I received the edit of my novel Spirit Quest from Chimera. Reading through the detailed write-up, I’ll admit to being overwhelmed. It’s hard to receive critiques, but it’s exactly what I needed at this point in the process. I had circulated the manuscript to a few Alpha readers and I got some solid feedback, but not what I needed. This edit not only pointed out several significant issues with the story, it gave me the direction I need to move towards to fix the problem.
So what do I need to fix? At this point, I’m looking at the 10,000 foot view and not at the text level (dialogue, passive sentences, repetitive sentence structure, etc).
[ ] Clean up the various POV and re-write from Marc’s POV. I’ve used 4 POVs in my story. It’s Marc’s story and I need to focus on that. That’s about 15,000 words of wiggle room I now have. I can find creative ways to add all that information from those other POVs into Marc’s knowledge pool. Focusing on Marc will help me find his voice and not have it watered down by other POVs.
[ ] Strip out the dream sequences
[ ] Clean up Marc’s inner turmoil and introspection. Cut back on a few of the repetitions throughout the book. Demonstrate a steady growth of his character. I tend to have Marc slip back into his bad habits/qualities. His anger isn’t focused and seems to get thrown around all the time without proper definition, so make it something people can sympathize with. That 15,000 word wiggle room should allow me to add a few more chapters focused on Marc and the progression of his magic.
That should keep me busy for a few months...