The End,” was to send it off to half a dozen beta readers. And they LIKED IT! Sure, they’re friends, but most of them are also writers and they know the importance of critique. And, when I say they LIKED it, I certainly don’t mean it was all sunshine and roses and hearts and rainbows – nope, they did have some suggestions and some questions.
While my readers were reading, I sent the ms off to my editor/proofreader. She is AWESOME! And yes, I’m a grammar nazi, and yes, I can spell – rather well, actually – but this is why one uses an editor: she found mistakes! Oh, the horror! And some of them were so ridiculous that I wondered WHO had written it! (In fact, there’s at least one – ha – in the finished novel itself.)
I talked to my in-person readers; I looked at all the emails I’d gotten from them. I made a few changes, nothing major, added a few paragraphs, double-checked everything. NOW I was finished!