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Where It’s At

May 31, 2007

I’ve been receiving the first rounds of feedback on the novel, and most of what I’ve heard has been positive.  Granted, there are certainly areas that need to be addressed (cough…Chapter XII…cough), but I have the sense that those that have read it thus far have genuinely enjoyed it.  Either that, or they are doing me a disservice by telling me what I want to hear, versus what I need to hear.  But I do not believe that to be the case, as the overall praise has been laced with a fair amount of criticism.

Fortunately, much of that criticism aligns with what I have noticed as I’ve read through the initial draft, red pen in hand.  Of course, none of the criticism has been has harsh – or specific – as my own, but that’s only to be expected, given my tendencies toward perfectionism and the fact that I wrote the damned thing.

So where am I now?  Well, I’ve completed the reread and marked up my copy of the draft in copious amounts of red ink, making notes of grammatical and typographical errors, awkward sentences, various inconsistencies, and the like.  And now that that is done, I’ve moved on to the actual revision process.

Most of my focus thus far has been on Chapter I.  Over the course of writing and then rereading, a lot of things have changed, with the result that the opening sections of the chapter necessitated an entire rewrite.  After all, it is probably a bad thing to open a book from the perspective of a character who leaves the stage after the first chapter.

Events of the past few weeks have put a dent in my productivity, but, as of now, I’ve just about completed the first revision of Chapter I.  All that’s left is to polish the opening of a certain section, and to revise my description of the shield used by the Roman legionnaires, which I believe reads awkwardly in its present form.

From here, I’m planning to address Chapters II and III, and then go back through for a second round of revisions, and possibly a third.  My goal is to get the first three chapters precisely where I want them, and then begin the process of identifying agents and publishers, composing query letters, and making the attempt to get the thing published.

I know it won’t be an easy road, but, considering the tripe that manages to get published, I have to believe that I at least have a shot.

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