Well, after finishing the initial writing process of Hosanna House, I decided to let it sit for a few weeks, during which the "epic epicness" of the OYAN Summer Workshops ensued, along with a short break from writing, and much business with work, et cetera.
With the deadline for the OYAN Novel Contest 2012 fast approaching, it's now time for me to start editing. So a few days ago I picked up my own manuscript, a red pen, and sat down to read it. A friend of mine insisted that I blog the results of my reading, since, in my own words, "I'll probably be shocked at how mean I was when I sit down and read it all at once."
Ericka, this is for you.
I wasn't able to read it all at once, or even in two days. It's taken me four or five because life just has a way of, well, getting in the way.
But I did try to read it with more of a "reader" mindset than an "author" mindset, even while taking notes.
My findings included....
1) Wow. I can really be a mean author sometimes.
2) I love the main character and several of the side characters--a lot.
3) Thomas still makes me go, "Ick!", and the Phelps are jerks.
4) Raine's situation felt realistic, though some parts of it need more emphasis than they currently have.
5) I'd forgotten some of the mean things I'd done.
6) Wow. I can really be a mean author someti--er...much of the time.
On the whole, I loved getting to sit down and read my book like a book, in hardcopy instead of on a screen (because on a screen, I'm tempted to edit too much while I should be reading), and enjoy the story instead of trying to decide what happens next so I know how to write the ending.
Hosanna House, you're the hardest thing I've ever written. You're also probably one of the most important--if not the most important--thing I've ever written. All the research, worries, stresses, and fears have been worth it, because somehow I've managed to create something that is broken and yet, beautiful. It must be a God-Thing.